Marketing your book

Whether you are self-published or have a traditional book deal, every writer knows that writing your novel is only part of the process of finding success as a writer. It isn't unusual to find you are spending as much time, if not more, marketing the book as you did writing it.
Image via Petr Kratochvil

Catherine Ryan Howard is one of Ireland's most successful self-published writers and so knows first-hand the challenges in getting your work noticed. Talking to broadcaster and author Sue Cook on The Write Lines online radio programme, she advises self-published authors to find a unique angle to promote their work: "One thing I would say to self-published authors is that when you come to market your book, don't go out and look for print media help and things like that at the beginning, because I'm sorry, but 'you've self-published a book' is not a story, especially when everyone is doing it. ...If you can find what it is about your story, and not the book, but you as a can use that to get publicity...". 

Some writers believe that if you secure a traditional book deal then your publisher will do all the marketing for you. The reality is that although your publisher will play their part in marketing the book, they will expect you to be proactive in marketing your work as well.

Writer Jane Wenham-Jones (Wannbe a Writer?) emphasizes the importance of writer and publisher working together as a team: "To me it has to be a bit of teamwork. If publishers see that you are very proactive and you're prepared to do anything, they're going to be supportive and they're going to push you a little bit further as well...The first question to ask is 'Do you mind if I am really proactive here?' and they are going to say 'That's great'...'What I'd like to do is try and get in this magazine and that magazine and that magazine. I'd like to try and do some radio. Are you going to do that, or should I approach them?'...As soon as they've done the Advance Information Sheet and press release I always ask for a copy of those and I have them on my computer so I'm ready to send them off....You always need to be prepared as an author. Have some bookmarks in your bag...have some leaflets, have some postcards, have a couple of copies of your book in your car."

The Write Lines is a series of three, free online programmes for writers, covering "How to publish ebooks", "How to build a career as a writer" and "How to market your book."


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