What are Traditional Publishers doing to Promote their Talent?

Every once in a while, I like to look at books or authors on-line and try to determine what marketing and promotion approach that they are taking.  I like to see how well their books are selling and try to guess why they have or have not been successful.

I came across an author I was not familiar with who just released his third novel a few months ago via Penguin.  He previously had a hit book (or at least semi-successful) with a different publisher, so I was curious how he was doing with his new gig.

His new novel has been out for 4+ months, it has only 3 reviews on Amazon, it’s sales on Amazon are dismal and its Kindle selling price is over $12 per ebook.

Am I missing something here?

What actually is Penguin doing for this author? Are they even promoting the book at all? What’s the point of signing someone on and then not putting all one’s resources behind the book launch. Shouldn’t a traditional publisher have all the where-withal to get the word out and sell books?

Like I said, am I missing something?  Perhaps I am. Maybe they don’t want to sell books through Amazon?

Actually, seeing what is happening to this author makes me proud to be an indie author. I get the fruits of my labor – however big or small that may be. I get as much out of it as I put into it. The options are limitless, the rights are all mine as are the decisions of when to release, what to release, and at what price point.

I’m not talking down the traditional publishers. They have their own way of doing business and they make money how they want to.

But at the moment, I’m glad to be independent. It doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t ever listen to any offer if a traditional publisher came by. What’s the harm in listening, right?

But I’m happy to move forward doing things my own way.

Go indie!

The Exhaustion of Self-Promotion

Boy, do I need a publicist! An independently wealthy publicist who can spend hours on end promoting my writing just because they have nothing else to do and they are head-over-heels in love with my prose.

So if you know anyone …

As an indie author who has a job and who coaches softball and who teaches and produces drama, I find that I have no time for self-promotion of my works. And so a couple weeks will go by and I realize that I haven’t proactively done anything to get my name out there. It can, at times, be frustrating.

Of course, my very best publicists are my readers. I am eternally grateful for them, especially the ones who enjoyed my novel and passed on the word to someone else. Nothing beats that.

But there is much work to be done.

I’m still advertising on Goodreads with so-so results. But I keep telling myself, results are important at this point. I have to continually get my novel and my name out in front of people. I have to build a big of a base as possible before the release of novel #2. (Which is now about 4 months away!)

But more needs to be done. Today, I finally had some time to contact some more bloggers and review websites. I also need to get some more interviews and do more guest posts. On top of this, I need to look into some additional advertising options now that I have a large amount of reviews on Amazon.  So much to do!

Oh, and besides all of this. I need to write. That is the primary responsibility of a writer, isn’t it?

OK, I’m just ranting today about the lack of time. (and the lack of that uber-rich publicist)

But I keep telling myself – this isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. I’m in it for the long haul.

I’ve heard it said the the only promotion campaign that doesn’t work is the one that stops. It can never stop. I must keep it moving forward because I believe in my novel and the future works of mine coming down the pike.

So, here I go, pushing forward once again.

It can be exhausting. But it can also be exhilarating. The latter is the one I choose to focus on.


About that Facebook Author’s Page

Honestly, thinking about making a Facebook Author’s Page for author Mark W Sasse makes me extremely uncomfortable. Self-promotion is one of the jobs I like least about being an indie author, but I have to keep telling myself: there is no one else to promote me!

And so I keep coming back to the ‘should I’ or ‘shouldn’t I’ make that Facebook Author’s Page. (Don’t even get me started about Twitter. I still can’t see the point.)

First of all, the idea that I might have a fan is kind of strange. I am one of the most least impressed people concerning celebrities that I know, and to think that I am worthy of having people call me their fan is just downright strange.

And yet, all the websites that have featured me and all of the guest posts I have done or promotions I have created continually ask for my author’s Facebook page.  I am not about to open up my personal Facebook page for the general public, but what about a fan page that talks about my writings, books, upcoming events, etc… Is it necessary?  Would it serve a different function from this blog?

Yes, I suppose it would. This blog was always meant to talk about writing, history and culture. I anticipate a Facebook page would be much more narrowly focused on my actual books. I suppose I see some benefit there.

I keep thinking that perhaps I’ll start one once I am more established after my second and third novels are out in the readership sphere, but on the other hand, wouldn’t a Facebook Author Page help to better establish myself with my readership?

So these are the crazy thoughts that keep going back and forth in my mind. I’m a reluctant promoter; I wouldn’t be surprised if many writers are like me.

Perhaps it is silly not to create one in this day and age. Well, I never said that I wasn’t silly.

Any thoughts?