The days of a writer writing a book, polishing it, sending it to publishers, getting a contract, seeing the published book, going on to work on their next book, have long since gone. Today, publishers want a book that arrives at their posh offices wearing a suit and a tie (please don’t forget the pant and shirt). They want a polished manuscript, edited until it shines like a cluster of diamonds. The shiny manuscript must be accompanied by a reputed agent.
Independent publishers are upfront with writers, some indie publishers want authors to pick half the copies of their first print run, while others want the writer to take their books in place of royalty payments. Yes, this happened to a writer I know. She said that she preferred payment, however small it was. Another writer had to pick half the copies of the first print run which she donated to various school libraries. She was so thrilled to see her book in print that she had no qualms about picking up the copies herself.
The big six publishers ofcourse pay an advance, however small or big it maybe. But they like the authors to be active participants in selling the books. Meaning having a Facebook page, blog, Twitter account, and other social networking accounts. Today writers play an overactive role in promoting their books, from the day they sign the contract.
Actually, one can’t blame the publishers. With publishing budgets being tightened, bookshops closing down and newspapers reducing the number of pages that carry book reviews, it becomes important for writers to be active participants in promoting their books. Writers must plug in all their social contacts to talk of their books, buy their books, hold contests, tweet, facebook and anything else they can do. The more copies sold, the more viable the author becomes.
A writer I know, sent copies of her books to several book review sites. She is also keeping a track of all the awards that her book can be nominated for. As nothing perks up a book’s sales as much as an award.
What are all the things you are doing to be active participants in your book sales? What is your book promotion strategy?