Thursday, 14 April 2011

Does Promotion Sell Books?

The most difficult aspect of Inde-publishing my writing, was the instruction: 'Promotion sells books, so self promote, promote, promote.'  New writers are constantly told that small publishers don't have the budget to spend on elaborate marketing schemes, which is why the larger ones run TV campaigns, international book tours and point of sale display for bookshops in order to sell their books.

We are also told this is why publishers can only gamble their budgets on a miniscule number of unknown authors annually, because they cannot guarantee a return on their investment.

According to the blog of Kristine Rusch, sent to me by friend and mentor Anne Whitfield - and yes I am promoting both of them. The first writes a mean blog with some enlightening insider advice and the second is an excellent writer who deserves all the good vibes I can send her!

Ms Rusch states:  Every traditionally published book has to earn back its investment within six months or be considered a failure. Also, that according to K Rusch, an American Booksellers Association study, people buy books because:

1. Author reputation (52%)
2. Personal recommendation (49%)
3. Price (45%)
4. Book Reviews (37%)
5. Cover/Blurb (22%)
6. Advertising (including online) 14%

'If a friend recommends a book to you, you’re likely to buy it.  If you’ve already read an author and like her work, you’re likely to buy her next book. The best way to promote your book, is to write the next book.  The more you’ve published, the more ways a reader can find you and the more chances the reader has of finding a book of yours that the reader loves.'

Another paraphrased quote I cannot resist:  Stylists make you admire them.  Storytellers force you to read the next chapter—or buy the entire book.

It seems the answer is to keep writing and improving that writing, because it's the only 'formula' that works.

1 comment:

Maggie Anderson said...

This proves that promotion is very important, unfortunately, because it takes so much of a writer's time. And it's so true you have to keep the books coming.