This isn’t something that comes naturally to every author. In fact, many authors shy away from publicity and only do what is necessary to get their works in the public eye. On the other hand, many authors enjoy the publicity journey. They step into it confidently and are willing to support those of us who might struggle with the whole notion.
Me? Well, I’m sort of on the fence. As a former business owner, I obviously see the benefits of publicity, but as an author—well, let’s just say, it feels weird.
Sure, you want to celebrate your accomplishments and you want to meet and interact with readers, authors, and those in the industry, but each time you “post” it feels somehow like a humble brag. I don’t like it one bit. But after I got a literary agent, I also got a “talking to” about how being publicly present is imperative. So, I slowly started to post a few things out in the world, an article here or there or maybe an inspirational quote (I love those).
That was quickly followed by another hard lesson from a few fellow authors—”You need to let people see and interact with you!” Hmm, I guess I never thought of it that way. As a reader, I delight in learning about the authors who write the books I love. It’s fascinating to learn their story, fun to see candid pictures of them, and …… to get a peek behind the curtain and get to know their personalities. Once I saw publicity from that perspective, I got a little bolder. I decided to share posts, and do interviews, and write blogs about me on my Author’s Journey. This raw and organic style of publicity is scary yet approachable for me.
If you’re considering book marketing, check out these educational and inspirational ideas from some of my author friends:
Create your own luck and find the opportunities; it’s unlikely they will find you. ~ Constance Hays Matsumoto, Of White Ashes author and writer of stories and poetry intended to influence positive change in our world.
Publicity is certainly a group effort and I have 29 creative professionals on my team, including my Publicist, Audio Book Narrators, Language Translators, Artists, Graphic Designers and Professional Photographers. I delegate tasks and hire outside talent as well as regularly promote the skills and gifts of others. This journey is not about me! It’s a culmination of hard work, group effort and trusting each other to get the book finished and the message across with the corporate vision of impacting readers in a powerful way. ~ Sunshine Rodgers is a bestselling author, blogger, entrepreneur, and winner of the 2019 Author of the Year award by RWG Publishing.
Unfortunately, publicity is a necessary evil in establishing your brand and getting your work known. Like most writers, I’d like to just write and never have to leave my home office. But having to pay those pesky bills, I need for people to buy my books. While I have telepathically sent buy-my-books thoughts out into the universe, it appears that telepathy isn’t the most efficient way to sell books. Lucky for me, I found PR by the Book to get the word out about my books. ~ Katie Graykowski is a #1 Amazon and international bestselling author of 20+novels, including the wildly popular romance series: The Lone Stars, The Marilyns, Texas Rose Ranch, as well as mysteries and YA.
When you go to Amazon and do a search for your book, that’s where you need to carefully consider how you want them presented to your audiences. Ideally, an aspiring author will know initially, the genre and heat level she/he wants to write from the onset. I was not one of those people. As a result, my path is more difficult than it needed to be. I started with my website. It is still kathylwheeler.com, but I modified the logo to add the new name Mia Augustine for sexy billionaire contemporaries I adore writing. When I made this change, I was able to add the five shorts. There will also be a series of four full length novels. That’s the good news. The bad news is that there is no social media to associate with the new name. It can be lot of work. ~ Kathy L. Wheeler writes contemporary and historical stories where the heroines save themselves and the heroes who honor their courage with suspense and humor
One final note, you can always hire a professional. If you’re able to do so, it’s fantastic! They know the how, what, where, and who of getting your works out there. From book tours, to signings, and even live interviews, and speaking engagements, they’re the bomb! Keep in mind, each author is unique, and each author is on their own distinctive journey.
Regardless, continue to learn from the “big guns” and choose the best approach for you. But whatever you do, never let publicity get in the way of writing. Cheers!