Off topic: Promoting your book
Thread poster: Daniel Frisano

Daniel Frisano
Monaco
Local time: 03:35
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
Aug 7

Has anybody ever published a book and found some kind of successful promotion strategy?

Now that self-publishing is so easy, the market is so saturated that it's hard to stand out. Any ideas? Alternative channels?


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Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 03:35
Member
Italian to English
The Creative Penn Aug 7

Something to get you started

https://www.thecreativepenn.com/publishing/


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Lidija Klemencic
Serbia
Local time: 03:35
Member (2016)
English to Serbian
+ ...
Lie as much as possible Aug 7

I have two books published by two major publishing houses from Serbia. Their promotion strategy was barely visible and as a result, I now write only for friends and family. My shyness was also a big minus for promotional purposes but I noticed something. If you want to be notice by general public, you must do something to attract attention. So, my advice to you is this: if ever invited to TV, radio or if you somehow manage to lure a journalist to ask you a question or two, lie your head off. In the meantime, invent at least 4 broken marriages and write about this on Fb, complain about your ex wife, admit to a drug problem, issues with police and whatever you do, do not forget to swear a lot, tweet even more, put photos on Instagram of yourself urinating while at the same time you nibble a frog for example, swallow a snail, eat a worm, etc., since this is the only way you will be noticed. Present yourself as misunderstood and tortured soul but do not forget to be well dressed in expensive clothes and try to take a picture of yourself near some good car. Even though general public loves struggling artists, they have more respect for wealthy, good looking people. Unless you are prepared to do all the above, forget about it. And good luck to you, from the bottom of my misunderstood hearth.

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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 19:35
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
@Fiona Aug 7

Fiona, thank you for this fantastic resource, very useful to read even before you start on a book. It's also good when you publish with an existing publishing house to know what questions you might want to ask about their marketing.

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The Misha
Local time: 21:35
Russian to English
+ ...
No magic bullet. In fact, no bullets at all. Aug 7

Daniel Frisano wrote:

Now that self-publishing is so easy, the market is so saturated that it's hard to stand out.


Whether your book makes it or not largely depends on purely random factors - like, finding yourself in the right place at the right time with the right fare. Moreover, whether it's well written or not is less important than whether you have written what the public wants to read - rather than what you wanted to write about. If self-publishing, the entire marketing effort is up to you in principle, but even if you find a publisher don't expect them to do much, if anything to promote a new book by an unknown author. Other than that, it's pretty much as Lidija put it above "from the bottom of her misunderstood hearth": anything goes. Just don't expect it to work.

I think the really important thing that would save you a lot of mental anguish in the end of the day is seeing this for what it really is: by writing that book, you are not doing anyone any favors, nor are you fulfilling any essential public purpose. You are just scratching an itch. That's it. But don't let this deter you: as the incomparable Nassim Taleb put it, novels are fun to write, not to read. I should know: I wrote three, one of them "deep and meaningful". All unpublished, of course.


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Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 03:35
Member
Italian to English
@Tina and Lidija Aug 7

Tina Vonhof wrote:

Fiona, thank you for this fantastic resource, very useful to read even before you start on a book.


You're very welcome!!!

Lidija Klemencic wrote:

I have two books published by two major publishing houses from Serbia. Their promotion strategy was barely visible and as a result, I now write only for friends and family.


This is a timely reminder that despite what big publishing houses do in terms of promotion, I think authors are expected to be very active participants in promoting their work.

Lidija Klemencic wrote:
My shyness was also a big minus for promotional purposes but I noticed something. If you want to be notice by general public, you must do something to attract attention. So, my advice to you is this: if ever invited to TV, radio or if you somehow manage to lure a journalist to ask you a question or two, lie your head off. In the meantime, invent at least 4 broken marriages and write about this on Fb, complain about your ex wife, admit to a drug problem, issues with police and whatever you do, do not forget to swear a lot, tweet even more, put photos on Instagram of yourself urinating while at the same time you nibble a frog for example, swallow a snail, eat a worm, etc., since this is the only way you will be noticed. Present yourself as misunderstood and tortured soul but do not forget to be well dressed in expensive clothes and try to take a picture of yourself near some good car. Even though general public loves struggling artists, they have more respect for wealthy, good looking people. Unless you are prepared to do all the above, forget about it.


I'm not sure how much of this was tongue-in-cheek, but it made me smile. I hope you will continue writing despite what your negative experiences.


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Lidija Klemencic
Serbia
Local time: 03:35
Member (2016)
English to Serbian
+ ...
Local community Aug 8

[quote]Fiona Grace Peterson wrote:

I'm not sure how much of this was tongue-in-cheek, but it made me smile.


I am glad that I made you smile, that was always my goal as an author: to make people smile and to make them think about some serious issues with a pinch of laughter. As for tongue-in-cheek, irony and humor are the best weapons of shy people, otherwise we would just set around like mushrooms in dark rooms, not uttering a word, so we have to use it as a shield.

Now a serious advice for Daniel. Use your local community to a maximum. Go to your old high school, talk with your language professor, you will be amazed that they still remember you, but somehow they do, they will help you organize a small book presentation in your school, then go to your local library, ask to speak with director, or manager, or whatever his/her title is, do the same as in school, visit your local pub, speak with a manager there, organize something similar in afternoon hours, it doesn't have to last long, it doesn't have to be glamorous, just you, your book and your charm. Print a couple of posters for these events, put them in the area of your interest and be brave about it. Even if only 10 readers appears and just two of them actually buy your book, it will do the trick. Believe it or not, in our days of technical miracles and all those social media crap, word of a mouth is still the best. Some people you know from high school, or college, will buy your book just to see what on earth this plonker has to say and they will be so surprised that they will do your promotion far better than you could even imagine. Count on those who didn't like you more than on your friends. Before you know it, your book will be the main gossip and that is excellent. This is bound to attract some, at least local media attention and try to use it wisely, present yourself as serious author, clever young man with values and a good speaking and writing skills. My advice is also not to exaggerate with number of copies; your first edition shouldn't exceed 1000. You will easily print more if need arise and it will look nice on a book cover to see ''second edition''; that will also attract readers.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:35
English to Spanish
+ ...
What is your book about? Aug 9

Daniel Frisano wrote:

Has anybody ever published a book and found some kind of successful promotion strategy?

Now that self-publishing is so easy, the market is so saturated that it's hard to stand out. Any ideas? Alternative channels?


All I know about the book publishing industry is a couple of things:

a) I once offered Andrew Keen (The cult of the amateur) the idea of getting his book published in Spanish, meaning I would be happy to translate it (since I read the entire book and enjoyed it). He was keen on collaborating but he probably misread my intent: he thought I had publishing contacts for foreign languages. I don't.

b) I recently asked one of my PhD program coordinators if it would be ok to publish my dissertation once I become a PhD. She said yes, but chances are I will have to do some rewriting.

Going back to my question: what is your book about? Have you thought of serializing its chapters as magazine articles? I see that happen all the time in the magazines I read.


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MK2010  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:35
Member (Jun 2017)
French to English
+ ...
I agree with Lidija Aug 9

Get involved with your community: bookstores, libraries, reading / writing groups, local media, community activities, etc. Cultivate a strong social media presence and develop followers. If you're publishing the book yourself, give yourself a publishing imprint too. "Solo Press just released my book" sounds better than "I just published my own book." I live in a small town in the Rockies and this local author has been doing all of the above, and she's everywhere. You can hardly open the local newspaper without seeing her picture next to an article about her new book, or her new workshop, or how she was cast as an extra in some indie film production passing through town. I don't know what that means in terms of sales, but she seems to be living the writer's life and enjoying herself quite a bit, by the looks of it.

It's a tragic paradox that writers, who are often people uncomfortable in the limelight, are increasingly being forced to go against their own nature and aggressively market their work. I once heard that some of the Big 5 (publishers in the U.S.) won't acquire a work of non-fiction unless the author has at least 10,000 followers on Twitter. (!!!)


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