Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Author and Book Publicity

Reader G.M. McGowan said... "It's true to have something to sell. However, public relations, promotion, marketing and distribution are what make money for the publisher. And that's something the publisher has to do... not the new or established author."

G.M. is certainly correct when he/she avers that publicity is something the publisher has to do. His assertion that somehow the author is not responsible, in my opinion does not ring true. All of the large mainstream publishers indeed have publicity departments, and in most cases have several full time publicists within the department. These personnel work diligently to get the book noticed through national print publicity and advertising, sending ARC's (advanced reading copies) to booksellers, reviewers, TV producers, newspapers and magazines. They also schedule book signings and radio and TV interviews, as well as promotions on social networking sites, blog campaigns, and reading groups.

Through all of this the author is key in rounding out the efforts of the publicity department. Today's author needs to have or to establish a platform, which is evidenced by the fact that most authors, even those who remain unpublished, now have Web sites as well as blogs. Gone are the days when an author concentrates on writing with little or no concern given to publicizing his book. The author's input with regard to marketing is especially crucial when the small publisher has little or no capacity to do so.

I believe a large part of the excitement of being a published author is in the marketing of the book through signings, interviews, and appearances. Today's successful authors are multi-talented!


  1. I agree that today's authors are multi-talented. But what, exactly, does a publishing house do, again? If the author is responsible for writing, and a professional editor will edit your work for, say, $10,000 or thereabouts...and an artist will produce a cover for you for another amount of money that is (hopefully) smaller...and the e-book not only is easily distributed without a publisher but makes the author up to TEN TIMES AS MUCH MONEY PER COPY SOLD... (70% instead of, say, 7-10%)

    IIf the writer becomes the primary party responsible for advertising, I honestly don't see what a publishing house is doing for me. Other than serving as a barrier. Much like an agent.

  2. See blog article on "self publishing."