Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Call to Published Authors

Author promotion. Everyone's talking about it but does anyone really know what works and what doesn't?

Gone are the days when publishers spent the equivalent to a corrupt politician's annual income on promoting authors. Nowadays (perhaps thanks to those corrupt politicians) economies are sinking and publishers' budgets along with them.

I knew this when I was published, so I'm not complaining; I knew I wasn't going to hit the big-time or grow rich. That old adage, "Don't give up the day job" rang, and still rings, very true. 

So I've floundered about, trying to do the right thing, trying to follow all the advice: Twitter, post on FaceBook, have a blog, a website, social-network. It's all very well for the gregarious amongst us, but for a slightly introverted, shy person it's hell. I'd much rather live in my imagination and spend my time writing about the worlds I create. 

But marketing is just the thing for creative people, I hear you shout. So perhaps you can tell me what exactly a creative person is. My husband's creative - he can design and decorate a room to perfection, but he can't write fiction (and I can't even lay a table properly); my best friend can turn a swatch of material into a designer dress with a snap of a finger (and I can't thread a needle).

Advertising and publicity agents are all fine and dandy for the best-sellers. But how can a debut or midlist novelist afford that kind of thing?

I know I'm amongst the thousands milling out there in cyberland all crying "me, me, me". No-one's going to take much notice of my wee efforts unless, perhaps, I strip off and wander down the High Street. On second thoughts, maybe not...

Should authors stick together?

Authors! Any suggestions?