Hey there! I know it’s been more than a week, but what a week+ it’s been. The writing’s finished, but the publicity machine is slowly assembling itself around me, like a promotional exoskeleton.
Here are just a few parts of the beast, a.k.a. what publicity and press people historically have brought to the party, but are now part of the writers’ responsibilities.
First, try and get the invitation to the launch completed. Next, try and assemble a killer email contact list for the folks who write literary reviews.
Let me tell you, one should never scoff at the significant power of a well-stocked Rolodex, painstakingly assembled by a seasoned promotional department.
Then it’s time to suck up to the bloggers. I don’t know why I’m afraid of the bloggers, but I am. I think it’s likely because they don’t have bosses who can stop them from being too mean for fear of lawsuits. Because let’s face it folks, there are few things meaner than writers who decide that they don’t like another writer’s work. It’s a scary thought what they could say, and what if it went viral?
To really impress the press you so desperately need, what you need is a killer media kit. In the past I thought it was not big deal. Easy peasy to assemble one. Pah! I knew nothing.
For a good media kit you require a “can’t stop reading” synopsis, a whole bunch of “praise”, followed by a bio, pretty pictures of me (yeah like that’s a lotta fun) and the book’s cover (much easier) and then contact info for Emily Niedoba. Who thankfully is riding shotgun with me for the whole ride.
And we’re just getting ready to launch the campaign! It boggles the mind. At least my mind.
At this point in the journey I have two observations to make about the differences between the mid-20th-century book business compared with the new digital model.
I’m not saying that writers can’t, and shouldn’t, be involved with the selling of their own books. There is no denying that things have changed and we need to pitch in and shill. But somewhere in the new financial model, editing and promotion need to return to the mix. I am not an editor and I am not a publicity person. These are significant crafts, fields of expertise all until themselves.
*Abandoning them is foolhardy and not good for reading or writing.*
Until next time.
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