A few days ago I received an email from PMI Publishing. You probably haven’t heard of them – they don’t publish books, or magazines or short stories. Apparently they’re a promotions agency. Nothing wrong with that – lots of folks employ promo people to help get the word out about their careers. But this particular email made me uncomfortable. Let me share the bulk of the email with you, so you can get where I’m coming from.
“We just signed an exclusive deal with the three monthly publications in Florida to provide book reviews. As part of our agreement we are required to review between 36 and 64 books over the course of the next 12 months, which will appear in print. There is no cost for the review.
Our goal is to provide a win-win scenario for both our client and for you, the [...]
Continue reading Get What You Don’t Pay For
Earlier this week, I had lunch with a writer friend. The conversation turned, as writer-lunch-conversations are wont to do, to promotion — what each of us does to promote our work, and what we should be doing. My views on promotion have changed considerably, so I thought I’d share them here, and we can hash out what we thinks works and what doesn’t work.
I promoted my first novel, The Glasswrights’ Apprentice, with a self-financed book tour. I traveled up and down the West Coast, stopping at a dozen bookstores (Borders, B&N, and independents) for readings and signings. I spent weeks scheduling the visits, phoning community relation managers, begging for a calendar slot. In addition to the West Coast tour, I visited my hometown (Minneapolis) for a reading, and I hosted a reading in my then-town (D.C.) I hosted a book launch party at the law firm where I worked. [...]
Continue reading Get Yer Hot Fresh Books!
Diana Pharaoh Francis
You may or may not have heard about the recent tug-of-war (emphasis on war) between Barnes and Noble and Simon and Schuster (for clarity, I’m published with S&S under the Pocket umbrella). In a nutshell, BN is slowing down on carrying S&S books. As in, almost none. It seems to be they will be carrying the Big Names, because they don’t want to cut off their noses that much. For more on this, I blogged about it the other day, and so have many others. (feel free to post links for more info and the damage it does to authors in the comments). As I point out, this hurts authors, especially midlisters like me, and most of the others who write this blog. But that isn’t what I want to talk about. I want to talk about when you get run over, whacked with a clawhammer, drawn-and-quartered, or whatever metaphor [...]
Continue reading And so publishing goes
Continuing my series on promotion, today I’ll talk about events. Here at magical words we’ve covered a lot of information on conferences and conventions, so I’ll skip those and focus primarily on bookstore events.
When a writer has a new book out (such as David and I do this week), they try to schedule as many events as possible in the weeks following a release, but unless the writer is a mega best seller, she/he is on their own in financing their ‘tour’. Writers rarely can afford to make multi-city stops, and honestly, the returns on such a tour are can be rather discouraging. For instance, selling 10-20 copies is often considered a successful bookstore event. The average writer makes 6-8% royalties on each book sold. Let’s take the high side of that and multiply the cost of a book by twenty and then calculate 8% of that total. Got [...]
Continue reading On promotion: Events
As I have a book hitting shelves in a little under two weeks, promotion is a big part of my to-do list. By now readers of MW know that it is largely the responsibility of the author to promote their own book (and it is in our own interest to do so if we want to sell more books). But how does one get the word out about a book, especially a first book?
Recently I was contacted by an author whose first book will be released later this year. She wanted to know how to set up a blog tour and if they were were worth the time and effort. The answer to the former is fairly straight forward; the latter is a bit trickier. Both are good questions and some that other writers probably share, so I thought I’d start my exploration of promotion with blog tours as [...]
Continue reading On Promotion: Blog Tours
Ethan Kaille is one of Colonial Boston’s leading thieftakers. He is also a conjurer, an ex-convict, and a veteran of the War of the Austrian Succession, in which he served as a sailor in the navy of His Majesty King George II. Though an intensely private man, he recently agreed, albeit reluctantly, to sit down and answer a few questions about his life, his career, and, of course, his rivalry with Sephira Pryce, Boston’s famed “Empress of the South End.”
*****Mister Kaille, thank you for joining us today. I wonder if you wouldn’t begin by telling us a bit about your work as a thieftaker.
There is little to tell, really. Boston is filled with reprobates and fools, and invariably men who fall into one category or the other take it upon themselves to improve their meagre lot in life by stealing from the city’s monied class. When they do, [...]
Continue reading An Interview with Ethan Kaille, Thieftaker and Conjurer