Marketing for the truly clueless writer

Since I started out, knowing that being a writer in the 21st century means you have to do a lot of the marketing yourself, and not knowing anyone in publicity or marketing, and being a naturally shy girl, I bought my share of books that I thought could help me. Thing is, I found them all  hard to read, and haven’t finished a single one, so none of them have helped in the way that I really needed them to. And yet, I continued to buy them. I know. I’m a sucker.

1) Over 75 Good Ideas for Promoting Your Book – Patricia L. Fry.

Fry’s book is small; a booklet-size intro to marketing, as opposed to the novel-length ones I bought later, this was at least light to carry around, or throw, or use as a coaster. The information seems a bit specific, so what ou need might only be on pages 52-54. Lots of long paragraphs, but again, the book is short.

2) Naked at the Podium The Writer’s Guide to Successful Readings – Peter V.T. Kahle and Melanie Workhoven.

This tells you everything you might need to think about before you give an author talk. From vocal exercises to setting up. Everything I needed from it I got in one reading. Get this one from the library.

3) Guerrilla Marketing for Writers – Jay conrad Levinson, Rick Frishman, Michael Larsen

This is a dense book with a lot of innovative ideas. It also tells you what these ideas will cost: Free, Low Cost, even You Get Paid [Very Little]. I was not able to make it through this book. It encourages you to keep yourself in the public eye by writing reviews, articles, a column, sending out email chain letters, anything at all. With all the things the Guerrilla guys were asking me to do, I couldn’t figure out when I’d have time to feed my kids let alone write another book.

4) Marketing Kit for Dummies – Alexander Hiam

It’s a Dummies book so you know the format. It covers a wide range of topics, with helpful formats for how you might design a brochure,  a web page, or a flyer. You get the good and bad side of every angle, so you get to choose what you think works for you. There is a lot to get through and it isn’t easy reading. It’s also not specific to writers.

5) Publicize Your Book! – Jacqueline Deval

Deval seems to know the ins-and outs of marketing and publicity and there are plenty of stories in there to show you how you could go wrong, and things that others did to go right. Example websites and author/book fair info can give you a starting point for getting your behind in shape and out there. You have to really commit to reading this book because it’s long and nothing is bulleted. Good luck.

6) Red Hot Internet Publicity – Penny C. Sansevieri

This is the book that got me blogging. It has a lot of handy ideas, it’s easy-to-read and relatively quick. I also redesigned my web site based on the ideas in this book. The many “!” and large, bold-faced font may annoy you after a while. Maybe there’s more good stuff in there, but who can get to it?

7) Plug Your Book! Online Book Marketing for Authors – Steve Weber

Weber teaches you how to hawk your wares on the web, like on MySpace, Amazon etc. This guy is a marketing genius. He’s everywhere, which can be really good, or really, incredibly annoying. If you think you can e-pimp yourself out, go for it.


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