Sunday, 6 July 2014

Publishing, marketing and complete and utter bollocks part 2

(This isn't the blog post I planned for today but I've read a few things over the last couple of days about promotion and marketing so there's a change of plan).

Back in January, I blogged about some publishers putting all the responsibilty of book promotion on their authors because it's apparently down to the writers these days to promo themselves and any author who doesn't get that is doomed to faliure. You can read that post here. Six months later, I'm involved in a discussion about the same sort of issue. Some people seem to think my point is writers should just focus on their writing and not promote themselves at all. No matter how many times I say I don't believe that, it doesn't appear to get through. For what it's worth, I think anyone involved in a creative endeavour should do all they can to get their name and book or film or song out there. If that comes from blogging or taking part in interviews or anything public, then cool. Go for it. But at the same time, I expect the publisher to do their bit. I expect them to seek out review sites, get review copies into the hands of the right people, tweet and Facebook their releases and anything else they can. If they don't, well, they're not the publisher for me and I wouldn't encourage anyone else to submit to them.

It comes down to this: publishing is a business. It take a lot of effort to make a business work. Time, focus, interest, confidence and not to forget a willingness to listen to feedback. While a writer is working on their next book, they can't forget about their older releases and nor should a decent publisher. Not for a second. It's a two way street, a team effort and all that jazz. If either the author or the publisher forgets that, they've lost because the most important person involved - the reader - won't be reading the books and the publisher won't be in business for much longer.

And by the way, the main statement that inspired this post was this quote from a writer, not a publisher:

'Believe me, MOST publishers do no promotion of authors or books at all. None.' 

Utter. Crap.


  1. I'm with you. The company putting out the product needs to "do their bit", just as you say. Yes, we should maintain a current website and Twitter, and do other networking, and not be afraid to tell people we're writers, attend conventions or other events (if possible), etc.

    But we can only do so much. If someone else (a publisher, let's say) creates a product and puts it out for public consumption, then they need to do their part to drive sales too.

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Wendy. You're right - we can only do so much and we should do everything we can, but putting it all on the writer is a bad (and unfair) idea. Teamwork all the way.

  2. I blogged about this too:

    I know; I'm such a blogwhore. But the bottom line is, a publisher should have more reach than us mere writers - the ability to contact more reviewers and potential readers. If not, what are we giving them a percentage of royalties for?

    1. I have no idea. In that instance, self publishing would make a lot more sense.