Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

#BookMarketing ~ Making Sense of #AuthorPromotion

I’ve written here before about Book Marketing… 

I’ve discussed my disdain for the term “marketing” and my grudging acceptance of “Book Promotion“.

I’ve explained that snagging a traditional book deal doesn’t guarantee a writer can forget about promoting their book (unless that “writer” happens to be wildly famous…).

I’ve discussed the buzz-term, Author Platform (and, its cousin “Personal Branding”).

In fact, there’s an excellent article, by journalist Ann Friedman, that traces the history of Personal Branding and leaves you wondering whether current advice for writers is, in any way, rational. The title is very revealing—Me Inc. ~ The paradoxical, pressure-filled quest to build a “personal brand”.

Just one quote from the article:

“I’ve noticed a paradox: The more time I spend defining my personal brand, the more contrived it feels when I talk about myself.”

Even though the article casts a rather lurid light on branding, I recommend eager authors read it as part of their making sense of what to do to promote themselves.

One thing is certain.

If you publish a book and tell no one about it, no one will buy it—even if you want to give it away, no one will take it if you don’t tell them about it


Writers have a need to consider various promotional strategies and choose or create one that won’t drive them crazy


When I decided what to write about today, it actually wasn’t, at first, about what Ann Friedman had to say about Personal Branding.

It was about what Fauzia Burke, Founder & President of FSB Associates, has to say about Book Marketing.

She started her company in 1995 and there should be no surprise that she can say it was “one of the first firms to specialize in Internet publicity and marketing for publishers and authors”.

So, here’s me, not liking the term “Book Marketing”, in fact not liking most of what most anyone has to say about the topic; and, here’s the title of an article by the Founder of one of the first companies to specialize in the field—10 Things I Know for Sure About Book Marketing.

I’m going to list those ten things and urge you to go read the full article—also, I must ask you to be aware that some of her points sure don’t sound like a person who runs a marketing firm

1. You can’t just do social media.

2. Don’t try and do everything.

3. Don’t try to promote your book to everyone.

4. The tortoise can beat the hare.

5. The age of generalists is over.

6. Think long-term.

7. Talking to people is a great privilege.

8. Go for engagement.

9. Start now.

10. Give value to your customer.

If you happen to read Fauzia’s article (and/or Ann’s), I’d love it if you could share your thoughts and feelings in the Comments
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

19 responses to “#BookMarketing ~ Making Sense of #AuthorPromotion

  1. milliethom October 7, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Thank you for an interesting post, It’s always interesting to read advice on this subject, which I’m still not very good at. I can definitely say that the tortoise approach is the one I’m going for right now.


    • Alexander M Zoltai October 7, 2015 at 5:35 pm

      Well, Millie, it’s 4 years, 9 months later for me and I’m still a tortoise :-)

      Liked by 1 person

      • milliethom October 7, 2015 at 5:52 pm

        Then we have of in common, Alexander. I hope your writing is going well now. I think it was on hold some time ago. Thank you for the interesting post. Promotion is just not my strong point at all.


        • Alexander M Zoltai October 7, 2015 at 7:45 pm

          Well, Millie, my promotion is this blog, along with automatic posting of links to it on Facebook, G+, Linked-In, and Twitter—the only platform I directly interact with is Twitter but in a very minimal way…

          My writing has taken a severe but welcome turn—from another novel to a second book of poetry—in no hurry about any of it :-)

          Liked by 1 person

          • milliethom October 8, 2015 at 5:45 am

            You have such a long and popular blog, I imagine that works well for you. I’ve a few more years of blogging to do before i can reach your status.I’m in Linkedin and Twitter, but do nothing with them – purely for lack of time. I also started a Facebook page over a year ago, put one article on it and abandoned it. Yes, I know that’s ridiculous. I really am going to have to get my act together.
            I wish you every bit of luck with your new poetry book. I know you stopped your last novel very abruptly, so it obviously wasn’t going well for you. Just enjoy your writing , that’s my motto. Have a great day, Alexander. :)


            • Alexander M Zoltai October 8, 2015 at 9:58 am

              Actually, Millie, the preparation for the novel was going well but I woke up to the fact that it was not the right book to write…

              Also, even with the time and effort I’ve put into this blog, I only have a modicum of visitors—perhaps an average of 30 or 40 a day—but, “visitors” never means “readers”—the average time spent on a blog is something like 10 secs. per visitor—certainly room for growth here :-)

              Liked by 1 person

              • milliethom October 8, 2015 at 10:24 am

                It’s hard to keep up with reading blogs – I’m very guilty of neglecting many I do like to read. Lack of time is such a big factor here, especially when you’re trying to write. yourself.
                I know when I don’t spend hours reading posts, my own views fall considerably. It’s difficult to know the best thing to do. I’m not cut out for following every blog I come across in the hope they’ll follow mine. I like blogs that give me interesting content, and so many don’t! Many just write an odd sentence or two of trivia that in no way constitutes a post in my view. :( I follow a variety of blogs because I’m interested in a lot of subjects, not just writing. Thank you for explaining why you abandoned your last book. It’s no use pursuing something you feel isn’t working for you. :)


                • Alexander M Zoltai October 8, 2015 at 10:56 am

                  Well, Millie, when any ol’ average visitor to any ol’ blog only spends around 10 secs. before leaving, having 20 to 40% of those visitors actually read something is the norm to adjust expectations toward—if you want 1,000 actual readers per day you need to work to get around 3,300 visitors………

                  Also, if 10 secs. is the Average time spent by a visitor, then some may only spend 1 sec. and some may spend a few minutes…

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • milliethom October 8, 2015 at 1:40 pm

                    Now you’re really cheering me up, Alexander!. I’ll just keep plooding along and see what happens. Perhaps when I finish this book I can spend a little more time on my blog. :)


                    • Alexander M Zoltai October 8, 2015 at 2:23 pm

                      My best advice, Millie, is do what feels comfortable but make sure that whatever ends up being comfortable is radically Creative :-)

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • milliethom October 8, 2015 at 2:32 pm

                      Thanks, Alex. If you’re talking about blog posts, I do try to make mine interesting. But, of course, what interests me doesn’t necessarily interest other people! I just can’t bring myself to post about my books and promote them that way. I really don’t like the blogs of authors whose only posts say ‘Buy My Books’! Perhaps I just need to find the right technique. :D


                      Reply from Alex—Wordpress only allows a 10 comment conversation so I’m invading your comment space and hope WordPress notifies you—I think you’ve noticed that I use my sidebar for personal promotion—I feel that, if the “powers that be” permit me to be “noticed” then promoting other people in the body of my blog is the right thing to do…

                      Liked by 1 person

  2. juliecround October 8, 2015 at 6:58 am

    I think what writers forget is that they are selling themselves as well as the book.
    The only way a book finds new readers, if you aren’t famous, is by posting or reading a section. This works best with poems.
    Otherwise we have to make readers interested in what we have to say, and the best way to do that is to tell them what made you write the book.
    For this you need a captive audience – and if you target them well, they may buy copies.
    That suggestion that you shouldn’t write for everyone works for me. Know your readership and they will ask you for more!


  3. Pingback: Literary Prizes ~ Which Is More Important, the Author or the Book? | Notes from An Alien

  4. D.G.Kaye October 13, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    As Indie authors we’re caught in the old Catch 22. As many writers spend much time in isolation, and prefer to keep a low profile, if we want our work noticed we have to put ourselves in the spotlight.


  5. Pingback: How Many #Women #NonFiction #Writers Have You Read? | Notes from An Alien

  6. Pingback: Still Hoping to Get a Book Published by the “Big 5”? | Notes from An Alien

  7. Pingback: Continuing the Conversation ~ Shifting to Self-Publishing | Notes from An Alien

What Are *Your* Thoughts or Feelings?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: