Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Jane Friedman

Blog Conversation about Traditional vs Self-Published Book Promotion . . .


book promotion Our last conversation—Choosing What to Read—was only one post long, due to no reader comments…

So

I get to start a new discussion about traditional vs self-published book promotion :-)

I prefer “promotion” rather than the more common term “marketing” since promoting sounds less aggressive—to me, “marketing” means “business” and “promotion” means “relationships”…

Some of you may want a bit of background reading before the conversation really gets rolling; so, I’ll choose just a few appropriate past posts:

The Various Flavors of Publishing . . . (interesting comments on that one)

Will Traditional Publishers Survive? (two authoritative comments there)

Indie Authors Are Learning How To Act Like Publishers

The major issue I know about book promotion with traditionally published authors is lack of significant marketing help unless you’re already famous

Traditional publishers rarely have the generality of authors squarely in the sights of their all-consuming nurturing and care…

Also, even if there is a splash-bang beginning to a traditionally published book, low initial sales can instantly stop all promotional efforts as well as removing the book from the market…

So far, I’ve been saying what I’ve happened to learn; so, perhaps I should let Jane Friedman say a few words…

She’s joyously freelancing now but was working with F+W Media (which included Writer’s Digest) and “…oversaw the transition of what was a predominantly print-driven business to one centered on digital media, being responsible for the business strategy and financial performance of a brand that generated $10 million in revenue each year…”

She has an article where she discusses, 3 Things Your Traditional Publisher Is Unlikely to Do:

Send you on a national book tour
Invest in your book as much as their lead authors for the season
Market and publicize your work after the initial launch period has passed

So, there are the main failures of traditional publishers when it comes to promoting a book…

If you’re willing to self-publish, the promotion never has to stop as long as you’re alive and kicking (and, if your will spells it out, for much longer…).

Here’s a link to a discussion I started back in May, that never got off the ground—A Blog Conversation about Book Promotion

One mistake I made with that post was not specifying that it was only about self-publishing book promotion…

So…

Here’s a bit of what was said:

“‘As writers and artists, we feel the drive to do meaningful work, but we get overwhelmed by the process of connecting with an audience. We follow best practices in marketing that never seem to pan out, don’t produce results, and make us feel lost and frustrated. But creating doesn’t have to feel this way.’

“That quote is from the book Be the Gateway: A Practical Guide to Sharing Your Creative Work and Engaging an Audience, by Dan Blank.

Dan’s blog has this to say:

“‘Too often, writers and artists rush into marketing without first finding clarity on what they want to create and who they hope to reach. The result? They flounder, jumping from one marketing trend to the next, each one with results that leave them feeling disappointed.’

“In my own forays into book promotion, I’ve met many folks who had plenty of decent tips and tricks to snag a few folks’ attention; but, until I read Dan’s book, I hadn’t come across someone with a complete philosophy of how to engage others…

“Over the seven years since I published my novel, from a sentence there and a treasured paragraph over there, I pieced together the plan I now pursue to promote my writing…

“When I read Dan’s book, I met a kindred soul, since he was laying out everything I’d labored to learn over all those years…”

> Have you had a book traditionally published?   Was the marketing for that book sufficient?

> Have you self-published a book?   What promotional strategies are you using?

> Or, do you have a book nearly through the revision and editing stages and you’re considering which form of publishing will help your book end up in the hands of a “sufficient” number of readers?

Perhaps you’d like to share a few of your experiences or problems…

It only takes one comment to have this conversation continue; though, leaving a comment with topics from the realms of Reading, Writing, or Publishing, that you’d like to see discussed, is just fine, too :-)
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Continuing the Conversation ~ Shifting to Self-Publishing


Our Conversation post this past Monday has no comments so I’m continuing the focus on publishing but jumping over to Self-Publishing. Self-Publishing

Since, for now, our Conversation posts are on Mondays and Wednesdays (though, there are short stories on Fridays and re-blogs on the other days…), I’ll mention that there are quite a few days after this post for folks to, possibly, comment about what I’m about to say; or, possibly, ask for the Conversation to shift to a different topic (if you’re new here and want to suggest a topic, stay in the areas of Reading, Writing, and Publishing…).

So…

If you know anything from Nothing to Just-a-Bit about Self-Publishing, I really don’t think you could read a better 101 article than Jane Friedman‘s, Start Here: How to Self-Publish Your Book.

And, to try to jump-start a Conversation here, I’ll share some Myths about Traditional Publishing and my responses to those Myths. (this is from my past postStill Hoping to Get a Book Published by the “Big 5”?)

I’m using a contrast between Traditional Publishing’s problems and Self-Publishing’s solutions to help all the folks who want to see their book actually published without suffering the stings and arrows of outrageous dealings with Traditional Publishers…

The Myths are originally from Ken Lizotte, and his article (Very Worth Reading), The 4 Great Myths of Book Publishing.

Myth #1: My book publisher will aggressively promote my book to the widest possible readership

My article: #BookMarketing ~ Making Sense of #AuthorPromotion

Myth #2: A publisher will ensure my book gets on the shelves of all the nation’s bookstores

My article: Self-Published Books & Bookstores

Myth #3: My publisher will print my book’s text in exactly the way I conceive and arrange it

My article: The Publishing (And Editorial) History of Some Extremely Famous Fiction

Myth #4: My publisher will provide me with a sizable monetary advance, allowing me to take time off from my regular work so that I can focus exclusively on my book

My article: Another Good Reason to Avoid Traditional Publishing

Mr. Lizotte also says:

“One obvious remedy of course to all of these myths is to self-publish your book, which has in the past 20 years or so become a painless, even more satisfying process, especially in that the cost of self-publishing has plummeted dramatically [my note: it can cost next to nothing…]. (thanks chiefly to print-on-demand technology). Also, self-publishing allows you to be fully in control so that no frustrating publishing ‘partner’ can sway you from your original plans, including text, cover design and title. It’s all up to you!”

So…

Is there anything in this post that might be something you could comment about…?

Or, is there another topic within the Worlds of Reading, Writing, and Publishing that you’d like to mention in a comment…?
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Best Source for “Book Promotion” Ideas
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Authorial Decisions ~ WebSite, Social Media, Blogging…?


I haven’t featured Jane Friedman (author, digital media strategist, editor, publisher, professor, speaker) for quite some time… Authors, Websites, Social Media

I’ll be sharing excerpts from two of her articles…

The first one leans toward author websites, the second toward social media…

Jane tends to conflate blogs with websites, which is perfectly understandable; yet, be aware, a blog can be considered “social media”…

And, I must emphasize that no matter how much help any of the excerpts may be, not reading her full articles will be a great loss (especially if you’re a writer…).

So…

The first article is, What’s More Important: Author Websites or Social Media?

Excerpts:

“These days, I get more noticeable results from my website and blogging efforts, email newsletters, and in-person networking than I do from social media. Not that I want to give up social media—quite the contrary—but I could walk away from Facebook and still earn a living. Not so with my website—it’s absolutely fundamental.”

Then, there are these bullet topics, as reasons a website is important (each Ripe with juicy info.…):

* Being more discoverable through search
* Offering the media (and influencers) the official story on you and your work
* Securing high-quality email newsletter subscribers
* Understanding what social media use is effective
* Monetizing the audience you have

Then (especially for those folks who won’t read her full article):

“Thankfully, you don’t (or shouldn’t) have to choose between having an author website or participating on social media. Nurture both. Choose to make your website a proud and strong showcase for your work and what you want to be known for, and don’t expect social media to always be the hub for all your branding or reader discovery. You’ll be stronger if you have a multi-faceted approach, especially if and when social media fails you.”

Article twoSocial Media for Authors: The Toughest Topic to Advise On

Excerpts (again, stressing that there’s much more meat to chew at the full article):

“Of all the topics I teach, social media is the most vexed. Even in a small class of writers, I find varying skill levels and experience, and a mix of attitudes—and these two factors play a strong role in what people need to hear or learn. I believe a successful social media strategy is driven by one’s personality and strengths, as well as the qualities of the work produced—leading to a unique approach for each writer.”

Then, she throws a critical bombshell of Truth:

“Because social media is widely considered essential to book marketing and promotion, yet it’s constantly changing, it’s become a burden and source of anxiety for beginners and advanced authors alike.”

And, the following bullet points (again, each Ripe with juicy info….):

* Your social media following grows mostly when you produce more work.
* Use social media to micro-publish or to share your work.
* People break social media “rules” all the time and succeed.

So, I’ll leave you with Jane’s summation on social media; and, one last time, urge you to read her full articles:

“So what can I possibly say to writers to help them become better at it [social media]? Well, first, don’t take it all so seriously. Look for what you enjoy. Have a spirit of questioning and discovery. Follow a daily routine that works for you. Sustainable and meaningful social media practice isn’t so different from getting your ‘real’ writing done.”

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FREE On-line Course in Self-Publishing & Book Promotion
Even though it may say “Fee”, it Really is FREE :-)

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It’s International Jane Friedman Day !


Jane Friedman Well, actually, it’s not really “International” Jane Friedman Day—just a day on this blog when I’ll share 6 articles by Jane that have accumulated in my Bookmarks. :-)

If you use my handy Top-Tags Widget (down a bit in the left side-bar) and click on her name, you’ll find this post (’cause I’ve tagged it…) and a copious amount of additional posts featuring a woman who’s said, on her About Page:

“I have a special interest in how the digital age is transforming writing careers, publishing, and storytelling. Rather than taking a dark view of how the Internet era has affected writers’ livelihoods, I’m more interested in how revolutionary change can inspire new business models, and how authorship will ultimately evolve. I believe history is on the writers’ side: they’ve been sustaining their careers in ever more innovative ways since the era of Gutenberg. Furthermore, I don’t think that business and art are at odds—I see how they inform and push each other to flourish.”

And, since digital self-publishing is totally transforming so many folks, I lead my sharing with her article entitled, Start Here: How to Self-Publish Your Book, that has a video and these major sections:

1. A Quick History of Self-Publishing
2.The Most Common Ways to Self-Publish Today
3.Self-Publishing: The DIY Approach I Recommend
4.How Ebook Self-Publishing Services Work
5.Creating Ebook Files
6.How to Self-Publish a Print Book
7.Investing in a Print Run: Yes or No?
8.Print-on-Demand Recommendations
9.Maximizing Your Book Sales
10.More Resources

And, in case you self-publish and haven’t really primed the world to receive your book, here’s Jane’s article, So You’re an Author Without a Social Media Presence: Now What?

Then, comes an article entitled, The Advice to Pursue Your Passion: What Does “Passion” Even Mean?, in which Jane explains:

“This is partly why I avoid the word ‘passion’. It is an excellent way to stoke someone’s anxiety….in the current cultural moment, the word has become ever more fraught—it’s tinged with a value judgment, that there’s something wrong if you haven’t discovered your passion and found the way to make it into your career. The capitalist pursuit of passion is the new horrible form of enlightenment we’re told to chase.”

And, to explore a particular “capitalist” passion that has many writers trapped on their own treadmills, I share her desperately needed article, The Pressure to Release More, More, More Titles.

And, to round out those four tool-box articles with two rather specialized topics, here are:

What Is a Hybrid Publisher? and A Writer’s Guide to Permissions and Fair Use.

If you take those links and study those articles, you’ll be further along the learning curve than most aspiring writers…
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