Sunday, February 9, 2014

OPINION: Promotion from Publishers~Is it Enough? by @KarynGerrard

I have had a few blog posts on this subject before, so forgive me if I am flogging a dead horse. *neigh* (Yes, that's me in the above picture, contemplating promo)

*Note on Promo: I do as little as I can, the minimum I feel required. Since I cut back, I have not seen a drop in sales, so for me personally, I don't see where excess promo works*

Every writer, whether in the romance genre or not, has their own promo threshold. So if someone overdoes it in my eyes, I don't condemn them because their idea of how much promo to do is not the same as mine. Whatever floats your boat. You need to tweet five times in a 15 minute span? Go for it.

However, I think most writers have a certain expectation of what a publisher should do promo-wise. You expect a certain service from publishers beyond the cover art and ISBN number. A decent edit. The feeling you are part of a team, that we are in this together. Or an author begins to wonder, why am I handing over a third of my royalties? This includes promotion for a book which also means the getting of reviews.

Now, this is just my opinion, but I expect a publisher to do everything they can to get my book out there. Engage bloggers, offer the book for review, tweet and post many times in the first few weeks of the release. I don't think it is too much to ask for the 1/3 royalties the publisher will make off a book.

I have had a publisher do nothing, not even a tweet when my book was released. Needless to say, I have not submitted to that pub again. I've also observed a pub with great intentions, set up all these great ideas and not follow through on them. I've heard of pubs that shove all the promo onto the author. 'Here's a list of blogs, you contact them.' Really? An author has time to do that? I know I don't, and I'm home all day.

Which has me investigating publishers that have a more pro-active approach to promo. This is one of the main reasons I go through publishers and don't self-pub. I don't want to have the majority of promo shoved onto me. A writer needs to feel they are getting their money's worth.

What can a publisher do? Yes! I have a few suggestions! :) Assign someone in-house to guide the author through the promo minefield. Set up review blog tours for the new releases. Provide a list of in-house authors who will post book spotlights or giveaways. Does the publisher have thousands of 'friends' on Facebook? Create an event for the new release and make the author an admin of the event. The publisher and the author together should be engaging readers. Post the covers on Pinterest. Engage followers on Twitter. The publisher should have an account on Triberr for the authors. There is all sorts of scenarios.

In an ideal world, the publisher would partner with the author to show they actually have faith in the book and recommend it to readers, or why did they even bother to give said writer a contract?

If you feel your pub is not doing enough to assist with promo, maybe it is time to look further afield.  There are a lot of options out there, including self-pubbing, do what's right for you!


Aria Glazki said...

I entirely agree that one of the benefits for authors in having a publisher is precisely the help with promotion, especially when it comes to digital publishers, as it costs almost nothing to create a digital file (if a little bit more for editing and cover design). Interesting to see a bit about your experiences.

Karyn Gerrard said...

You make a great point, it costs almost nothing (compared to print) to cobble together a digital release, so you would think the pubs would use some of the $$ for promo. A lot don't. Thanks for stopping by!