Monday, April 03, 2006

Prepare to reveal your darkest secrets

OK, so after years of effort you finally managed to sell a book to a publisher. And now you realise, sort of vaguely, that you're going to have to do a few things to help sell it. OK? You do realise that, don't you?

Actually, you probably don't realise the full extent of the joys that await you.

Every month I take a look at the web site run by the UK Publishers Publicity Circle. The Circle is one of those professional talking shops, where people exchange ideas and experiences. In this case the talking is done by book publicists.

The site is not, in my opinion, wonderfully well organised, but it is presumably maintained by enthusiasts, in their spare time, so we will forgive them. Anyway, on the home page you will usually see a box labelled 'Last meeting'. And if you click on that you will (as of the day when I am writing this) be taken to a set of notes on the November meeting. Which is not what you want if you go there in April.

However, there is a menu of meetings, top left, and if you click on March you get some notes on what was said recently about Promoting the Unpromotable. Here are a few gems.

The author is also vital in the ‘mix’. If not a celebrity and with no outstanding features, need to explore all events in their life in case there is something that you can use as a ‘sell in’ to journalists – not necessarily to do with the book. Find a different angle to pitch to a journalist even though author may not be comfortable with you ‘digging’ so deep... Authors must realise that getting ‘out there’ with the customers is important so they can share their passion and enthusiasm for the book.

The author must have something to say. Need to ‘milk’ everything from the author; get them to tell their darkest secrets. They are not going to get something for nothing.

There are several types of tricky to promote books, the first two being: a book from a small publisher that is not like any other and a book which is exactly like lots of other books.

Oh well. That's it for my latest then.

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