Here’s something not everybody knows. Publishers (big, small and intermediate) generally allocate six weeks of promotion time to each book they release. During those six weeks, sales of the book are supposed to earn back the authors advance.
Advances are something else most non-authors don’t understand. An advance is not a one-off payment for the book. It’s an advance against royalties. Which means that until sales of the book cover the amount of the advance, the author isn’t paid squat. In order to get a good reputation in the book industry, an author (and his/her books) need to develop a habit of ‘covering the advance’.
All this means that as soon as the six weeks are up and the advance is ‘covered’, the publishers stop promoting and the author, unless they continue their own marketing campaign, stops earning.
For authors, the period following that first six week rush, is often a bit daunting. After all, we’re writers, not PR people, right? WRONG. I have, of late, become a PR queen, however, I find myself running out of ideas. Here’s a list of what I’ve done to date.
- Newspaper coverage in local newspaper
- Brief television coverage on the news.
- Regional radio program coming up in March
- Book signings at local bookstore immediately after release
- Arranging more book signings at chain stores
- Library book talks
- Reviews from Eating Disorders Associations (various state ones)
- Postcard placement at beauty salon (as book is about finding your own form of beauty) along with directions to the book shop across the way.
- Leaving postcards and lollipops at every place I stay for cleaning and admin staff to find and pique their interest.
Well, there’s no ten, because I’ve run out of creative ideas. Help? Anyone?