I attended the AGM of the Northern Authors group at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds on Saturday. It was great to meet with my fellow writers and discuss matters of mutual interest, like how do we sell our books when we’ve written them. Several authors were saying that although they had been published by mainstream publishers, there was no budget for advertising their books, other than inclusion in house magazines. What this really means is that the major publishers are putting increasingly larger portions of their advertising budgets into high profile celebrity books or high profile authors. The disparity is leaving many authors disgruntled to the point where increasing numbers are going down the self-publishing route and attempting to market the books themselves.
As I have found out, this is no easy option. It’s one thing to write a book, it’s another thing entirely to bring it to the notice of the people who buy books, without spending a lot of money on advertising. The web offers a way to let a lot of people know about the book, but what will attract them to your site?
Some authors are trying to form self-help groups to disseminate best practice. I am grateful to Caro Fraser for passing on the tips from Mary Cavannagher on Marketing your own books. The suggestions are thought provoking and I am already considering a full blown book launch for the second book of the Glassmaker Series, The Crystal Ship. With any luck, this will be at the printers shortly. See post on The Crystal Ship.
I would welcome any suggestions how we can inform people on the web, without adding to the mountains of spam that are already out there.