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L.T. Suzuki

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Member Since: Jan, 2009

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Featured Book
OF SUCH IS THE KINGDOM, Parts I&II, A Novel of Christ and th
by James Becher

Perfect after-Christmas read (Ch3 covers the coming of the magi & slaughter of the innocents following Christ's birth). It's a Powerful blending of stories of 3 seekers ..  
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Blogs by L.T. Suzuki

If You Write It, They Will Come (buy it)Ö Not!
7/26/2009 12:35:12 PM
So youíve written a novel, got it published, itís reasonably priced (not always so with many POD publishers), and the reviews are trickling in, but sales are not what you had hoped.

Whether your book is published by a traditional publishing company or you go by route of self-publishing, I think one of the biggest disappointments an author can experience, right up there with ego-shattering reviews, is lagging book sales. Keep in mind, this is understandable if the book is crappy and it has the reviews to back up the claims of crappiness. But suppose itís a great, even excellent story, with the reviews to bolster its greatness, yet the sales donít reflect this?

The key is in marketing!

I know most authors would prefer to be left to the business of writing and wished they could leave this detail to their agent or publisher, but if you want to encourage sales, it will mean taking the time to get the word out and get the books into the hands of those who will read it, and hopefully, submit a review or encourage others to buy your novel.

In all honesty, writer canít publish a book and expect readers to line up at a book signing and buy a book theyíve never heard of from an unknown author they know nothing about. Even buying advertising space in a magazine or newspaper will do little if the book-buying public knows nothing about the author/novel. The key to encouraging sales is exposure. And I donít mean: Buy my book! Please, please buy my book! Groveling does not cut it!

One advice my agent, Jenoyne Adams of Bliss Literary Agency International gave me was to make my name and work as visible as possible. The reason: when she does make the big sale and my fantasy series becomes available to the masses, the public at large will not be saying: Suzuki who? Imago what? Since when did this motorcycle manufacturer start writing fantasy novels?

I am speaking of introducing yourself to the world and telling potential readers what you have to offer and why the book might be of interest. Once you start building a fan-base, word-of-mouth promotion becomes more important and has far greater impact than buying advertising space for the book. In fact, this is what got my Imago Fantasy series into the libraries and into the hands of curious newspaper reporters in the first place. It was this same exposure, an interview I did on MTV that caught the attention of a film producer on the other side of the country. She bought my series of books, fell in love with the characters and is now interested in optioning rights to an Imago movie trilogy.

My work to cultivate interest will help so when the time comes, those thousands who had been introduced to my work so far via my website, guest blogs, TV interviews, etc. will say: ďHey, Iíve heard of this author! I think Iíll buy her book!Ē And if they like it, thereís a good chance theyíll recommend it to other readers.

And remember, marketing is not restricted to debut novelists and self-published authors. In these tough economic times, even the big publishing companies are forced to tighten their belts. Extensive book tours are generally reserved for their bestselling authors and even these authors must get the word out, working hard to promote and publicize their latest release.

When you consider that even if your book makes it onto the shelves of a large chain store, youíll be competing against 60,000+ new titles that come out each year, itís so very easy to be lost in the crowd. So unless you are one of the fortunate few to be invited by Oprah Winfrey onto her show and manage to land in her book club reading list, which will pretty much rocket your sales onto the bestseller list and beyond, marketing your book is an ongoing process.

To do this, one must find ways to get the word out, whether it be networking with writing groups, weblogs, attend readings, making friends with your local librarians, attending writing conferences, and sending out press releases to local newspapers, radio & TV stations when thereís something relevant to share about your novel. And definitely take advantage of the available technology, but do so with discretion. For example, itís fine to have a dozen social networking accounts, but if you donít use them, itís rather pointless.

With so much out there, people lose interest quickly if you donít make the effort. Even if you do not have all these accounts, become active in one or two of the writing/reading communities that you truly support (Two of my favorites: www.writerunboxed.com and www.10quickquestions.ning.com) And itís not good enough to have a website, blog or Twitter account if you canít be bothered to keep them up to date.

The reality is, to sell your book requires exposure. The greater the exposure, the greater the potential audience, for itís those making up this audience who will be driving up your book sales. So why are you still sitting there? Get cracking! Expose yourself (I mean your work)!


Comments (1)

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