Why It's Ok to Promote Your Book!

Here’s the truth about most authors. They hate self promotion. It feels wrong. Most authors just want to tell their story, fiction or nonfiction. You start with an idea, an outline, or chapter.

Then you’re likely to have what seems like a reasonable thought: I’ll write my book and if it’s good, it will find an audience out there. You think this thought (just like I did) with surprising persistence even though at some point it occurs to you that no one can read or buy any book unless they first know it exists.

When Luminis Press signed me for my first novel, they gave me good editorial guidance, created a wonderful cover, made a nice interior design (although I wished the margins had been bigger). They did some semi-decent publicity on a few a blogs and review sites. They distributed it to the trade. They promoted it to their already existing base of readers.

I got some endorsements, including one from Elizabeth McKenzie, who was longlisted this year for the National Book Award for her novel, The Portable Veblen. I got some 5-star Amazon reviews. The novel made $5000 and I made $350 of that. I wasn’t disappointed. I was so damned grateful just to be published! It was a huge milestone.

Wake up, Author!

I don’t see it that way anymore. Since then I’ve worked with a lot of authors who expect to write their book and be paid. I’ve also been working with a brilliant and successful mentor who’s helped me see that a book is a product and has value. So I’ve decided to promote the hell out of my book. And I’m going to start with this blog.

I figure if you’re not interested, well, you can take care of that yourself.

The name of the novel is Eleanor and the setting is 1870’s New York City. If you like Masterpiece Theatre period pieces (Jane Austen, Downtown Abbey), you’ll probably like this. it’s a romantic thriller, which I’m told by my agent is a HOT category.  (Oh, how I used to disdain such things as categories and questions like: Where does it go on the shelf? More on the importance of categories in a future article.)

...it became clear that marriage was not only destiny; it was viewed as Eleanor Eliot's obligation to the family. It was going to somehow save them all from some future calamity. By the strain in her mother’s voice, she came to understand that a good marriage would relieve Mrs. Eliot personally of a great pain she carried. Eleanor wanted to relieve her mother of that pain—and then again she didn’t, because it felt like the pain, the horrible unspoken burden, would become hers. And so early on she secretly resolved to find another way.

So give it a read and tell me what you think. 

Click image to open Chapter 1

Click image to open Chapter 1