Posted in Marketing books

I’m so lucky. I love my job.

I guess I’m luck to be working in the publishing industry. I love my job. I know few people can really say that.

Since working at Zeus Publications I have receive the best inside knowledge about the industry and being a writer as well as a marketing publicist – that’s priceless. I wasn’t naive when I came here. I had read plenty of reference books, attended workshops and researched the industry beforehand. I’d also worked in magazine design, marketing and publishing but I just didn’t realise that to market well for authors I had to educate them at the same time.

Zeus may only be a small independent publisher but the industry works much the same throughout. Often I ponder if bigger publishers are inundated with as many bizarre questions as we are. I don’t think they’d be asked if sales could be traced, how the royalties are worked our or why a book isn’t displayed in every bookshop in the country. I doubt if a mass market publisher even takes author calls on such nature as to why the marketing department haven’t got their book listed on every online bookstore on the planet (even when sales overseas aren’t feasible). So why do authors keep asking such questions?

Mostly it’s because they are ill informed. As a result I try to give my authors as much information as possible so they are ready to market their book. Marketing guidelines are sent out with each contract and they are on the website but also there are regular updates on Facebook, Twitter, this blog, in the newsletter and through personal correspondence.

One thing that amazes me most is the lack of knowledge when the book is published. I would have thought researching a market and possible sales would happen before a book is even submitted. Hey, that’s just me.

Researching any market is important no matter what business you are in. The business of writing is no different. Without a good marketing strategy many businesses fail.

As far as mass-market publishers go, I definitely envy their marketing budgets. From what I can gather we all try everything possible to get our books noticed but they can advertise, whereas I have to find free publicity in the media. I’ve got press releases down to a fine art.

Buying shelf space at bookstores is out of the question for us and when I see big displays of books with glossy A3 posters, fold-outs, bookmarks and other marketing paraphernalia I can understand author envy (yes I almost weep). I can totally understand why an author would question why their book doesn’t get the same treatment.

The fact is, there are (well at least I was told this at over 2,000,000,000 books in most bookstores (of course that wouldn’t be the tiny independents). However, you see my point as to how many titles each book is competing against.

Take heart though. If your book is good it will eventually sell by word of mouth, luck or possibly my efforts. You just have to find a way to snare your share of the market. Obviously there is a demand for books. People still love books. I love books. So keep writing just bear in mind that you need to understand the realities of book marketing.

See another post on marketing at:

Posted in Writing tips

The Maxi Dress and the Manuscript

The final draft of my manuscript is moving along nicely, though today I’m just pondering rather than editing and refining.

My mind is a bit mushy at the moment with too many distractions. My eldest son applying for the fire service (in NT mind you). My youngest has had a friend staying over and well…you know teenagers…yep can’t say more than that. My husband has been promoted and needs support and encouragement. The dog needs a walk but I just pat her head instead. The water is glistening on the lake behind my house and it keeps drawing my eye rather than the manuscript. And I keep thinking about when it’s going to be nice enough weather to wear my new dress.

Women everywhere will understand how distracting having a new outfit and not being able to wear it is. I picture myself in it with my hair, makeup and shoes perfect and everyone commenting on how fab I look. I may as well write about it instead of edit my manuscript. (Ah huh. I am aren’t I!)

I’ve worn this dress once (that brief hot week where you think summer is here but it’s just a nasty trick to make you pack all your winter clothes up only to get them out again because you’re freezing your arse off). It’s a maxi (which I’ve admired since last summer but never bought one). This gorgeous aqua, blue, green and tan cotton-lycra mix (don’t I love the fact that I don’t have to iron it) has patterns that remind me of an Aztec princess. It has twisted straps and a built-in bra that make my puny boobs look pretty alright.

The dress was way too long. Not because they went crazy on the fabric but because I’m rather short. (If you’re nickname is Pygmy during high school it’s a sure bet you’re either under 5 ft or as big as an elephant. I was (and am) the former. I’ve got much more chance of smelling people’s armpits than seeing whether they have a double or single crown.

Mum, with her trusty overlocker, cut the bottom off and hemmed it for me at a level that would stop me tripping over every time I tried to walk. My contribution to the outfit was to keep the cut-off hem and use as a headband that was long enough to drape over my shoulder to the side of my face. Very 1970s but it works.

Aaah…I’m still waiting for another summer-type day (well it is spring) to wear my new dress. A barbie would be just peachy. Maybe even a party or dinner at a restaurant. I reckon by then though I’ll probably have another new dress and won’t know which one I want to wear.

Tell me about something you are yet to wear.

I promise I’ll take a pick when I finally frock up in the dress again.