I have been on several sides of this business. I began my journey working in an independent bookstore as a manager where one of my many duties was scheduling book signing events with New York Times bestselling authors and making sure everything went off without a hitch. From there I worked for a publishing company and then on to my own business.
During my time at the bookstore I had the pleasure of meeting many wonderful authors but one that sticks in my memory is Steve Hamilton, NYT bestselling author many times over. He has an extensive list of titles under his belt. Now here is someone that could have been full of himself, but instead he was down to earth and a really great person. The size of the audience was not the deciding factor on how he addresses his audience. He made each and every person that came to get a book signed feel special and appreciated. Now here is a guy that wrote great books, traveled around on his own to book signings and kept his day job, even though he didn’t need to. This is an author that has paid his dues yet continues to promote his books in the same manner as when he was not well known.
In my line of work I meet with and speak to many first time authors that don’t know what to expect from this business. When I sit down with a potential client to discuss a marketing plan that works for them there are a few things I hear over and over.
I want to be on Oprah. I only want to do book signings near my home and only if they will pay me and or guarantee sales. How do I get stores to buy my book by the case?
Everyone has a wish list and we should always strive to be our best and take our work to the next level.
You may never get on Oprah but you don’t need Oprah to be successful. Bookstores won’t pay you and they can’t guarantee an audience nor do they buy books by the case under normal circumstances. This is a one at a time kind of business but that’s okay what fun would it be if we could predict every step of our success.
So in closing please, never think you are too big to get out there and talk to people about your work. Promote your 10th book with the same excitement you had with your 1st. It’s not the size of the audience it’s the quality of the company. If someone is there to see you then you have touched them with your work and that is very special. In closing never stop “paying your dues” and you will always have success.
Progressive Book Marketing