Authors As Self-Marketers

Authors As Self-Marketers

A couple years back, in an article about self-publishing, I wrote the following:

If you’re an author with a traditional publishing contract, you don’t really have to be an entrepreneur as such; the publishing company does the marketing and PR for you, though you have to do a little of it. But mainly, you can get on with the next book. It’s your publisher’s job to get you into the top 100 of XYZ category.

My, how times have changed.

Any independent author is an entrepreneur by definition…maybe a great entrepreneur, maybe a terrible one, but definitely an entrepreneur. You have to run your author business like a business. Or you’ll be out of business. And that means you have to be a self-marketer.

But in the world of the big traditional publishing houses, the old model I mentioned above has slowly started to go away. Publishers tell their authors that they have to get out there and get their hands dirty, marketing themselves. Only the big-name authors and household-name celebrities get the big marketing budget. The house always wins, and the house only bets on a sure thing.

I remember being horrified when I learned that writers with trad publishing contracts have to just accept their editors’ changes. I only took about 70% of my editor’s suggestions, because I paid her. One thing for sure: I can’t imagine not having that autonomy.

Still, I thought that traditional publishers gave their authors much more than I could ever give myself in terms of promotion. Turns out, not so much. So now I’m doubly glad to be independent.

The distinction between author or entrepreneur and the relatively-recently-coined word authorpreneur is an interesting one. I guess the emphasis for an authorpreneur really depends on the individual. Are you more interested in the business side of things, making money from a variety of merchandise? Or are you primarily interested in writing?

Me, I’m primarily interested in writing. All this other stuff is just to get the work out there and into people’s hands.

To get some of my books into your hands, check out my author page on Amazon. Or just click on the Novels tab here on the site to order a paperback direct from the publisher. And remember – the best way to support an indie author after you’ve read one of their books is to write a review!

Miles

The Best Thing I’ve Ever Done

I wrote most of Miles of Files between 2007 and 2015. I felt my first novel had been an artistic success, but I wasn't so sure about the second one. Now, I'd moved on to this third novel without having found a publisher for either of the first two. And it was totally...
holidays

Closed for the Holidays

This week's blog post isn't about writing or reading or even about having a great holiday. It's about self-care. Ordinarily, I don't create an entire blog post about being closed for the holidays, but this year I'm making an exception. I used to work for a company...
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“Music Hath Charms to Soothe a Savage Breast”

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All the News

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As far as service goes, it can take the form of a million things. To do service, you don't have to be a doctor working in the slums for free, or become a social worker. Your position in life and what you do doesn't matter as much as how you do what you do. —Elisabeth...
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Running & Writing: A Classic Combo

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sanity

New “Writer Problems” Series, Topic #10: Maintaining Some Semblance of Sanity

I’m going off the rails on a crazy train. —Ozzy Osbourne, "Crazy Train"   Last October, I posted an article on pandemic fatigue, about how 2020 had been exhausting. Ha ha ha! The pandemic was only seven or eight months old by then! Who’da thunk it? I must be some...
Come Join My Book Launch Team!

Come Join My Book Launch Team!

A few months ago, I wrote a blog about book launches where I introduced the subtle difference between a launch team and a street team. Simply stated, there’s usually plenty of overlap, but a launch team may include people not part of your street team – vendors, people who rent space to you, and so forth.

The reason for my obsessive focus on launches lately is twofold. First, I’ve just finished a project for a client who is launching his first book for his new publishing company. So it’s going to be a “launch-oriented” Fall. Secondly, I’m releasing my fourth novel, Whizzers, in 2019. And that means I’m putting a lot of emphasis on building my marketing plan well in advance of publication.

Today’s post is really about that second aspect. I’m looking for a broad range of folks to get in on the launch and street teams, not only because I need their help but also because I can help them in return.

To that end, here are some of the categories I’m emphasizing as I build the book, build the plan, and build the teams.

  1. Readers – reviewers, book bloggers, fellow authors, influencers. Every book needs as many readers as possible, of course. And this time, I’m looking to reach as broad an audience as I can. I’ll give a free copy of the e-book to anyone who joins my email list. I’ll also send a free signed copy of the paperback to anyone who participates in the launch team. Email me at info@msahno.com to join the list or get more info.
  1. Design – both book cover and interior design. I’ve used different people in the past, and had mixed results. For this novel, I’m starting from square one again. If you have a recommendation for book cover or interior designer, let me know.
  1. Corporate Sponsors – for in-person book launch event and speaking engagements. This category didn’t exist for me in the past. It never occurred to me that I could find someone to sponsor me. Then I spoke with another author whose entire launch event was paid for by corporate sponsors. That turned my head around. Of course, the company’s mission has to align with my own. Again, if you know someone or have a suggestion, feel free.
  1. Commercial – suppliers for launch events (venues, refreshments, custom swag). The “commercial” category is really a series of sub-categories, and I’ve already got a potential venue in mind – at least in Tampa. If I can pull off multiple launch events in different cities, I will definitely do that! I welcome feedback and referrals in this category too.
  1. Everything Else – library campaign, bookstores, social media events, and more. There are many other areas, not just the ones I list here. And they will mainly be my responsibility. First things first – finishing the book.

As always, I welcome your comments and questions!

holidays

Happy Holidays from Mike Sahno – Author, Speaker, Publisher

I suppose I’m courting controversy right out of the gate just by using the phrase Happy Holidays. I get that. But I’m also pretty sure it won’t upset most of my readers! My wife Sunny and I would like to wish a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Solstice, Kwanzaa,...

A Little Pay Upfront…or A Lot More Pay Year After Year

So many writers think they should never pay for publishing. I don't blame them for thinking that way, but here’s how it really plays out. Authors are natural idealists, so of course we typically figure we can get a deal with a big publishing company, leading to smooth...

Self-Publishing: The Trouble with Going It Alone

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What If I Don’t Want to Sell?

Yesterday I had the pleasure of giving a talk called Marketing Your Novel that was hosted by the Orlando Public Library. A good twenty people or so were kind enough to show up on a blazing Florida Sunday afternoon to hear me speak. The talk went well: I gave the group...
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A Bit of a Blog Break

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Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

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author

Are Authors Typically Obsessive-Compulsive?

Recently I’ve noticed a trend in author blogs toward the confessional. After all, no one wants to read about your characters all the time, and God knows that readers don’t want to read about marketing. They want to know something about you. Happy to oblige. Although...
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And Now, Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

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Anyone Else Thinking about Canceling Cancel Culture?

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Frustrated By the Publishing Process?

Beep. Beep. Beep. You wake up bright and early to the sound of the dreaded alarm clock. First thing, you brew some coffee and grab your computer. It’s a Thursday, so you have to go to work, but you feel compelled to start each day with a bit of writing. You also...
Which Is Better For Writers – Meditation or Exercise?

Which Is Better For Writers – Meditation or Exercise?

A while back, I did an interview about creativity, and I talked about meditation and exercise. I also talked about a few other things like journaling, play, and being disciplined about a schedule.

For writers, you might think meditation is going to be the number one recommendation to prime the pump. On the other hand, if you’re a naturally active person, you might favor exercise – especially if your mind is always very active, too.

Here’s the good news…and the bad as well. You really need both.

But WHY?

I’ve worked with a few writers who had a bit of a weight issue, and it very well may have affected their ability to create great content on a consistent basis. Maybe they were good at meditation, but they definitely weren’t exercising in an effective manner. Over time, the health problems that often accompany obesity can have a devastating impact on cognitive abilities as well as one’s physical health.

On the other hand, all exercise all the time doesn’t really lend itself to creative thinking, either. One of our greatest filmmakers, the utterly, uniquely bizarre David Lynch, is a big proponent of transcendental meditation. Says Lynch, “It has given me effortless access to unlimited reserves of energy, creativity and happiness deep within.”

In fact, he created his own foundation (called, appropriately enough, the David Lynch Foundation) to teach meditation to children and adults around the world.

Why is meditation important for writers? Because it’s important for mental, emotional, and spiritual health. And if you can tap into your creativity from a place of relaxation and happiness, isn’t that better than the miserable drunk place?

Feel free to let me know in the comments section what you like to do to keep your creativity going, whether it’s meditation, exercise, or both – or something else altogether!

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2020 Vs. 20/20: What We Saw Then, What We See Now

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Nobody Likes Being Sick—But The Coronavirus Is Making People Scared Of Even Getting Sick

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From Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday: A Reflection

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Frustrated By the Publishing Process?

Beep. Beep. Beep. You wake up bright and early to the sound of the dreaded alarm clock. First thing, you brew some coffee and grab your computer. It’s a Thursday, so you have to go to work, but you feel compelled to start each day with a bit of writing. You also...
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Running On Fumes: Pandemic Fatigue

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Miles

The Best Thing I’ve Ever Done

I wrote most of Miles of Files between 2007 and 2015. I felt my first novel had been an artistic success, but I wasn't so sure about the second one. Now, I'd moved on to this third novel without having found a publisher for either of the first two. And it was totally...