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Why Do Writers Have to Market Their Books Today?

This is part two of the interview I did with Jaguar Bennett, the Publicity and Marketing Director for Linden Publishing.

Jaguar: There are two reasons for that. The first is publishing companies are up to their capacity for what they can do to promote a book. There are a great more books published today than ever before. It strains the abilities of publishing companies to give every book the full attention that it might have gotten in the past.

Promotional budgets are shrinking, books are increasing, something has to give, and that is the attention that publishing companies can pay to each individual title.

The other part is that readers today expect a great deal more engagement from authors. It's part of a broader trend that you see in just about every media today. It's a cutting down of middlemen.

Once upon a time books were authoritative things. Publishing companies were authoritative entities. To get published was a mark of quality. It was all that people expected. People looked to books for answers.

These days, there is much more of an inner communication between authors and readers. People expect to be able to have greater access to writers. They are looking for a more personal relationship with the people they read.

Today, it is expected that the writer is going to be more engaged about cultivating a community. There is a greater expectation from the readership that the author is going to be reaching out to them in the form of blogs, social media and journalism. Also, publishing companies simply do not have the capacity any longer to promote an author's book as fully as they would have in the past.

The bottom line for authors is, you simply cannot count on a publishing company to promote your book. You are the best representative your book has. That is who people want to talk to, they want to hear what you say, they want to hear your voice. Each individual author can personally do a great deal more to promote his or her book than a publishing company can.

Part 3: When Should I Start Promoting my Book?




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