Publicity is the Author’s Job Too

By Nicholas Corder

It’s your book launch.

Instead of the champagne launch at Claridges you want, the publisher is going to plump for the maximum free publicity he or she can drum up. You’re not even going to get a bag of crisps.

Let’s face it – you’re not a household name. You’re going to have to do some publicity work yourself.

I have a suspicion that every editor’s dread must be the writer who will do nothing to help publicise their work.

“Aha,” you say. “My job is to write. It’s their responsibility to publicise.”

This might be true to an extent, but you’ll find that if you join in the process, you stand a better chance of flogging your wares.

Recently, my first book “Escape from the Rat Race” was published by Elliot Right Way.

As they are a small house, the staff have to turn their hands to a number of different roles.

Cassie, my editor, was also my publicist. She managed to book me onto around ten different radio shows, including Steve Wright in the Afternoon on Radio 2.

Of course, I could have turned all these shows down, but the chance of giving my book an airing and of making contacts in the media was too good to let go. I also did several newspaper interviews and was even telephoned by one national weekly, who asked me to write an article, then paid me a fee that was almost half as much as the advance.

It’s good for writers to get out. Doing publicity is a relief from the loneliness of writing and gives you a chance to make money.

I have personally sold around 70 copies of my books, bought at a wholesale rate, so I benefit from both royalties and a small profit on the price of each book.

Publishers like writers who help to sell their work. So get out there and do it.

Tips for Cheap Publicity

  • Write a list of anyone you know who might be interested in your book – email them or phone them
  • Build up a portfolio of press and media contacts
  • Your local paper, radio and TV stations are always looking for stories
  • Learn how to write a good, short, pithy press release
  • Look for photo opportunities
  • Write a list of the questions you expect to be asked
  • Badger your local bookshops into stocking your book
  • See if any local non-specialist shops will carry your book
  • Give talks, lectures, demonstrations and adult education classes
  • Carry a scruffy copy with you wherever you go
  • Sell as many articles as you can, based on your book (you may earn more from this than you do from your book)
  • Badger your publisher into sending out dozens of review copies
  • Use email and the net to gain maximum exposure
  • Sign off correspondence, mentioning your book

Good luck and Best Wishes

Nicholas Corder, author of “Escape from the Rat Race: Downshifting for a Richer Life”, Elliot Right Way. Available from all good bookshops and He also writes articles for The New Writer.


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