But, let’s skip ahead. Your manuscript is done and you filled out all the agent and publisher paperwork. Now it’s time for marketing. That’s right — that’s on you. Don’t look for much help from your publisher. They will get the book on the shelf and issue a press release, and send free copies to potentially interested parties, but that’s it.
For my first book, I hired a PR firm, enlisting their services for two months at a cost of $8,000. They set me up with a number of print and radio interviews, and these might have been effective in getting a bit of the word out there. However, to what extent it helped you never really know, and whether I will ever recoup the eight grand is questionable. For my second, on marriage, Psychology Today reviewed my book which had been sent over by my publisher. As a result, they asked me to blog for them, and they would pay me! I get a cool $2.50 per 1,000 readers. So after 18 months and eighteen 1200 word articles, I accumulated 280,000 readers, and have collected $700 — as I said, don’t quit your day job.
As one final point, if you’re serious about being a writer, do not self-publish — that’s the kiss of death. No publisher will ever consider anything you write in the future. If it’s good enough to get published then a publisher will take it on. If it’s not, well, no one’s going to read it anyway. Self-publishing will get you only about 20 copies sold, and that’s to your family members, who probably won’t read it, either.
If, after all this, you want to go forward, take the plunge with a publisher and grow a thick skin, because rejections are coming your way. In fact, you’re likely to get so many that you won’t even be sure that you actually sent materials to all the people who told you they don’t want it.