In previous blog posts, I’ve discussed why it’s never too early to get your author website and online presence going. In fact, I’ve claimed that having those pieces in place can actually help you get published, because it gives you a leg up over the competition. And now I have an editor backing me up.
Book editor Jevon Bolden, in her blog “Embrace the Impossible,” recently blogged a post titled 6 Days and 40 Manuscripts Later: Musings of an Editor Reviewing Submissions. Here’s an excerpt …
Writers should work on building an audience before submitting to publishers. Saying that you could market your book through social media once we decide to publish doesn’t tell us much. Basically you want the publishing company to invest in something that has no proven record of return—no perceived or anticipated value. That’s not fair. You wouldn’t invest in some random idea for a new company that may show up on the NYSE and it may perform enough to provided an ROI. You’d want to be able to see that the marketplace will patronize that company and that they will meet a consumer’s felt need. You’d want to see some paperwork, maybe a market analysis and a business plan. Yes? The same goes for a publisher. In determining if there is an audience waiting for something from you, we use our market knowledge based on past results. And our knowledge tells us that if we publish a book from someone with no audience, it will tank and cause us to lose money. You have to provide an argument to back up your claims that this book is something people will want to read else we will not take the risk.
There’s plenty more that she shares in her blog post, but this is what really had me grinning. Because it’s rewarding to have an editor back up what I’ve been telling clients for years.
Publishers no longer take responsibility for marketing the majority of their books. That responsibility now sits solely in the hands of the authors themselves. And if you can show a publisher that you know how to market yourself — and have already started marketing yourself — it can be the deciding factor in whether a publisher decides to go with your book or someone else’s. So build that website. Start blogging. Tie those in to your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Build a mailing list.
Like I always say (and Jevon says, too), it’s never too early!
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