Sunday, October 12, 2008

How Not To Market Your Book

It seems there is a new trend in marketing books. Several agents have reported that writers are including bids for sympathy along with their synopsis.

"I want to donate part of the proceeds from this book to charity." (translation: See how charitable I am. Can the publishing house donate the money from their proceeds?) If the author truly were intending to donate their advance and royalties wouldn’t they simply do so after the book sells and the money starts rolling in?

Or. "I started writing this novel before my mother (dad, brother, aunt, neighbor) died and she/he loved it. Will you buy it? I will be dedicating my book to him/her." (translation: Obviously my deceased relative knows more about publishing and audiences than either of us. So we owe it to them and their memory. I’m just saying.) Even if this is a true statement, publishing, is business. And as writers we should conduct ourselves as professionals.

And. "For years, I’ve been told I’m could be the next Clancy, Roberts, Rowlings and that I should write a book. I have. Here it is. I will be retiring at the end of next month. The money will come in handy." (translation: the money will come in handy, now.) Authors became mega sellers because they have fresh ideas, a unique style, great story lines, and a following. "Writing like" Clancy, Roberts, Rowlings indicates your are a "poor imitation."

Unfortunately, unless you are a mega seller, you’ll have a bit more writing to do once that novel is finished. First books are sold with a proposal package which includes a synopsis, outline, chapter samples and a cover letter.

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