Thursday, August 26, 2010
CRIME ON MY MIND
In Search of a Brand
Boy, has the publishing world ever changed in the last couple of decades! When I first started writing, the publisher did all the publicity, you just showed up for the signings. (This was in my pre-published days, of course.) Now, unless you're Peter Robinson or Gail Bowen or another of our better known Canadian mystery writers, you're on your own.
And so, the business of writing has become the business of writing, branding, promoting and selling one's own books. Look at the successful authors you know -- you may be one of them -- and try to figure out just how much time they spend writing their latest book. That happens in between signings, connecting with your mailing list, talks to book clubs and at libraries, and attending conferences and any event under the sun where a mystery author fits in. Not enough hours in the day, I say.
Way back when, sending out bookmarks or postcards to bookstores was a big marketing venture. Now days, in order to successfully brand oneself, you need a website, Facebook presence along with Twitter, a blog would be nice, and of course, bookmarks and/or postcards. It's not over yet, though. Along with all these things having a presence on the internet under your name, you also should be commenting like crazy on friends' blogs, Facebook postings, and Twitter. And don't forget to follow through on those requests to be a guest blogger. Which means you must also check on the comments it garnishes & comment on those.
Still have some time or better yet, energy? Then track down your local bookstores, go in and say hi. Offer to sign any copies of your book that are on their shelves, suggest doing a signing, maybe even a launch. That's when you're not attending a mystery conference or a Scene of the Crime.
You've gotta love it!
This has exhausted me so I'm asking, what have I missed?