For instance, promoting my first novel, THE FLOCK, was a simple job for me. I sent out review copies, and I got in contact with various bookstores and libraries and magazines and got the word out. It worked well and I had a decent amount of success. It was more impersonal than things are now, but the results were good. (And, no, for those who ask, not even Tor Books did any advertising for the book. It's up to the writer to walk those miles.)
These days there is the Internet. And almost all publishing today is done electronically. Fewer and fewer people buy and read books. Bookstores are vanishing. Libraries seem to be simple hangouts and little more. The traditional publishers who remain don't advertise the books they buy--they expect the authors to spend their advance money publicizing their novels. (Admittedly, this was even the case when I sold my first traditionally published novel.)
Publishers have decided to let the writers do the leg work.
No publisher I have ever signed with has done any real advertising. Zero. Not one, thin dime.
So it's on the writer's head to get the word out and to try to push the sales figures in the right direction.
But it is a tedious job. For some, it's just overwhelming. Recently I was reading a blog from a moderately well-known author and he claims to spend up to sixty hours a week promoting his fiction. That's a week and a half of labor for a man with a normal job.
I hate to be blunt...but fuck that.
I suppose I will continue to write, and I will be forced to promote my own work since publishers have no budgets for that in these times of shrinking book sales. In their case, it's pretty much a self-fulfilling doom prophecy.
And, now, having made that point--shameless promotion time. If you enjoyed my novel WORKING CLASS HERO, you will want to buy the short story "A Turn of Events" which is available in ebook format only. And if you haven't yet bought a copy of WORKING CLASS HERO, you can get an idea of what it's all about by reading this low-cost story of 5400 words.
|"Turn of Events" a story of WORKING CLASS HERO, Billy B.|