Whether you are published or not, you’ve probably heard that novelists these days need to help promote their books.
It’s a little scary to think about that, because most of us prefer to sit in our little cubbyholes and read and write and do email. The last thing most of us want to do is get out there and do icky book promotion.
Unfortunately, just about every publisher on the planet thinks differently. They all believe that you care more about your novel than anyone else does. They all think that you know more about your novel than anyone else does. They all think that you ought to be promoting your novel harder than anyone else is.
And they’re right. We’ve discussed various methods of promotion on this blog, and I’ve written many columns in my Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine on book promotion. Normally, I’ve talked about new and cutting-edge methods of book promotion.
One method I haven’t talked about very much is one of the oldest and best-known methods: Public speaking. Many of my novelist friends earn extra bucks by speaking (and selling their books at the back of the room).
Publishers LOVE writers who speak, because a writer who speaks is a writer who sells books and who is earning money while doing it.
Next Monday night, I’ll be beginning a series of teleseminars with my friend Mary Byers, who’s been speaking since 1988 and is a member of the National Speakers Association. In this series, we’ll cover four topics: Getting Engagements, Setting Fees, Preparing for the Engagement, and Growing Your Business. Click here for more info on this teleseminar series.
I do quite a bit of public speaking on “how to write fiction.” What I’ve not done yet is to do public speaking to promote my novels. But I intend to start doing that, because I think it’s a smart thing for any novelist to do. So my main reason for doing this teleseminar series with Mary is to LEARN HOW TO DO IT.
I hope many of you will join me in learning from Mary. It is NEVER too early to start public speaking. The best time to start is long before your book is published. That way, you’ll have a “platform” that you can use in promoting your novel when it finally does hit the shelves. You’ll also develop the skills you need to do well in radio and TV interviews about your book. Plus, you’ll make MONEY by speaking, and that’s always a good thing to have.
One final note: If you have a speaking platform in place, publishers will consider that a “plus” when considering whether to publish your book. Why? Because if you can help promote your book, even a little bit, then the book is that much more likely to earn its advance.