Last night I listened to NYT best-selling novelist, Jayne Ann Krentz, talk about her top lessons learned from publishing. One thing that struck me was how much author promotion had changed, and how reliant they now were on the Internet and social media. Gone are the days of radio interviews and talk show appearances — now it’s Facebook and e-newsletters.
That said, Ms. Krentz was still a bit hesitant about skipping the traditional publishing route to self-publish on-line. She thought it could be done successfully, but it took a heck of a lot of marketing skill. And the fact is, most authors are in the business to write books, not to sell.
Ms. Krentz uses a social media company which manages social media for authors, Purple Papaya. I’ve had a slew of small business owners asking me for help with their social media. There are lots of folks out there who seem to know they should be doing it, but aren’t yet certain how. I imagine we’ll be seeing more small social media outfits catering to this segment.
Oh, and if you’re curious about Jayne’s other “lessons learned” as an author, here they are:
- Know your writing “voice” and hone it. Don’t try to write in a style that isn’t natural for you (e.g. comedy when you’re natural voice is dark).
- Know your core story and understand what genres/markets it might fit into.
- Know your market.
- Keep the proposal simple: skip the query letter. The cover page should be one line explaining where in the market your book belongs. Also include the first 30 pages of your manuscript. And seek out new and assistant editors — they’re the ones hungry for new authors.
- Join a writer’s organization.
P.S. Jayne was a terrific speaker, with a wonderful sense of humor about herself and the writing process. Here’s to 50 more NYT best-sellers!