Friday, July 10, 2009

Problems of Promotion on Small Presses

Crystalee Calderwood has posted an excellent article about the problems of promotion for authors using small presses. In today's environment, I wonder if this problem is confined to small press authors.

It's no secret that the publishing industry is in disarray. I suspect that some has to do with the fact that they promote books that don't sell. I belong to at least one book club presenting the work of first time authors. These authors are from major publishers and the publishing houses spend a lot of money promoting the book. Still, at least half the people who are first readers don't like the book and wouldn't recommend it. This suggests that the big houses are missing the mark.

Another problem is that even authors wil big houses have to promo. I took a seminar with Jonathan Mayberry. He told the story of Sara Gruen and "Water for Elephants." She didn't get much of an advance. No one expected the book to sell very well. However, she got on the groups, talked up her book and made it into, if not a best seller, at least a cult classic.

The moral is: no matter who your publisher is, you have to do it yourself. This includes authors published on Lulu and Create Space as well as those with small presses like Red Rose Publishing. Being with a "big publisher" is no guarantee of success!


  1. I agree with the self promotion and the groups. I'm trying since I used lulu for two of my books. It will take practice to get it right.

  2. I think, too, that as authors we should do what we can to support each other and small publishers and independent booksellers

  3. Thanks for the comments. I completely agree -- we have to support each other. That's what it's all about!!

  4. Too true, Nancy! The squeaky wheel get the oil!
    Promo the daylights out of your book and you'll get noticed, read, and find the fame you seek.