Thursday, 16 August 2012

Do it yourself

I have published a book. And it wasn't the first time either. It is only a co-edited volume, but a book is a book. As opposed to - say, online journal. It has my name on it. Second, in alphabetical order.

It is three years since I have published my last book, but it seems that the world of publishing has changed completely. I have always been good at advertising my own books: bringing flyers to conferences and such. But today this is not enough. Today you are supposed to do all the marketing yourself. Publishers have huge marketing departments - what do they do? As an author of an academic book, I am supposed to have a profile page on amazon, to blog, tweet, share on fifteen social networks, link to this and that, and ask my friends and colleagues to write "an honest customer review". Amazon has dozens upon dozens of pages with advice on self-promoting. Madness. This is an expensive hardcover book, and it will only be purchased by libraries. All my blogging and tweeting and Facebook sharing may possibly raise the sales by five copies. You, My Dear Reader, are you going to buy a book for £52 just because you are reading this? No, you won't, and I cannot blame you. I won't either. I'll get my free copy.

And yet, I have shared the link on the social networks I belong to, I am obviously blogging about it, and, believe me or not, I have created an amazon profile. As an example of an author profile page, amazon suggests Neil Gaiman. I am afraid mine isn't that impressive. Half of my books are not available on amazon. Too bad.

I know you won't buy the book, but if you really want to help me promote it, write an honest 3-sentence customer review. I'll do it for you next time.

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