Monday, April 06, 2009
Marvelous Marketer - Ron Hogan (Galley Cat)
Hi Ron, before we get started, please tell me
a little about yourself and how you got to
Hi Shelli. Thanks for having me. I've been doing websites about books and writers since 1995, when I posted my first author interview to Beatrice. I'd switched Beatrice over to a blog format at the end of 2003 and it promptly gained a whole new audience--but I was pretty much riffing on anything publishing-related, including a fair
amount of industry talk.
Then in the summer of 2005, MediaBistro invited me to take over GalleyCat and write exclusively about the industry side of publishing as opposed to the usual "book blog," which skews more towards the literary side of things.
In your opinion , what are the top 3 things every author should and must do to promote their book?
For me, it's not so much a matter of "you must use THESE tools to promote your book." It's about having the passion to share your story with the rest of the world, and recognizing that you can't just expect people to stumble onto your book, or count on somebody else to do the marketing for you. If you believe in your story enough to spend all that time crafting it, you should be willing to put the time and effort into persuading people it has something to say to them. How you do that is a matter of identifying your comfort zones and working right up to their edges.
In your opinion, how important is social networking? Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, GoodReads etc.
Social networking can be a very effective tool for convincing potential readers that you are an interesting person who has something meaningful to say. The important thing is that you're there to be social, not just to wave your book in people's faces and ask/tell them to buy it. Get people to like YOU, and then they'll become curious about your book.
Do you feel it is beneficial for authors to team up and promote books as a group? Why?
For the most part, bookselling is not a zero-sum game. Yes, when you look at an individual bookstore visit, it CAN be a matter of buying THIS book and not THAT book, but let's take the long view and think of ALL the bookstore visits that a dedicated reader will make over the course of a year. From that perspective, buying John Doe's books whenever they come out doesn't preclude a fan from buying Richard Roe's books, too. So if John and Richard are in the same field, it makes complete sense for them to encourage their fans to read each other's work. This isn't a race; not only can there be multiple winners, they don't need anybody else to "lose" in order to win.
What creative things have you done to promote a book?
When my book, The Stewardess Is Flying the Plane, came out in 2005, I created my own website for the book and did a slew of interviews with film-related blogs. I also played an active role in arranging the bookstore events; one of the most important things I did was to recruit other people who'd written film books to do those events with me. Not only did it increase the size of the audience, it made the events themselves a lot more fun, as we were able to get some real conversations going.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us today!
Thank you Shelli!