Write Now: Marketing Can Be Difficult For Authors

I’m just spitballin’ here.

Maybe I’m not.

Really, I have been thinking about this for a long time. To me, it seems, a musician can remake a different version of one of his songs, and release it at the same time as the original version. An artist can use different colors on another version of his painting, and a director can add a different ending to his movie. This has been happening in the entertainment industry for decades.

But does an author get the same chance?

Can the author submit his manuscript to his publisher and just before the book is to be released, the author says he has added another chapter, but doesn’t tell where in book the chapter should be placed?

For musicians, artists, and directors, releasing different versions may be a clever marketing ploy, a diversion.

But for an author, it may not be. First, his publisher may not go for the idea, since hardcover books may have already been printed. Second, I could see an author inserting the chapter within an e-book version of the book, but then those who bought the hardcopy would have access to it unless the chapter was released free-of-charge, but then the reader would have to download it and probably re-read the book. The only other option is if an author decides to re-release the book, and include different chapters.

Then there is material that was left on the editing room floor. This happens in film, music, and art. Think of all the scenes, songs, and colors that didn’t make it to final versions. Yes, that’s another marketing ploy, but I don’t think with books.

For the written word, sometimes authors have to fight for their words with their editors. The revision and editing process can wreak havoc on some writers, but not all writers.

Then again, some authors turn in manuscripts that need just a little fine-tuning and that is it. They understand the process, and how to get their words onto the page. Some authors take longer than others to get their words to the page, but usually the end-result is the same.

And that brings me to another point of concern. Authors need a distributor of some sort. Musicians can sell their music during their show at a merchandising table at the venue. Or sometimes musicians will have copies of their compact discs for sale in their vehicles. This happens a lot. Artists can get their artwork in a gallery, or maybe they can team up with a musician or maybe an author and design a CD cover or book cover, or maybe even a movie poster. Artists have different avenues to get their work seen.

But an author doesn’t have that luxury.

If an author wants to get his work read, he needs to somehow get his work to the masses. In the digital age, that has become relatively easy. With social media, an author can build a brand, and post his work for others to read. The only problem is that people have to know who the author is.

Marketing one’s work is a hard gig. That can eat up many hours trying to get people to notice one’s work. But in the end it is worth it.

Another drawback for an author is if an author hasn’t embraced social media, it may be even harder for him to get his word out — no pun intended.

Unlike musicians and artists, an author can’t go into a coffee shop, a library or a supermarket and begin reading aloud his tome. First, it would cause a distraction, and second, it may get him booted from the building. Then, would he resort to busking on the street by reading his work aloud, and hoping for people to throw spare money into a hat? I don’t think so. At least I haven’t seen it done, although it may have. It would be a little tougher in the winter.

I think the hard part would be holding the attention of the onlookers. And where would the author start? When musicians play on a street, they rotate their songs. Would an author rotate his chapters or his books?

If you want to share knowledge on how authors can gain more readers please email me. I would like to share your thoughts right here.

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