Publicity and Indie Publishing. And Windmills.

Publicity for your book launch used to be the responsibility of a traditional publisher.

The author would make herself available for the publicity opportunities the publisher arranged. These could include book signings, interviews, or talks at libraries.

In addition, the publisher would arrange for placement on bookstore shelves. The book, not the author. Although that too could probably be arranged.

Also, the publisher would enter the book in contests, promote the book in the appropriate journals. Also purchase advertisements as appropriate.

But fellow authors tell me and my reading confirms that traditional publishers no longer take all the responsibility for publicizing a new book. In part, this is because traditional publishers expect to turn their focus to the next book fairly quickly.

Remember, a traditional publisher sinks significant money into the initial production and broadcast of a book. Once the publisher makes the investment back and, hopefully, a profit, moving on to the next book makes sense. From a publisher’s perspective, while it is nice to have ongoing profits from a book. Unless you wrote the next Don Quixote, the real money is in the launch.

And yes, Don Quixote is the best selling non-religious fiction book of all time. Who knew?

This means that when it comes to publicity, what was once a large gap in obligation between authors who are traditionally published and indie authors has narrowed.

As far as I can tell, the biggest difference in time commitment relates to the learning curve for indie authors. Traditionally published authors presumably have expert guidance in what needs to be done in regards to publicity.

An indie publisher must gather information on how best to publicize her book on her own. This means sometimes she will rely on mistaken or incomplete advice.

There are professional publicists who will, for a fee, do an indie authors publicity and guide her through the process. But, like doing one’s own formatting, there are certain advantages to conquering the mountain one’s self.

For one thing, you only have to learn how to do it once. After that, it’s easy. Plus, if you ever have to launch something other than a book, like a communal campaign to ride swaybacked horses while jousting with windmills, you’ll know how to do it.

Rose Grey has written three romance novels and is hard at work on a fourth. Wednesday is generally book review day. Unless it isn’t. If you liked this post, come visit the rest of the blog at Hot Pursuit and Not As Advertised are available as ebooks and as paperbacks online.