Do authors need to know about marketing?

Do authors need to know about marketing? –@ReadHeavily

A friend of mine was visiting a publisher who had published a book of mine. Now they wanted to publish my friend’s book. She she asked them specifically, what marketing did you do for James Altucher’s book?

They answered, in all sincerity: we got him a review in the Financial Times, a segment on CNBC, and an excerpt in

Here’s the facts:

A)     I had a column in the Financal Times! I wrote my own review as a joke.

B)     I had a regular weekly segment on CNBC. I used one of those segments to promote my own book.

C)     I wrote 3 columns a day at the time for I used one of those columns to do an excerpt and nobody complained.

So that’s the “marketing” that publisher did for me.

Here’s the truth about book publishing now: there are only two characters in this grand production: the writer and the readers. Everyone else in the middle: booksellers, agents, editors, packagers, distributors, marketers, etc is in massive upheaval and transition and they are seldom willing to admit it. Book publishers don’t provide anything.

Here’s my “Why and How I Self-Publish”

If I were a book publisher I would transform myself instantly in the following ways:

A)    Reduce the lag time from book acceptance to publication from one year to one month. There’s no such thing as a “catalog” now. Just get the book on Amazon and and if the book does well the small bookstores will start calling.

B)    Become digital marketing agencies. Learn how to use social media to really start the discussion on books. Zero book publishers have done this correctly although they think they have with outdated email lists that generate zero sales.

And as an author, the main thing I can suggest is: read my link above about self-publishing but also take control of your own marketing:

A)    Book public speaking engagements where you give your book away for free.

B)    Syndicate blog columns related to your book content on popular sites related to your content

C)    Engage with twitter, facebook, google+ to have an active discussion (throughout your life) about how your book’s content is important to you. If you believe in what you are saying this is not “marketing” but “honesty and sincerity”.

The sincere voices will always rise to the top. Oh, and also Snooki will rise to the top.