Ramona Richards started making
stuff up at three, writing it down
at seven, and selling it at eighteen. She’s been annoying editors ever
since, which is probably why she became one. Twenty-five years later,
she’s edited more than 350 publications, including novels, CD-ROMs,
magazines, non-fiction, children’s books, Bibles, and study guides.
Ramona has worked with such publishers as Thomas Nelson, Barbour,
Howard, Harlequin, Ideals, and many others. The author of eight books,
she’s now the fiction editor for Abingdon Press. An avid live music
fan, Ramona loves living in the ongoing street party that is Nashville.
sold. You’ve turned in the final edit. Time to relax and wait for the
book and all the ensuing praises, right?
You’re joking, right?
Most of us already know that the
times when a publisher put a lot of time and dollars behind marketing
new books have slipped away like ice on glass. These days an author
will control much of the publicity about her book.
But, you protest, I don’t have a
lot of money for mailings and websites. I barely pay the rent!
Don’t worry. As a newly
published author, you don’t really have to spend a lot of money. The
big key in building a reader database and higher visibility for your
book isn’t money.
Forty percent of your
time, in fact—that part of your time you used to spend trying
to sell your manuscript will now be spent selling your book. You need
to put as much effort into selling to READERS as EDITORS.
Pause here, to rejoice. YOU SOLD
YOUR BOOK!!! HAPPY CHIHUAHUA-GOTTA-GO-TO-THE-BATHROOM DANCE TIME!!!
back to our regular programming.
Now, I’m not going to tell you
HOW to do the free stuff—and there is so much FREE you can do to market
your book, it’s mindboggling. Christian Fiction Online
Magazine has a store of good articles on how to build a
social network, set up free blogs, get involved with a blog tour or
do need to look closely at
joining ACFW or RWA, if you haven’t, so you can take advantage of the
they have for the same thing. And the author loops
and yahoo groups. Instead of doing mailings, write a press release and
hand-carry books to local church and public libraries.
Start by contacting your editor
and the marketing team at the publisher and telling them you’re
available for any of their efforts. Ask if there’s a form they need you
to fill out about future events. Ask if there are specific things they
want you to do. Focus first there.
Then set about researching all
the free stuff and making a plan. A REASONABLE plan for you, your time,
and your family.
Then set it all aside and spend
some time in prayer.
Pray? About MARKETING? About
convincing people to spend money?
Yes. Because this isn’t about
them spending money.
It’s about YOU using YOUR GIFT
FROM GOD. You have been given something
precious. God’s message in your heart. It comes out in your words, your
stories. Your words are salt and light and you do NOT put them under a
basket (Luke 11).
Marketing is showing people what
you have. Asking them to read your book is asking them to engage in a
much larger conversation. You don’t sit around winking in the dark and
telling yourself how well you write. You’re out there to show them what
God has done for you – and what He can do for them.
You get out there . . . and make