Take-away for July's Writers Publishing Exchange Zoom meeting: Originality Is Key to Book Publicity
Multi-genre author Sandra Marchetti gave an empowering Q&A at our July Zoom. The author of Confluence, a debut full-length collection of poetry, Sandra is also the author of four chapbooks of poetry and lyric essays. Her poetry appears in River Styx, Poet Lore, Ecotone, Blackbird, Southwest Review, and elsewhere. Her essays can be found at The Rumpus, Mid-American Review, Barrelhouse, Pleiades, and other venues. Sandy completed her MFA in Creative Writing-Poetry at George Mason University and is the Coordinator of Tutoring Services at the College of DuPage, just outside of Chicago.
Originality, she says, is key to publicizing your book. Originality earns higher book sales and a wider readership. Here are 4 major takeaways and some impactful tips.
Tip 1: Multiple Audiences. Consider the themes in your book and turn those into second and third audiences. For example, my memoir about expatriotism discusses architecture, women’s sexuality, and indigenous people. Travelers, architects, and women are therefore audiences I should market to.
Tip 2: No read—No Buy. Marchetti has seen that if she doesn’t read at the literary events she’s done, people don’t buy. Apparently the spoken narrative compels people to buy. So if you’re planning just to show up at a bookstore and sign books, plan to preface that signing and increase sales by actually reading from your work. Anyone who can offer solid advice on reading from multiple books wins a free WPS online meeting.
Tip 3: Beyond the Bookstore. Marketing to bookstores is on the nose, so to speak. That is, consider reading at a coffee shop or some other social place that caters to a broader audience. Since one of WPE’s authors writes culinary mysteries, she’s considering coordinating activities with local chefs, cooking schools, or pastry/cupcake shops where there’s an establish audience who would enjoy a unique event.
Tip 4: Vary Your Blurbs. Today, blurbs come from beyond the literary arena. Marchetti, for instance, earned a blurb from a video game producer whose game centers on the same subject as one of her books—which also extends her audience.
Other tips/points of interest:
We feature agents, authors, editors, publishers, publicists, and others in the publishing industry as speakers. If you’re interested in presenting to the WPE or have a suggestion of someone who should, email me.
Writers Publishing Exchange will have a speaker next week to help propel and inform our publishing careers.
Sandra Marchetti and I met on SheWrites back in 2011 where we were learning about platforms and submissions and other things few MFA programs teach. She has repeatedly opened my eyes to what goes on behind the scenes of publishing. Watching her climb higher and higher on that ladder of success has also been wonderful.
Sandra will share insight gleaned from her experience as a poet and essayist publishing in long and short form. She will discuss establishing a platform that includes awards, the realities of how a book and author earn publicity, formatting manuscripts, etc.
Sandra is the author of Confluence, a full-length collection of poetry from Sundress Publications. She is also the author of four chapbooks of poetry and lyric essays, including Sight Lines (Speaking of Marvels Press, 2016), Heart Radicals (ELJ Publications, 2016), A Detail in the Landscape (Eating Dog Press, 2014), and The Canopy (MWC Press, 2012). Sandra’s poetry appears in Poet Lore, Blackbird, Ecotone, Southwest Review, River Styx, and elsewhere. Her essays can be found at The Rumpus, Whiskey Island, Mid-American Review, Barrelhouse, Pleiades, and other venues. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing—Poetry from George Mason University and now serves as the Coordinator of Tutoring Services at the College of DuPage in the Chicagoland area.
There will be a Q&A afterward with Sandra and then a discussion with the group. Ask the group questions about any part of the publishing process or for leads, for beta readers, for critiques, etc.
Join us via Zoom from 7-830 PM on Wednesday, 17 July. $10 payment required via Zelle or Paypal for meeting link. (We pay speakers.) Contact me for more information.
If you're interested in speaking or have an idea for a speaker, let me know. If you're interested in participating in a critique group, give a shout out. Please spread the word via Twitter, Facebook, etc.