I just read in the NYPost that a best selling author is promoting her book by hiring actors and sending them to congested areas in NYC where they are to start laughing hysterically while reading her book. The hope is that when the actors attract attention and people ask what's so funny? Ta-da: the book. There's another author who is doing a "book-mitzvah" to introduce her book. These are fun, innovative marketing ideas to advertise their books. I know authors whose houses send them on lengthly book tours; and ones who send themselves on book tours.
I realize you have to spend money to make money, but I couldn't spend money I needed to spend elsewhere. When my debut novel came out in November of 2009, I had a middle school tuition as well as a high school tuition looming, as well as other expenses for my children.
I knew going in that the competition to get published was tough then getting your book promoted/reviewed was even tougher, but I can't help but long for the days of "To Kill A Mockingbird".
That novel was originally a series of short stories called Atticus. Lee's publisher took an interest, but felt it wasn't ready. Harper Lee worked on the rewrite for two years with the guidance of her editor. During that time the Trial of the Scottsboro Boys was in the news. The editor suggested that HL use something like that as a subplot. The editor also suggested taking one of the short stories with the children, Jem, Scout and Dil, and Boo Radley, as another subplot. When the short stories were reshaped into a novel, the editor came up with the title and one of the most read books after the bible was born.
Today, your book as to be as close to publishable as possible, and from what I understand, suggestions to "change the ending" don't always elevate the work.
On top of that, you have to hawk your book on your own dime? And that doesn't even guarantee success.
The contemporary promo story that for me is not only the best, but also free: the book Skinny Bitch was coasting along until Victoria Beckham was photographed reading it in an airport. It ended up in a newspaper and sales soared.
As a writer I hate to admit it, but sometimes a picture IS worth a thousand words.
Causes Lorraine Merkl Supports
The Legal Aid Society
The Inner-City Scholarship Fund