Whilst reading earlier today the report from last week’s Publishing Laid Bare Conference — a yearly conference on the state of the industry, set up by my publisher, Legend Press — I found myself focusing on one particular sentence:
The author’s ability to create their own brand as a method to promote their work was emphasised as a valuable tool to be taken advantage of, through which the problem of the so-called ‘invisibility’ of the author could be targeted.
The conference, once again, addressed some fantastic points (follow these links to read part one, part two and part three of the report), but this in particular is something I’ve been thinking of fairly constantly since the publication of If I Never.
The problem of invisibility and how it should be addressed, I feel, can’t be emphasised enough. Promoting one’s book is vital. This, after all, is the frontline product. But I feel that if we are looking to publish more than just one book, it’s also vital to build a sense of the person behind the work. An author’s name becomes recognisable through the finished product, of course (if we’re lucky enough to gain that kind of popularity!), but today we also have the benefit of various electronic media, as well as more traditional methods, which can be used to work and interact with people, to discuss ideas, to, when necessary, debate vociferously — and in so doing create a better understanding among potential readers of just who the author actually “is”.
It may not sit comfortably with some to think in terms of “brand”, or to consider themselves as part of the product — Gary William Murning™ feels a little odd even to me, a shameless self-promoter — but in this highly competitive business I’m not sure it’s something we can necessarily avoid. If you take what you do seriously as a writer, if you want it to be read by as many people as possible, these approaches must at least be considered.
(And, yes, okay — I’ll admit it; Gary William Murning™ doesn’t feel in the least bit odd! I actually quite like it!)
Two sample chapters of If I Never can be read here.
To buy your copy of If I Never, please click here.