October 5, 2008

Speaking Engagements, Writers Conferences, Blogging, Etc., What’s the Point?

If you’re a writer and expect to sell books in today’s publishing world, you have to “come out of your cave” as one publisher put it and let yourself be seen in person and on the Internet.

I’ll give you the downside to all this first:

In person engagements can cost money. If the venue is far away it might take gas money or even the price of an airplane ticket, rental car or shuttle fee and room fee–to say nothing about the cost of food.

Airplanes are uncomfortable and nothing is free on them any more.

You have to be able to speak in front of people and have something interesting to say. (This really shouldn’t be too hard for a writer–after all, you thought your words were interesting enough to put into a book. I always figure the people who came must have wanted to hear what I had to say.)

Blogging doesn’t cost anything, but you do have to think up something to say that people will take the time to read. Blogs must continually be updated so readers will come back again.

This all takes time away from your writing.

On the plus side:

In person engagements will give you the opportunity to meet new people, hopefully make new fans and friends, and visit new places. Hopefully, some of these people will want to buy your book, love it and tell their friends about it.

Speaking to others about your book is great fun–at least it is for me. Over the years I’ve found it’s easy to talk about something you really know about.

Using the Internet to promote is far less expensive and much easier. It also gives you the potential of contacting far more people than you could.

I’ve done visual book tours that were great fun. I’ve paid for the ones I’ve done because I just don’t have the time to find others blogs and ask them to host me, but they’ve paid off in the fact that they’ve brought book sales.

Ever so often I get to meet someone in person that I’ve met online and that’s always a plus.

Writing is a lonely profession. It’s good to get out and be around people.

Marilyn Meredith
Visit my website and read the first chapter of my latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, Kindred Spirits.

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At October 8, 2008 at 11:31 PM , Blogger June Rodriguez said...

Thanks Marilyn for the great insight into getting your name and your book out there. Thank you again for taking the time to squeeze us into you busy schedule.

At October 9, 2008 at 2:02 PM , Blogger Dorinda Ohnstad said...


As a reader I always love to buy books from authors I've met, especially after listening to them talk about the book and their writing experiences. Getting author signed copies are also something I cherish, which is another added bonus of speaking engagements.

If after reading the author's book (which I might not have ever read if I hadn't listen to them speak), I find I like the author, then I'm hooked and will seek out future books as they come available.

There are so many books to choose from out there that sometimes for me it's that speaking engagement that points me in an author's direction, where I may not otherwise have heard of them. In addition, when I discover a new author this way I'm also more likely to refer their books to others.

At November 11, 2008 at 10:17 PM , Anonymous Morna said...

Good words.


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