How do writers become bestselling authors? Publicity seems to be one crucial element.
To get fans, writers have to become known in the first place. Miley Cyrus has done outrageous things to draw attention and it’s worked for her. Ironically, she’s been criticized by fellow performers who in their heyday were just as outrageous in courting publicity. Donald Trump has observed that there is no such thing as bad publicity, only publicity--which draws attention to an individual and his or her work. In the case of writers, publicity traditionally would be accomplished through the efforts of a publisher who has a PR staff that solicits significant reviews and promotes an author through numerous channels. But nowadays, this is often not the case. Also, many writers are currently self-publishing their work. This too changes how publicity can be obtained.
In the current issue of AARP Magazine, James Patterson wrote an article entitled “The Book That Changed My Life.” Was he talking about something shocking and contemporary? Perhaps a bible on how to obtain recognition and publicity? Not exactly. He was actually discussing one of my favorite books: The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentlemen, written in1759. Novelists in that era weren’t afraid to be different, original and creative. As Patterson observes, Laurence Sterne broke the rules of fiction writing and created a masterpiece. Maybe we can’t all be that talented, but who’s to say? Patterson says that authors shouldn’t write to any pre-conceived formula. We need to express what is unique to ourselves in our own way. By writing work that stands out from the herd, we can get recognition and acclaim.
As for me, I have a recently published YA novel THE DEVIL AND DANNA WEBSTER from Astraea Press to publicize which I hope will draw readers--not solely teenagers either.
THE BAD WIFE, 4th in the Kim Reynolds mystery series, is collecting some very good reviews. You can check them out on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J6PCKVW
Two historical romances are currently available from SteamEreads:
Winner in the “Some Like It Hot” writing contest
TEA LEAVES AND TAROT CARDS
Tea Leaves is a Regency novel previously published by Five Star/Gale in hardcover and Thorndike Press in hardcover large print. This novel received a cover blurb/endorsement from Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick. Mary Balogh provided editorial suggestions early on as well.
Forgive the commercial message. Getting back to the subject at hand, Miley Cyrus is a fine performer. She behaves outrageously, but in the end, it will be her talent by which she will be ultimately judged. That is true of all artists including writers. James Patterson who is a mega bestselling author provides us with the key to success. We must be unique and original, not imitative in our writing. However, promotion and publicity won’t hurt either.
What are your thoughts and opinions on this topic? Is there anything you recommend from the perspective of reader and/or writer?