Throughout the year, it can be easy to forget the very real benefits for both authors and publishers that result from effective author promotion.
Why promote author expertise?
Consider the power of a strong author brand. A perfect example is 2015’s record-setting release of Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman. Barnes & Noble announced that first-day sales surpassed all other adult trade fiction books in the company's history, unseating Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol first-day sales in 2009. This title sold purely on the author's name.
The same holds true in the scholarly publishing arena. Although the celebrity aspect is not quite as over the top as in the consumer arena, leading scientists, scholars, and researchers who publish and speak regularly are continually building their reputations — and their sales appeal — in their fields.
The importance of author brand
Author reputation is an increasingly important factor in sales, and publishers can tap into the power of the author as a brand. It is crucial for both authors and publishers to recognize the benefits of promoting the author brand through traditional marketing efforts, such as scheduled events and appearances, as well as the online marketing tools of social media and a clear and optimized Web presence.
Publishers can work with respected authors, combining efforts to:
- Market materials that promote the author's name.
- Enable authors to pen guest blogs on the publisher's site.
- Promote new and existing titles in concert with conferences and other speaking engagements.
- Produce online resources, such as book trailers, that quickly grab readers' attention (see 8 Tips for Creating a Professional Looking Book Trailer for a useful guide).
Promotion creates a win-win
It's important for publishers to see author relationships and combined promotions as mutually beneficial. An author's following means an existing audience that is ready and willing to pay for the next publication.
Smart book publishers work closely with authors to form long-term relationships that are mutually beneficial. And just as an audience remains loyal to an author they feel connected with, authors will appreciate and respond to publishers who are willing to invest time and effort to promote their author brand.