Book Trailer The Noble Train

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Pebble Could Start an Avalanche

You never know what could start an avalanche. In book marketing there is a feeling of being completely overwhelmed. You could concentrate on the big sites and press releases and try and get major media hits. This requires time and supreme effort and a lot of times does not pan out. This doesn't mean you shouldn't try for a People Magazine or a USA Today or the New York Times. But books are a funny thing. You never quite know what starts the big slide toward a bestseller and that is because books are still sold the old fashioned way--by word of mouth.

In the internet age we are constantly bombarded with notices. So and so wants to be your friend, so and so wants you to join their group, an email from an old friend who noticed you had published your book. Our email boxes bulge with unanswered queries as we go thundering down the road for Larry King or Good Morning America. But the truth is we just don't know what will be the stick, the rock that will break the precipice. I know lots of authors who have done the big shows and their books still didn't hit. That doesn't mean these shows didn't affect them, just not the way they thought they would. Big publishers put thousands of dollars behind a new author in promotion and the book falls from site. Why? No one really knows.

When I was trying to get my first book published I used to send out six queries a week. Sometimes I would just get out four or five and I would carry the last one around with me unable to find a mailbox or a stamp. Many times, the publisher or agent who would respond would be to that last query! Who knows why, but it happened more than once. It is probably just that last unturned rock, that final exhausted moment where you put the final three chapters in the mail that the Gods line up for you. Who knows, but you really can't afford to not do it.

I had an email the other night from someone I knew in college. They said they heard I published another novel. I was tired and had been traveling all day and almost didn't respond, dangerous because then other emails would flood in and I might never get to it. But just before I went to bed I responded and asked how he was doing and yes I published another book and here is a link to the book on Amazon. Maybe he will buy it maybe he won't. Maybe it didn't matter that I responded. But then again, maybe he is a film producer, a friend of a friend who knows Oprah or who is in a book club or who has a large network of friends he emails regularly. The point we just don't know what pebble might start an avalanche--so we better make sure we give each one a good kick.

Books by William Hazelgrove