Book Marketing and Burlesque

So here’s a dirty little secret for you…

I used to be a publicist (Tell me at least one or two of you put my head on Christina Aguilera’s body in Burlesque…you know, with crazy ’80s hair and a top hat. What? None of you? Really?) Yep, it’s true. I repped a NYT Bestselling self-help book before I started working in sports.

I learned a lot, more than I can share in one blog post. But I will tell you two really obvious things: marketing a book takes effort and skill.

Now I’ve read posts from some authors who compare book promotion to prostitution. They are so WRONG! I mean anyone can be a prostitute. (Not like I’m an expert on that subject. Maybe Eliot Spitzer could enlighten us…eww.) But not everyone can do burlesque. If you’ve seen the movie (which I haven’t) or watched the one of the many burlesque documentaries (which I’m not admitting to) you’d know how much talent and training it takes to dance burlesque properly. There is an art to it that doesn’t necessarily involve shaking your tatas or straddling a chair — not to say that doesn’t happen.

Depending on your contract with a publishing house, your project may or may not be slated for a portion of their marketing budget. If you have to do all your own publicity (and maybe go to book signings and sit by yourself), there are a lot of authors out there who have already done it and shared their experiences. Learn from their efforts!

And remember, you’re not selling something that anyone can do. You spent a lot of time honing your craft, practicing your skill, facing failures before you had success. You’re not standing on a corner in a neon-bikini and mini-skirt. Writing is an art, and you should market your work as such. It doesn’t have to be shameless self-promotion!

Below are some good links that may help you out, and I’ll be back with more on this subject later.

Recommendations for Debut Authors
Maureen Johnson’s Manifesto
Promotional Cargo Cults (with more links at the bottom of their article)


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