My mother used to say that taking a vacation or a break from your regular routine was especially good for gaining perspective, opening doors, and making decisions. I think business trips can do the same if planned well and embarked upon with an open mind.
Last week I attended the PubSense Summit in Charleston, SC as a faculty member, sharing expertise on marketing and publicity in the world of books, brands, and authors. It is a really great conference, in part because the people who organize it are so nice and smart—they saw a dearth of opportunities for writers to get together in the southeast, so they produced their own event. Necessity is the mother of invention (another thing my mother says, and yours too perhaps).
I met some interesting writers—traditionally and independently published, and I had the opportunity to attend some lectures as well. Today I will try to impart some of the things I took away from the trip that may be helpful to you.
Things to note about Publishers Weekly: They receive about 1,000 books per week and only 9,000 are reviewed in the magazine and online combined. Also, they only pull 25% of what they receive for consideration. I asked about the criteria for selection and was told that some of this information is not to be disclosed, but I did learn that sloppy press kits or unreadable review copies will most likely be tossed to the reject pile.
Also, they have instituted an automated, online service called Galley Tracker, which is where you register the books you are submitting for review. Then you are free to check the status of your book, thereby eliminating the need to actually call an editor at the magazine.
Audio on Amazon: Amazon has an independent way for you to publish your book in audio format. In fact, Joanna Penn said that you should try to make your books available in as many digital formats as possible because people in India or Germany may want your book even if it is only available in English. The more versions and outlets = exponential sales for the author.
Move over Bookbub: I had to great fortune to run into a couple from North Carolina who directed me to breakfast off-site (I have a horrible sense of direction). They run a company called FreeBooksy. This is a service similar to Bookbub, except the cost for authors and publishers is lower and I believe that it is easier to get into a promotion. They have access to at least 200,000 readers, but you can click on their name to go to the website for more info.
National Pencil Day? Who knew: There is a website where you can find out what is special about a given month, week, or day in a given year. If you want to try to find a media hook for promotion, check out Brownielocks.
Another review outlet for literary and other kinds of books: I don’t particularly like authors having to pay for reviews, but when a review outlet is willing to go the extra mile it is worth it. Chanticleer Reviews will cover your book and market the review through their publication, Amazon, and social media channels. They have high credibility and other outlets may run their pieces as well. Plus, the people who run the publication are true book lovers, and want to do whatever they can to help authors.