Since most of them do not allow simultaneous submissions, this meant one to two years down the drain for each publisher the manuscript was sent to. I tried the agent route, but they went out of business after 9/11. In the end, what worked for me was going to a small press. They wanted fresh material, were more than happy with new writers, and still ran the business just like the big boys, except on a smaller scale.
Yet today, even small publishers are getting overrun.
The best advice I can give is for those interested to find out what their local Fantasy/Science Fiction/Literary conventions are and attend as many panels as possible. A lot of these events will have agents, editors, authors, and you can find out what’s going on and what is working for whom straight from the horse’s mouth. If you are not shy, you can build networks, which will help your work be seen. If you are shy, you will still learn invaluable information and find out of places to look up info on to send submissions.
How do you set about promoting your novel? How many hours a week do you spend on book promotion?
I am not one of your more pushy promoters and I still spend a horribly large amount of time on promotion/marketing. Most authors, regardless of the size and the type of publisher, are now on their own with regards to marketing. So for your book to make or break it, will be heavily up to you.
I use a number of methods to promote. The most important is my website. Here I can publish news, sample chapters, new book info, my appearance schedule, interviews, purchase info – basically anything and everything about me and my works.
I probably spend anywhere from four to eight hours a week on promotion/marketing efforts. I also lose entire weekends, as I got to conventions to push my promo material, do panels, and push my books.
Items I use for promotion are bookmarks, sample CD’s, table toppers to grab passerby interest, postcards, and pens. Online I occasionally buy adds on websites, belong to Books We Love, another author marketing group or two, do a weekly blog, am a member of several lists, send out a monthly newsletter, and belong to writer organizations such as EPIC and Broad Universe.
Do you have a website/blog where readers may learn more about you and your work?