Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Promotion - good or bad

by Vivian Zabel

          Authors and illustrators, even publishers, need positive promotion, which means promotional items that appear tasteful and professional: website, blog, bookmarks, business cards, book trailers, biography, media kit. In fact major publishers require that all promotional material be approved by them, even if the author or illustrator pays for or provides the items.

          Does that mean we must hire a professional to do our items? Not necessarily. I've designed business cards for 4RV and for myself. I've designed bookmarks. I used templates for my blog, the 4RV newsletter blog, the websites for the company and for me and my books. Yet, they look professional.

          Some of our illustrators and writers have learned to do professional looking book trailers, but sadly not everyone who has attempted one has been successful at producing a good one. Do I know how to create a book trailer? No, but I've been successful with slide shows which could be adapted to trailers, if I knew how to add music. I studied and practiced to make those slide shows, and some I would never show anyone -- too amateurish.

          I'm going to break down the list of promotional possibilities over the next several weeks and give information needed with each one. I'll begin with the one I haven't conquered, but I still know what is needed to be included. I'll cover book trailers first, beginning next Thursday.

          Please join me, and we'll learn together. After all, every item we put out for public display not only impacts you or me as an author or as an illustrator, but also spotlights 4RV Publishing. We want all of us to look good, to look professional.

Vivian Zabel


  1. This is a good idea. I'm taking part in a book blogger & publisher online convention and the topic of promotion is a big one. I'm hoping to catch the live chat about how book blogs can help promote books since that's part of the reason for having a book blog.

    Book trailers are interesting. I might even attempt to make one just to see if I can. Feel like I'm wasting my degree if I don't do something artistic every now and then. Even though I'm not very tech savvy.

  2. Here's a way authors, illustrators, publishers, and others who provide writing services such as agents can promote themselves:

    Authors, Illustrators, & Publishers Field Guide 2011

  3. Promotion is one of the keys to having your books noticed. It is a necessity for any illustrator, with or without an agent. It benefits the publisher, author and artist.

    I'll be checking in for more words to the wise. *:)

  4. Promotion is a must in today's book economy.

  5. They say even negative promotion is good promotion; to some extent, I believe that's true. It helps if you can be gracious about it, though, and not engage in a public scene. And there's a difference between "negative" and "ineffective" or just plain "amateurish." Most likely, the latter two won't HURT, but they don't help much, either - and if it's the author creating poor promotional content for himself or herself, it may be the first, last, and ONLY impression readers ever see. People DO judge a book by its cover. A poorly done book trailer or brochure won't kill you - but it'd be better coming from someone else. ;)

  6. I'm looking forward to learning more on this, Vivian. Thank you.