Deb: The Cost of Book Promotion

Spend a little time around published authors and you’re
certain to hear this common lament: Regardless of how you publish, it’s tough
to get your book noticed. Once the launch window passes—generally within three
months (or less) of the book’s release, reader and publisher interest wanes.
Authors are a tenacious bunch, committed to seeing a project
through to its finish, drafting and revising and revising again. So it’s no
surprise that we don’t give up on our books once they’ve launched, no matter
how tough the going gets. We want a shelf life of more than three months for
our books. There are readers out there who’d love to connect with our work—if
only they could find it amid all the noise of new releases and celebrity
In a desperate effort to get their books noticed, far too
many authors throw good money after bad: Self-funded author tours in second-rate
venues where only a handful of people show up for signings; expensive ads to
the wrong demographic; for-hire social media campaigns that amount to little
more than shouting into the wind.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Right here at 49 Writers, we
offer multiple opportunities for published authors to spread the word about
their work, whether it’s new or not:

Book Week:
In 2010, we launched a simple plan: Set aside a week each
October (conveniently timed to coincide with the PFD deposits) to remind
readers everywhere of the incredible books by Alaskans and about Alaska. Each
year, the Governor has issued a formal proclamation designating Alaska Book
Week. And each year, authors are invited to complete a simple participation
in which they can express their interest in addressing audiences about
their books. To complete this form costs nothing but a minute or two of your
time. The payoff: you join forces with other Alaska authors in a weeklong
celebration of your books. Over the years, Alaska Book Week has grown into a
full-fledged cooperative effort orchestrated by a coalition of organizations
including 49 Writers, the Alaska Center for the Book, the Alaska State Library,
and the Anchorage Public Library.

on Alaska Books:
Blog tours for your book can be tedious to organize and
carry out, and most bloggers are only interested in your books when they’re
brand new. But as part of its mission, 49 Writers offers Alaska authors a
chance to share their books, old and new, on our well-read blog. All you need
do is follow the submissions
for our Spotlight feature.

Looking for a venue to publish your short work (or an excerpt from
a longer project)? Though our Alaska Shorts
blog feature, you can submit creative work for publication on the 49 Writers

We’re always interested in guest
that are relevant to our readership. An online presence expands your
reach and reminds readers that you’re actively engaged with the literary
Before you utter another complaint about how hard it is to
get your work noticed, make sure you’ve taken advantage of these opportunities
to engage with readers whose interests include the work of Alaska-inspired
authors. The only cost is your time (and not much of that).
Keep in mind, though, that to sustain these opportunities
for Alaska authors, 49 Writers needs your support. Is your membership
current? We rely on memberships to fund our efforts to support the artistic
development of writers throughout Alaska, foster a writing community, and build
an audience for literature. We’d love your support as we
connect readers throughout the state and beyond with the good work of
Alaska-inspired authors.

Co-founder of 49 Writers and founder of the
independent authors cooperative Running Fox Books, Deb
 has authored sixteen
books. Her most recent are Write
Your Best Book
, a practical guide to writing books that rise above the
rest; What
Every Author Should Know
, a comprehensive guide to book publishing and
promotion; and Cold
, a novel that
“captures the harsh beauty of the terrain as
well as the strain of self-doubt and complicated family bonds,” according to
lives and works on Hiland Mountain outside of Anchorage, Alaska, and at a cabin near the
Matanuska Glacier. 
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