As many of us who have had books published quickly come to realise, publication is only the start. Now, the book has to sell.
Writers are, on the whole, modest people (at least, those I've come across have tended to be). We work alone, and emerge from our dark little corners on publication day, blinking like Mole in the Wind in the Willows, and realise suddenly that if we are to get our baby out there, and if it is to succeed, we have to do a whole lot more to help it on its way.
I am terribly bad at this; so bad, in fact, that I have been known to give a talk* but find myself unable to bring myself to sell copies of my book afterwards, although I've brought them with me. Sad, isn't it? I don't like being the centre of attention, and find it incredibly hard to say "I've written this brilliant book. BUY IT!"
So - what do other people do? Does anyone have any ideas about further publicity? I read in the Times today that there are authors paying agencies thousands of pounds to give bogus publicity; paying Twitter and Facebook users 24p a throw to pubicise their books; paying people to recommend their books on Amazon. For me, these are not avenues I wish to explore. But if anyone has any ethical ideas, please let me know, because I'm rapidly running out of ideas of my own!
*I do enjoy giving talks because I like meeting people. It's the selling bit that's my stumbling block.