Still can’t stop talking about it: Get Known Before the Book Deal

Day 19: I sincerely wish I could stop talking about it. I wish writers who send me queries had read Christina Katz’s Get Known Before the Book Deal and implemented the strategies she outlines in the book. I wish I didn’t need to tell so many prospective clients to back up and learn exactly what publishers and readers expect of them in 2014. I wish I were a fairy godmother with the power to transmit knowledge, skills, and business sense with the flick of a glitter-spangled wand. I’m weary of repeating myself. I’m whining today.

GET KNOWN BEFORE THE BOOK DEAL by Christina KatzHowever, there is good news! There’s an upside of my frustration, which I assure you is shared by at least a few other agents, as well as book editors and publishers, not to mention successful authors who frequently are asked how they got so lucky. The bright side is that the unbelievably small percentage of writers who apply—that is, put into practice rather than just reading—Christina Katz’s advice can achieve an enormous advantage over the larger number of writers who don’t.

Think about that. Did you just feel the power shifting?

Christina doesn’t promise instant results, and she doesn’t say it’s easy when it’s not. No one ever truly masters self-promotion in a turbulent market, and the mere attempt takes a lot of time. More hard work is exactly what average writers or wannabes will not confront. They believe they should be finished with the work part when they put the last words on the last pages of their manuscripts. They’re ready for the cake, punch, and applause precisely when the going really gets tough. C’mon. Take advantage of their mistakes.

Writers need to exploit every possible asset in order to stand out among thousands of contenders and to get their books noticed among the incredible quantity of titles now frictionlessly available to readers. Those readers easily can choose similar content in other media, often at less expense. Writers who are aware of their competition, respect readers, perfect their manuscripts, consider their art a career, and demonstrate their ability to engage their intended audience, well…

We know who they are.

Full disclosure

Christina Katz is my friend, but I recommend her book because the advice in it is so good. Chuck Sambuchino wrote a similar manual called Create Your Writer Platform, but then I must admit that Chuck’s a friend, too. There’s also Amanda Luedeke’s ebook, The Extroverted Writer: An Author’s Guide to Marketing and Building a Platform. I’ve met Amanda. I like and respect her. She’s a dynamo. Several other books cover this very topic, and some of these resources are likely to be available at the nearest library. By the way, my old neighbor Bob Robertson-Boyd developed the WorldCat interface that shows the closest library where a copy of a particular book can be borrowed.

Musical accompaniment

Believe it or not, I do have a heart. It gets crumpled a lot, to the tune of “The Laugh of Recognition.” Over the Rhine are some of my favorite musicians.

BookADay-The Borough Press

4 thoughts on “Still can’t stop talking about it: Get Known Before the Book Deal

  1. swiveltam

    Thank you for this recommendation. I have not heard of this book, although I follow Chuck, Kristin Lamb and Rob Morrow and have implemented many of their suggestions. I’m self-publishing a collection of vintage romantic ghost stories and am anxious to see if the platform building with translate into sales. I’m open to new ideas, so I’ll check out her book!

    ~Tam Francis~
    http://www.girlinthejitterbugdress.com

  2. heatheradams2013

    I definitely need to get better and more comfortable about self-promotion.. Whenever the NC Writers’ Network posts on Facebook about one of my publications or awards, I am somewhat hesitant to click the “like” button because I don’t want to appear to be bragging about myself. But I’ve found that when I do, my friends and loved ones are so sweet and kind and they seem to enjoy seeing what I’ve been up to. In any event, I am off to add this title to my “to read” list for sure. Thank you!

  3. Robin Mizell Post author

    Hi, Heather. The best unwritten rule is to limit self-promotion, and that includes humblebragging, to 20% or less of your social media activity. Of course, it’s still possible to be too brash and give offense. I just shared with my clients this long list of suggestions from The eBook Author’s Corner. In it you can see how other writers are grappling with the challenge of competing for readers. It’s not easy to come up with a unique strategy.

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