1. Mark_Archibald
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    Mark_Archibald Active Member

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    How much control does a new author have over their image?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Mark_Archibald, Jun 22, 2012.

    How much does a publisher ask of an author to promote their book?

    I've heard that Random House makes their authors perform in live play's.

    Many authors use social media to promote their work, is this mandatory?

    Basically, what types of things can a new author expect in a publishing contract.

    (If I even get that far.)
     
  2. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Live plays? Seriously?
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I may be wrong here, but most (perhaps even all) publishing contracts don't require the author to promote his/her book. However, keep in mind that it's in the writer's best interest to promote. If a book sells well, the publisher will be more likely to pick up another book by the same author.

    This is quite possibly the funniest thing I've read all year.
     
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  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Authors are expected to participate in book signings, book fairs and the like. I'm not sure how often that is specifically written into the contract, though. Certainly they are encouraged and aided in setting up author sites and social media presence.

    Help stamp out the greengrocer's apostrophe. And yes, this sounds like an absurd rumor.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto that!
     
  6. Mark_Archibald
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    Mark_Archibald Active Member

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    I read on twitter, an author promoting a play that himself and other authors from Random House were going to perform in. I don't know if they rigged that up themselves, or if they were told to do it.

    I seriously can't be in a play.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    'Nuff said.
     
  8. emines
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    emines New Member

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    What do you mean by "image?" What aspect of their image?
     
  9. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Live plays???? I seriously doubt it. I don't see how that would help or really be related to book sales. I know a couple published authors and as far as I know, they have never been in plays, at least not related to their books.

    Really, the person with the biggest stake in selling a book is the author. The biggest grumble I hear out there is from authors who wish the publishers would do more to promote their book. Agents usually advise authors to step up the publicity-- they strongly advise facebook pages, twitter accounts, bookstore visits and the like. If you're really against it, unless you've signed a contract that agrees to do so, you don't have to. But really you're just hurting yourself. I've heard things like, "my agent told me I had to get on facebook" and the like, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the author was contractually obligated to do so. (Although it's possible. You'd have to read the contract, and I don't know whether things like that have become standard.)
     
  10. vVvRapture
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    vVvRapture Member

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    Why wouldn't you want to use social media to promote your work?

    Once I get something published, all of my 1000+ Facebook friends and 500+ Twitter followers are hearing about it non-stop. Hell, so will Stumbleupon and Digg. And this forum. I don't know why you wouldn't want to promote your work in any way possible.

    As for...performing in theater...that doesn't even make any sense. They can't force you to act. Unless you also happen to be an actor/actress and want to act or something.
     
  11. Morkonan
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    Morkonan Senior Member

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    If a contract stipulates live appearances, book-signings, interviews and the like, the author should also expect to see a section on expense reimbursements and travel arrangements as well. However, it's always in the author's best interest to shamelessly promote their work. I don't think any publisher is going to gripe about an author getting out there and doing their own leg-work, provided its targeted at a reasonable population in a market the publisher serves and doesn't result in bad publicity.

    If you're lucky, they'll ask you to do some promotion and book-signings and the like. But, if they ask, you will be paid for your performance according to the contract, if it's any reputable publisher.
     
  12. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Because sales aren't that important that I want to spend time 'socializing' on the web; because I would probably end up saying something honest that would come back to haunt me; because I wouldn't want to become known as a pest (constantly hyping my books); because I have only so many hours in a day and I'd rather use them to write (among other things). I doubt, very much, that 'social media' is going to make or break the success of any book I might get published, and since I hate the whole idea, I'm pretty sure it would do me more harm than good.
     
  13. Steph4136
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    Steph4136 Senior Member

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    Perform in live plays....lol I needed that chuckle.

    As for self promotion, I'll be all over the place promoting my book when it's published. I'm online enough as it is, it won't be a stretch to promote on FB and create a website for it.
     
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  14. vVvRapture
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    vVvRapture Member

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    So...because you hate the idea, it's not beneficial?

    Okay. Lol.

    To simply send out a tweet or post on Facebook takes less than a minute. Your effort is considerably less in quantity compared to the beneficial results you can get. Social media is an amazing way for anyone to get their ideas, products, creations, and more out to people who wouldn't have otherwise seen them. And you don't have to "constantly hype your book"; sending out a couple tweets isn't hurting anyone, if anything that's the norm. No one is going to put your head on a pedestal because you talk about your published work here and there - that's expected.

    And if you're afraid of saying something that would come back to haunt you, then that's a personal problem. You can't blame a medium for giving you a place to ruin yourself. That's like blaming the government for creating highways for you to crash your car on.
     
  15. Gonissa
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    Gonissa Contributing Member

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    Shadow, when you are shy about promoting your book, you see it as humility but others see it as not believing in your work. When you merrily talk about how excited you are about your story, you might see it as arrogance but other see it as confidence. Nobody gets around the marketing of their book. It has to be done. But don't worry too much about being shy. When your book is really good and you know it, you can't help but talk about it until those around you beg you to talk about something else.
     
  16. John Eff
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    John Eff Member

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    Sorry, but you couldn't be more incorrect about that. I'm with you, in that I have no real interest in social media sites. But I do recognise their power, and if a title goes viral it can make both you and your book an overnight success. Literally.

    If you're not worried about success this way, fine. But you'll probably find that your publisher is.
     
  17. paul stewart
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    paul stewart Banned

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    You write, they publish. Publish includes them advertising the book as appropriate. If they ask you to do live performances, it can only be good. But not plays, that's a different skill.
     

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