Want to find the publisher that offers the best publicity for its authors? Interested in a book tour?
Don't count on it, unless you're a celeb.
In today's marketplace, the more responsibility you assume for publicity and promotion of your book, the better.
You can hire your own publicist -- or become your own publicist.
Up front, it looks like no publicity leads to poor book sales leads to no money for publicity -- a downward spiral where it's not the book's fault, or the author's fault.
Instead of assigning blame, the proactive author takes responsibility for book publicity.
Press releases, book interviews, win-and-cheese book signings, author's tours. Blogs, small newspaper/radio interviews.
I know a writer who got a big advance for her novel, but then was crushed by a lack of promotion, and went somewhere else with her next books.
It sounds to me like it is now expected that, outside of blockbusters, writers will do much of their own promotional work -- and publishers are expecting them to. I love this one: Jump Start Your Book Sales: A Money-Making Guide for Authors, Independent Publishers and Small Presses by Marilyn Ross and Tom Ross (Paperback - Mar 1999)
I also have the Guerrilla Marketing Guide for authors.
I also found these ones online but haven't read them: The Savvy Author's Guide to Book Publicity: A Comprehensive Resource Guide -- From Building the Buzz to Pitching the Press by Lissa Warren (Paperback - Dec 9 2003)
Publicize Your Book by Jacqueline Deval (Paperback - April 1 2003)
The Complete Guide to Book Marketing by David Cole (Paperback - Feb 28 2004)
1001 Ways to Market Your Books, 5th Edition by John Kremer (Paperback - May 25 2000)1700 Ways to Earn Free Book Publicity: Don't Pay to Market Your Writing by Anne Hart (Paperback - Feb 2006)
Selling the Book: A Bookshop Promotion Manual by Sydney T. Hyde and Sidney T. Hyde (Paperback - Sep 1986)
The Web-Savvy Writer: Book Promotion with a High-Tech Twist by Patrice-Anne Rutledge
Author 101: Bestselling Book Publicity by Rick Frishman (Paperback - May 31 2006)
Have Book - Will Travel: A Guide to Book Touring Out West by Dorothea Fuller Smith (Paperback - Nov 2003)
The one by Tom and Marilyn Ross knocked my socks off, it was that good. The other thing to remember is to apply other marketing strategies, the kind that apply to the promotion of almost any business.
The problem for many writers (and this will continue to be more and more of a problem as publishers demand more and more PR work by the writers themselves) is that they only see themselves as writers, not as marketers. They don't want to have to do something as crass as shill their books.
That's what sales tools are for -- even something as small as putting a link to a place to buy your book in your email signature. I designed and ordered postcards to promote the career guide book I co-authored. I did this even though it was a work for hire and I would receive no royalties, not a drop more cash from that publisher. I did it in an effort to brand myself as an author.
Every email that goes out on every regional story I work on for regional mags and papers has a signature promoting my book, articles, website, radio commentary. Hopefully, next time a book comes out (that I DO get royalties on), regionally, people will say "I heard of her ..."