How to rise above the din

Let’s face it, much of publishing is now marketing. It sometimes feels like it comes down to shouting with taste. So many books, so few channels and so many other distractions. How does a unique product like a book, a story, an imagined world, rise above the din? What does an author need from their publisher and agent?

Here are 15 tips on “How to Rise Above the Din”:

  • Collect a small team of professionals who are devoted to the project for periods of time throughout the year leading up to, during and after publication.
  • Empower that team to take initiatives that may not always be consistent with corporate decrees. One size does not fit all.
  • Test the message with the author. They will know instinctively if it goes against the spirit of the work and will sniff out a disingenuous campaign.
  • Never blame the market.
  • Never moan about certain retailers not “making” books anymore.
  • Never “protect” the author from bad news. They need to know what to expect.
  • Think mad ideas and test them against the author. Nobody minds energy, ideas     and enthusiasm.
  • Authors hate silence.
  • Authors want to know who is accountable and who is worrying more than they are.
  • Authors want believers.
  • Don’t expect social media to sell books.
  • Don’t be surprised if you offer one e-tailer a promotional discount and Amazon matches it. You can’t then bemoan the devaluing of the book.
  • Irritate, cajole, tempt, seduce and beguile your customers about a book you believe in.
  • Don’t let up.
  • If the above sounds like too much work for the book you are publishing, don’t bother publishing.


So, in short, authors and agents want din, more din, but most of all, din that makes sense.

Jonny Geller is joint c.e.o. of Curtis Brown