Friday, September 7, 2007

Q & A: Publicity

Shaunda Wenger asked me how I was able to get signings, school events, writeups in the newspaper, etc. Unfortunately, I don't think my answer will be all that enlightening.

My publisher set up 90 percent of my booksignings. The others were as simple as visiting a bookstore, speaking to the manager, schmoozing them with unprecedented brown nosing (wow, books in your store seem so much . . . bookier than in other stores!), then asking if perhaps you could do a signing sometime. You can pretty much expect them to say yes.

But here's the thing. Signings are worthless without something to promote them. And if you write for children, school visits are BY FAR the most valuable thing you can do. I got really lucky in this regard.

Angie Wager, who is the community relations rep at my closest Barnes and Noble, became my bestest friend in the whole wide world. For some inexplicable reason she seemed to like me, and started setting up school visits that were sponsored by Barnes and Noble. These were a big success and led to referrals, more appearances, etc. Moral of the story: become buddies with a bookstore community relations person!

As for the newspaper thing, I have no answer. I've never personally contacted a newspaper. The only time I've been featured is when a school called the paper or a paper contacted me. But I'm sure calling them could never hurt you. Give it a shot.

In the future I will definitely give more detailed posts about promoting. Especially about school visits (which is definitely my favorite part of being an author) and book signings. Shaunda, thanks for the great question.

The next part in my author journey is coming very soon. Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...


Like the new look. Kudos to your sister.

The only guy who buys you lunch.

Unknown said...

Looking forward to more school information, James. Sounds like a fun way to market.

Anonymous said...

Great blog. Thanks for all the interesting background of getting published. I do have one question, though. You say that nobody should subsidize their book, but don't you think of it as a necessary step to get where you are today? Since DB & Covenant had sent rejections to you, was there any other choice? This is in no way meant as criticism, just wondering. Thanks.

James Dashner said...


Very good question. This is a touchy subject. If I could go back and do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing. It worked for me.

What I meant in my post was that usually it doesn't work out. 99 times out of a 100, patience and persistence will serve you far better than subsidizing a publishing agreement. If you're a good writer, and if you keep submitting and working on your craft, YOU WILL BE PUBLISHED.

I firmly believe this.

Of course, that's easy for me to say considering how things worked out. If you have an opportunity similar to the way I started, follow your heart. But just make sure you've truly made a complete effort to get accepted in the traditional manner. Subsidizing should be an absolute last resort.

Emma said...

Hi Mr. Dashner
This is Emma agian.Recently we posted questions, and we really need them soon. Please if you could answer them it would mean alot.