Authors and Promoting: Who Should Pay?

Authors have to do more of the promotion for their books nowadays.  There is no getting around it.  We get it, we do.  And, for those of us who want it badly, we're willing to go out and do it.

But marketing costs money.  It could cost thousands.  So, who should pay for it?   Should it be the author who may have gotten a (rather small to nonexistent) advance?  Should it be the publisher (who often isn't anywhere near "NYC Publishing Royalty")?  This is the tricky part.

I think it depends on the following:

1.  Self-published authors
are going to have to go it alone or pay someone who knows just how to get things moving.

2.  Small-press authors
should have some assistance.  This includes advice, someone to bounce ideas off of, even higher royalties should the author do well with promotion.  The publisher and author could see how much money they can logically pool together for this project and go from there, revising as things progress.

3.  Large-press authors
should be given a budget, should never have to spend their advance check on promotion or touring, etc.  The large press has more power behind it and must be willing to stretch their muscles on behalf of all writers, not just James Patterson. 

Just my ideas, of course.  I know large presses have many people (not just A-listers) to worry about but, if certain people can be flown all over and put in fancy hotels, you can take a lower list author and give them money for a road tour with Motel-6 stays without having them foot the bill.

But I'm not the novelist here.  What do YOU guys think?


  1. Hey Jennifer!

    I think so much revolves around web presence now with marketing that much is accomplished without traveling the country/world. When the books are really selling and hitting bestseller lists, then yeah, the big press should be sending the author everywhere. It'd be nice for other authors to get this advantage as well, but not likely, which is kind of a catch-22.

    Or if the novelist is lucky, and their book is darned good, word of mouth will market the book on their behalf. But they have to start somewhere.

  2. I'm doing the small pub thing which involves just what you suggest. Ideas from the pub which I do most of the legwork for. And I'm okay with that. Though it is A LOT of work :)

  3. But how much do things like blog tours help book sales if they're not one of the larger ones?