Instructor Q&A: Stephanie Barko

“It’s never too early to find the readers for your next book.”
-Stephanie Barko

Stephanie Barko is teaching a class for the Writers’ League of Texas called “Start Your Author Platform” on February 4 at St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX. This class will be appropriate for writers ready to promote their books and writers still working on manuscripts but thinking ahead. Read the interview below and visit the class page to learn more.
stephanie_barko-4671-1Scribe: How important is it for authors to take an active role in promoting and marketing themselves and their work? Isn’t that their publisher’s job?
Stephanie Barko: Ha! An author would have to be at the top of an imprint’s heap to get much attention at all.
Many publishers don’t spell out in their contracts what marketing they agree to do, if any. It is always the author’s responsibility to promote their work, regardless of publishing track.
Scribe: What if writers have never done any marketing or promotional work–they’ve just worked in solitude and written their books? How difficult is it to begin promoting themselves?
SB: I would substitute the word “necessary” for the word “difficult” in this question. Considering how many books are published each year, I consider it necessary to build your following a year in advance of release date. It’s never too early to find the readers for your next book.
Scribe: How essential is social media to marketing? Is it one piece, or is it the whole thing?
SB: Social media is one element in the trifecta that is author marketing. Come learn the other two in my class.
Scribe: When you talk about an “author platform,” what exactly do you mean?
SB: A book platform establishes a forum and following for your book. An author platform defines your brand and who you are across your entire body of work.

Thanks, Stephanie!
Click here to register for Stephanie’s class.
Click here for our current class schedule.
About the Instructor
Stephanie Barko is a literary publicist whose award-winning clients include traditional publishers and their authors, small presses, and independently published authors. She has been shepherding nonfiction and historical fiction for American authors since 2006. This spring Stephanie will speak on the publishing industry as a SXSW Interactive Mentor/Presenter.

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