Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant
Let’s say your relationship with your publisher has gone swimmingly through the editorial process. Your editor got you, and you got your editor. What a team!
Now your manuscript is polished into a gleaming specimen and is turned over to marketing where…no one seems to even know who you are. Or you discover the budget to promote your book is baseline tiny.
What to do, what to do…
First, I would suggest you bring your agent onto the scene to nose around and try to find what the disconnect might be. Sometimes personnel changes are afoot in the marketing department, and no one knows who’s supposed to be working with you.
Regarding the budget concern, the agent might not be able to convince the publisher to increase the funds, but your agent can help to pull everyone together to brainstorm how to make the most of what is available. Hopefully the agent’s intervention will solve the problem, and soon you and the marketing team will hit your stride.
Create a Marketing Campaign
But sometimes the agent can’t figure out why a disconnect exists. That means you need to create your own marketing campaign–not to sell your book to readers but to sell you and your book to the marketing team.
Authors seldom seem to think of this as a solution, but if you know how to work at promoting your book and contributing to what the publisher has to offer, let the right folks know that you’re plugging away right along with them.
Case in Point
I recently took on a new client who had published five books. One of my first tasks was to sit down with the editor and the head of marketing to find out what they thought of my client’s promotional skills. They thought she sucked at it.
I asked the author what she had done to promote her last book. Wow, the list was impressive. From calling on local bookstores and asking them to carry her book to online zany book contests that brought a significant response, my client was out there, working every promo angle I could think of.
“Sandy,” I asked, “how much of what you did was communicated to the marketing team?”
“Well, none I guess,” she responded. “I just thought they’d check my blog or my website and see what I was doing.”
Ah-ha! We had discovered the missing communication link. A publishing team doesn’t have time to regularly check what each author does to promote his or her book.
I gave my client an assignment: Every week, drop a friendly email to her editor and the person in marketing responsible for her campaign. List (no paragraphs with tons to read, but a list the reader could just scan) everything Sandy had done in the past week to promote her book.
What a change occurred. The publisher stopped grumbling that Sandy didn’t contribute to the promotion of her books. Instead, the marketing department stepped up what was being done for Sandy because they realized she’s investing plenty of her own time and money.
So what’s the lesson to be learned from my client? You are the most important participant in your marketing. Put together a marketing plan for your next book and tell your publisher what that plan is. Then go for it!
What an author can do if the publisher’s marketing plans are paltry. Click to tweet.
Is a marketing plan for you upcoming book missing in action? Click to tweet.