Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant
Location: Books & Such Main Office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
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 has been polished into a gleaming specimen, and it’s turned over to marketing where…no one seems to even know who you are. What to do, what to do…
First, I would suggest you be sure to bring your agent onto the scene to nose around and try to find what the disconnect might be. Hopefully that will solve the problem, and soon you’re at work with a marketing dream team.
But sometimes the agent can’t figure out why there’s a disconnect either. That means it’s time to begin 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 the solution, but if you know how to work at marketing 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.
I took on a new client earlier this year 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 marketing skills. They thought she sucked at it.
Oops. So I asked the author what she had done to promote her last book. Wow, it was impressive. From calling on local bookstores and asking them to carry her book to online zany book contests that brought a good response, my client was out there, working every marketing 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.”
Hello! Since when does a publishing team have time to regularly check what each author is doing to promote his or her book?
I gave my client an assignment: Every week, just drop a friendly email to her editor and the person in marketing who was running her campaign. List (no paragraphs with tons to read, but a list the reader could just scan) everything she had done in the past week to market her book.
What a change has occurred. The publisher is no longer grumbling that Sandy doesn’t contribute to the marketing of her books. Instead, the publisher is stepping up what is being done for Sandy because they realize she’s investing 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!