Monday, November 17, 2008

To Market, To Market ...

A few bits of interesting news via Publisher's Lunch and Publishers' Marketplace daily deals.

Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary agency made a romance deal with Cindy Hwang at Berkley. In case you are not familiar with the agency, check it out (Link to the right). She reps romance of a wide variety.

More news on the agency musical chairs front via Publisher's Lunch:

Jenny Rappaport has separated with her prior partner, Lori Perkins, to start her own literary agency, The Rappaport Agency. She'll specialize in: science fiction and fantasy, YA and romance. The link to the agency site is at right, and check out Jenny's blog to get to know her.

Meanwhile at Lori's establishment, the L. Perkins Agency, they will continue to focus on erotica and chick lit, horror and pop culture, and employee Marsha Philitas has been promoted to Senior Literary Agency. (Lori's Blogger profile link is at right.) You've probably heard of or seen her blog, Agent In The Middle. Check it out!

I'm going to harp for a bit on Publicity/Marketing/Author Promo. It's my blog and its my soapbox, so there.

I've recently seen some discussions on some author loops regarding the RWA "recognition" of publishers, and the RWA imposed standard for an author to achieve PAN status, which is a $1,000 advance or earning of royalties. Debate ensued about the pros and cons of traditional publishers versus E-publishers vis a vis how much money you get from either.

What was missing from the discussion was the acknowledgement that it is going to be the author's job to promote and market her own book. Regardless of publisher, unless you are one of those bestselling types, you're pretty much on your own. In addition to the quality of the book, any title is going to move based on the author's willingness to push/promote/announce it. Don't know much about marketing, beyond post cards and bookmarks, freebie pen giveaways and book trailers?

My one word of advice: LEARN.

The voracious reading public can't buy something they don't know exists.

Make sure you know how a good website works (pretty is not all you need). Make sure you know about compiling a list of contacts. Make sure you're reaching out not just to WRITER communities, but to READING communities. Announcing your book to everyone in RWA is nice, but those folks are busy writing and they'll cheer you on, but you want readers who are going to buy this book, and the next, and the next, .... and so one.

So take some time from your writing life and dedicate it to the art of marketing:

Here are a couple of titles to help:

PUBLICIZE YOUR BOOK: An Insider's Guide to Getting Your Book the Attention It Deserves by Jacqueline Deval

HOW TO SAY IT: Marketing with New Media by Lena Claxton and Alison Woo (while this book addresses small businesses of all sorts, they specifically state that writers are one of the top types of "small businesses", according to the IRS. So with some focus you can fine-tune the techniques to apply to your writing career.

More on this tomorrow, from the chilly Big Apple.

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