My buddy Sherri sent me a link to a web site that’s accepting novella submissions for an eBook. It’s a horror publisher (among other things like dark fantasy/sci-fi/erotica/etc.), and she thought it’d be right up my alley. I did too. I mean, I’ve got novellas; I write horror novellas; seems like a match made in heaven, right?
I haven’t submitted yet.
Why not, you idiot?? you ask with passion and vehemence. What is WRONG with you?? Are you stupid or crazy or both??
I’m not stupid, crazy or any combination of the two. I’m confused, lost and scared to death.
Of what? Well, one of the requirements for submission is, include a marketing plan. No one can promote your book as well as you can, so claims the submissions guidelines. The publisher wants to know what I’m going to do to hawk my book like a pamphlet-passer in a red-light district. And you know what? I have no friggin’ idea what I’m going to do. I guess I could pass pamphlets, but … y’know.
I’m not into marketing. I’ve heard of several authors who marketed their books before it got published, or who self-published and marketed their book so effectively it became a million-seller (The Shack, anyone?). My first understanding of the publishing world was, a non-fiction author had to develop a “platform” – an audience or following of some size – before they propose a book. For fiction writers, this isn’t necessary. The publisher is going to produce the marketing for the book, so the author contributes to the publicity by doing the things the publisher arranges (i.e., book signings, radio or television interviews, Oprah, etc.) and has a professional, user-friendly web site to promote the book. That was it.
Okay, so that was incredibly naive, but that’s what I thought was going on, and some of the agent blogs I read (which, admittedly, are the opinions of those agents only and don’t speak for publishers except in an indirect way) confirmed this. Marketing is done by the publisher. Not so for this publisher, though.
Since I don’t have a marketing plan, don’t know the first thing about a marketing plan, and haven’t yet done the research to put a marketing plan together, I’m not ready to submit to this publisher. And I’m kicking myself for it.
I know I’m going to suck at marketing. I’m not one for blowing my own horn and if you haven’t noticed, I’m not a people-person. So, how am I going to market my book?
I don’t know.
How are you writers out there all marketing your books? How’d you come up with your marketing plan? What resources did you tap to get there?
Any input’s welcome. Thanks, y’all!
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