No tipping

Dear Master Snarkitect of Career Edifices:

Evil Editor snarqued (no TM) a line in my query about building a platform to sell my novel. I was thinking of "have a web site, newsletter; do public/school appearances, interviews; hand out bookmarks, covers, business cards; have a presence in non-traditional sales outlets," and etc. Snarkeological evidence reveals that I meant "promotion." EE's critique marooned me in the Snarktic circle of query language.

I wanted to express, "I will not sit and await checks. I am your promot-inator. I do not feel pain or pity or remorse. Program me and I will not stop until Sarah Connor knows my title."

Has your Tipping Point ever moved toward a good expression of "willing to promote" in a query, or are such statements begging for a swift spray of Snarkicide?

-shivering until returned to the sunny Snarkipelago

Ahoy there sailor on the wine-dark sea!

It's the other way around.

I presume you're going to do all that. That presumption remains in place right up until you shoot yourself in the Odysseus by saying something REALLY stupid like "what? I have to leave home?".

It's one of the questions I ask before I sign you up here at Snark Central. You don't have to know how to do it; you don't have to have a website in place yet, but when I say "you know you'll need to be out supporting this in a variety of ways", you're not allowed to scream, grasp your breast in agony, and faint dead away.

Chances are if you're a first time novelist, you don't know much about promotion. That's ok. I know a GREAT coach in Denver who, when not reading 84 poems on this blog, is teaching authors how to get attention; and, I'll work with you to get stuff in place. You have to be willing, and by willing I don't mean complaining about it, dragging your heels or in any way shape or form expressing anything but utter delight in the joys of pr.

You can address this in your query letter by saying "I know authors have to be a big part of the promotional effort on a novel, and of course I'm ready to step up to the plate and hit this one into the grandstands. Babe Ruth, stand back".


Marva said...

So, is the writer supposed to buy plane ticket for New York and pay for a week at an expensive hotel out of their own (probably empty) pocket? I'm not being sassy here. I just want to know how much starving writer has to come up with. I can see spending an advance on this, but that would hardly pay for a single plane flight these days.

Signed - Obviously Not Yet Published a Book

Maria said...

Dear Marva:

See J.A. Konrath's blog. While he does a lot more than a lot of writers, it will give you a feel for "promotional" options--because he does them all. The guy obviously never sleeps and he is obsessive about sales, business, writing, etc. You can learn a lot from the archives and from his current 500 bookstore signing adventure.

Also Bella Stander's website had quite a bit of info.

M.J. Rose's blog is another source for PR suggestions.


I think the main thing is that you come up with some sort of PR plan and executive--and communicate that to both your agent and your editor. There are many ways to arrive at the actual PR plan!

Sherry Decker said...

I doubt expensive trips are expected - but one should be willing, I assume, to travel to surrounding states (by car) for book signings and readings. Schools are thrilled to have authors come and talk to students. Establishing a web site would be interesting. I see no problem doing these things.

Cudd said...

So how much time is the author expected to put into promoting their book? Is it something most people could adequately do in addition to a full-time job? I'm not asking to suggest it's not a good idea to put a lot of time into promoting your book... but I'd also be afraid to take off time from a reliable source of income to promote something that's... well... not quite so predictable.

Anonymous said...

Would love to know who the coach in Denver is. I live there and just signed with a NY agent. Hoping I'll the need a media coach soon.

Bella Stander said...

The coach in Denver is yours truly. I'm working by phone till I'm up & about again. Though if you're local, I could coach you from my La-Z-Boy. See my website. JA Konrath & MJ Rose do offer great info on their blogs; MJ also conducts online "Buzz Plan" workshops. I highly recommend reading PUBLICIZE YOUR BOOK! by Jacqueline Deval and THE SAVVY AUTHOR'S GUIDE TO BOOK PUBLICITY by Lissa Warren. Deval tells how to make a marketing plan--an essential first step.

Talia Mana said...

My understanding is that the answer is different for non-fiction ie you are expected to have the platform established prior to publication of your book(s)