What steps did you take to get into publishing, when it comes to marketing and publicity?
So I know folks who want to work in publishing know that getting in will be a long road ahead. This is true as getting into publishing (and almost every other industry) is about who you know before it's about what you know. But then, you hear about those whose transition into publishing wasn't nearly as slow and arduous as others. My journey is a lot like this.
Can you give guidelines on what constitutes MG versus YA? Do publishers look at work and think "older MG" and "younger YA" , which seems to be happening in writing now and should we mention that in a query? And is it true that a 13 year old MC is a confusing age to categorize? Thanks!!!
I wouldn’t say that a book with a 13-year-old main character is confusing to categorize. A 13-year-old MC is too young for young adult and would more likely be categorized as middle grade.
Does it help when submitting to either an agent or a publisher to have your own marketing plan? Especially for a niche market or subject specific book? And at what point do you mention this plan? In the query. After an agent has already shown interest?
For nonfiction, a marketing plan is necessary to submit to an agent or publisher. But for fiction, it isn’t necessary. Now it’s great to have a marketing plan ready. And it’s pretty ambitious to even have one! I wouldn’t, however, submit it with your query letter.
I'd be interested in seeing an example or case studies of what the author's responsibilities are for marketing after a book is published. Will the publisher set up local radio interviews and the author has to show up? Or provide the author with certain tasks that the author has to follow through with?
Well, I’m not sure about any case studies, but I can tell you that your publisher will (or at least should) be publicizing your book months before it’s even released.
In this age of so many social media platforms, can you just pick one that you're on and ignore the rest? How important is it to "be everywhere"?
With the amount of social media channels out there, it seems impossible to be on all of them AND spare time to, you know, write. It may seem like you HAVE to be on every single social media channel in existence, but let’s be honest, no one has time for that.
I have a number of manuscripts that I am polishing, ready in the wings for when I am asked for more work. I hope to submit to agents this month. How much of an online presence should a writer have in the beginning? Is it expected (by agents or authors) to have an "author" web site at this pre-published stage? Or a strong social media established? I spend ALL my time writing, revising, or researching/reading books on craft I haven't made time for this. I also have a blog idea, that's still an idea at this point. I'm on FB and started twitter (for the writing world only) in Feb. Thanks!
If you are writing fiction, it is not required for you to have an online presence to land an agent or publishing contract. If you’re writing nonfiction, having a platform is a requirement and would be included in your proposal to an agent or publisher.
For the sake of this post, I’ll assume you’re writing fiction.
There’s plenty of information on the interwebs for writers when it comes to landing an agent and editor (and rightfully so). But I think writers could benefit from knowing a little more about the marketing and publicity side of publishing.
So I’m inviting writers to ask me anything regarding marketing and publicity. Have any questions about social media, pitching, marketing plans, networking, and more? Comment below or contact me, and I’ll post to the blog. Answers will be posted on Sundays, and in the meantime you can check out the Marketing Q&A series here.
Author | Reader | Publishing Professional | Afro Enthusiast
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