December 5, 2005

Marketing Plan Needs to Accompany Book Proposal

According to Terry Whalin, you need a marketing plan for your book -regardless of whether or not your work is fiction or non-fiction. Why? It's a business, and a part of accepting your work involves a risk analysis dealing with, yes, money.

He explains:

"Here’s the financial information that I didn’t understand (since I’ve never self-published): for every book (fiction or nonfiction), a publisher is going to spend $50,000 to $100,000 (real dollars) to take your manuscript and turn it into a finished book. These numbers are with a modest advance to the author (say $5,000) and zero marketing dollars. These costs are production, cover design, editorial work, etc. on your book. Publishers receive thousands of submissions from would-be authors. I’m the part-time Fiction Acquisitions Editor at Howard Publishing. I’m looking for six to eight full-length novels a year—and I’ve received over 250 submissions from individuals and literary agents. I’ve rejected some quality fiction because of the volume and limited spots. And that is just my story so imagine these numbers multiplied on other editor’s desks. And if you read Book Proposals That Sell, you will see that editors do a lot more than read manuscripts.

"Let’s pretend for a minute that you are the editor and have to wade through these volumes of material to find the books for your list. You have two manuscripts. BotIh manuscripts are excellent, fascinating stories. One manuscript has a marketing plan and the other doesn’t. As the editor, you will be held accountable for your choices (within the publishing house). It’s a business to sell books. Which manuscript will you choose to champion to the other editors, the publishing executives (sales, marketing, etc.)? Editors risk for their authors. Your challenge is to prove to be worthy (actually more than worthy) of this risk."

For his complete article on this topic, go here. To download a free audio version of Pyromarketing - a book by Greg Steilstra which Mr. Whalin enthusiastically recommends -- go here.

Remember, this is a free download for listening - you have to spend money for the visual. Part of Steilstra's own campaign - he's betting that the audio isn't a sufficient competitor to the visual that it will take away customers, and may even attract purchases of the hard copy.
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