If you are an Author- Take control of your publicity plans
Wednesday, May 23, 2007, 03:05 PM
TIPS FROM THE TOP (Excerpted from Author 101: Bestselling Book Publicity, by Rick Frishman and Robyn Spizman; http://www.author101.com
We're sorry to have to tell you that publishers, even the biggest of them, don't promote all of their books. And, they probably won't publicize yours, especially if you're a first-time author, except perhaps for the first few weeks out of the gate. The top brass at publishing houses usually determine which books and authors they will publicize and how extensively.
Publishers also don't invest the same amount for publicity in all titles they release. For example, they may authorize extensive campaigns for Titles A, B, and C, but provide little, if any, publicity for the other new releases on their lists. They may not even send out a press release when a particular book is about to come out. Furthermore, if a publisher decides to promote a book, its efforts may not prove sufficient or successful, and you might have to jump in and try to save the day. Although the amount of promotion a publishing company provides will differ from house to house, book to book, and author to author, most publishers will usually:
Announce the deal to publish the book in Publishers Lunch
Announce the publication of the book in their catalog for that season
Include the book on their publication list
Solicit endorsements or blurbs for the book
Send free advanced reader copies to selected reviewers, the media, and those who could influence book sales
Remember- Get started on your publicity plan 6 months before Pub Date! Please call us here at PTA and we will be happy to get you started with your publicity plans
The Agenting Process Explained – Part 4 - Matchmaking
Friday, May 4, 2007, 09:39 AM
The Agenting Process Explained – Part 4 - Matchmaking
After the proposal has been edited and is ready for submission, agents begin what many consider the most important part of their work: coming up with a list of editors who could be interesting in buying the book. Matching editors and publishing houses with projects is an art. Many considerations must be factored in, such as:
· What kinds of books is a house buying? · What have they bought in the past or do they want in the future? · What’s on their list and what gaps do they have to fill? · In what directions are they moving and what are their platform demands?
“When I get something that piques my interest, I think: What editors do I know that would feel as excited as I do about this project?” agent June Clark relates. “If a half dozen or so people come to mind, then I feel secure that it’s a project I want to take on, because the job of an agent is to know who’s buying what at publishing houses—it’s being a matchmaker.”
Most agents keep detailed records on everyone they’ve worked with in publishing. Some build databases that contain editors’ and publishers’ names, contact information, what they’ve bought and worked on, as well as their likes, dislikes, and publishing history. Other agents simply rely on their memories, knowledge, and experiences with editors and the industry.
Agents keep current by regularly reading industry publications like Publishers Lunch, Publishers Weekly and some of the many blogs that are now written on writing and publishing. Publishers Lunch reports recent book sales and states which editors and houses bought each book. Agents keep in contact by frequently meeting with editors and publishing people, usually over lunch. Agents also attend conferences and events with other agents, editors and publishing professionals. In New York, AAR, the agents’ association, hosts monthly programs, including one called Meet the Publisher. At these events, representatives from publishing companies bring some of their editors to tell the group about developments at their houses. AAR also puts on programs on subjects of interest to agents, such as copyright, contracts, and recent industry developments.
An excerpt from the National Bestseller Author 101: Bestelling Secrets from Top Agents by Rick Frishman and Robyn Freedman Spizman with Mark Steisel
PUBLISHING TERMS YOU SHOULD KNOW - (An excerpt from "Author 101: Bestselling Nonfiction" by Rick Frishman and Robyn Freedman Spizman)
Publishing industry personnel tend to speak in shorthand that they assume everyone understands, which is not always the case. When they talk about books and publishing, they can completely lose you. For example, publishing people constantly refer to "trade books", which can leave industry outsiders scratching their heads.
Unless you ask for clarification, important information about your proposal or book deal can sail completely over your head. Familiarize yourself with the following lingo so when you chat with agents or publishing personnel, you can understand what they're saying and be sure that you're both on the same page.
Common Publishing Terms:
Acquisition Editor - An editor at a publishing company who has the responsibility to obtain and screen manuscripts that the house may wish to publish.
American Booksellers Association (ABA) - The major industry association for U.S. booksellers. Its annual trade show, BookExpo, is where people in the industry display and learn about new publications and producers.
Boilerplate - Standard contractual clauses or language. Generally, they are subject to negotiation and change.
Book Clubs - Groups that sell and send designated books to their members at regular intervals and at reduced prices.
Copyediting - Review of manuscripts for errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax and meaning. Copyediting is a part of the publishing process that is usually done by professional editors at the publisher's expense.
Evaluation Fees - The charges made by agents to read and critique writers' book proposals, manuscripts and other materials.
First Serialization - The publication of selected portions of a book in periodicals prior to the book's publication.
Genre - The general classification of a book such as business, parenting, writing, etc. The genre is usually indicated at the top of the back cover.
Hardcover - Books bound in a stiff, protective cover that usually resists bending.
ISBN - The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a ten-digit number that identifies each title and publisher. It's use for ordering and inventory purposes.
Jacket - The removable covering placed on most hardbound books that contains promotional material on the book. Also called the dust jacket.
Lead Sentence/Paragraph - The first sentence or paragraph in a piece of writing.
Overview - The opening section of a book proposal that describes the book and its market. Also called the introduction, summary, synopsis and vision.
Packagers - Those who bring the concept for book projects to publishers and then supervise the creation of the products that the publishers release. They frequently work with writers, designers and others to bring their projects together.
Returns - Books that haven't sold and are returned to the publisher. It's standard practice in the book-publishing industry to allow retailers and wholesalers to return books that haven't sold.
Self-Published - The term for a book that an author publishes him- or herself and not through a traditional publishing company. Typically, the authors handle, or hire other s to handle, all writing, editing, design, printing and distribution themselves.
Trade Books - Books sold through traditional channels to bookstores and book clubs.
Vanity Publishing - The process in which an author pays a company to publish his or her manuscript. Some vanity publishers also provide editing, design and distribution services.