Things are moving rapidly now; the manuscript is due to get signed off in the next few days, the cover is finalised and I am now working on my marketing plan.
Talking to a fellow writer this week, he remarked that he was surprised I had opted for a partnership publishing contract as Jack and I are already well-versed in marketing and perfectly capable of doing it for ourselves. It was an astute observation and a perfectly reasonable assumption. If I’m completely honest, I also thought that going down the partnership publishing route would give me some level of get-out when it came to marketing my book but I very quickly realised it would probably do the complete opposite.
Not only am I not going to be absolved of marketing responsibility, I’m actually going to have to work far harder at marketing my book than I have for any book Jack and I have published to date.
As a freelance travel writer, once my submitted article had been accepted, my job was effectively done and I could happily fire off my invoice – my very favourite part of the job! Naturally, once the article was published I would duly promote it on social media but that would be the full extent of my marketing involvement. With this partnership publishing deal, the onus is very firmly on me to drive the marketing plan because
I’m the one who best understands my book, why I wrote it, and who my target market is.
The fact that my publisher will be able to support and supplement my marketing with its own expansive distribution and publicity reach is a bonus, albeit a pretty substantial one.
Having already published multiple guide books and actively marketed them for a number of years now, I was a bit floored when I received my marketing advice from the publisher, followed by a marketing questionnaire. There were so many elements to their approach that I had never even considered and which I struggled to get my head around. Researching the market is something that happens on an ongoing, organic basis and over the years, we have built a good understanding of who our market is. Equally, interacting with our customers is a prominent part of our online lives so we already have a robust network of contacts.
But when it came to really thinking about my new book, where it would sit in the market, who would want to read it and why anyone would be interested in reading anything I had to say, I found myself having to think long and hard. Translating that thinking into measurable actions and milestones is going to be far more challenging than any marketing I’ve done to date. Yet I know that if I do it well, it will pay dividends in sales and if I don’t…well, as Jack pointed out;
“Someone could have written the next To Kill A Mockingbird but if no-one’s ever heard of them and doesn’t know where to find their book, they’re going nowhere.”