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Author Topic: Marketing plan requested in the query  (Read 555 times)
Tabris
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« on: September 20, 2018, 05:44:28 AM »

So if an agency or a publisher requests your marketing plan in the query, at what point is it polite for you the writer to request THEIR marketing plan?

Should you ask for that when they request the full, or should it wait for the phone call or when they send the contract?
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koji
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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2018, 09:20:01 AM »

I would wait until the phone call. That is the appropriate time for you to ask questions and decide if they- and their plans for your book- are right for the path you want to take.

Asking for their marketing plan before they offer would be pointless. How could they have a marketing plan for your book before reading your full? If their marketing plan is that general that it applies to every single book, that is pretty meh.

I get that authors are more and more annoyed by agents asking for marketing plans. But the fact is that most marketing falls on the author these days. It makes sense that more and more agents are asking how authors plan to market. Who would want to sign an author whose plan is "Whatever the publisher says" and work to get a book published that sells less than a thousand copies because the author has no marketing initiative?
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MookyMcD
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2018, 11:19:17 AM »

This is the negotiator in me answering, not the writer.

It seems reasonable for the publisher to want to know at the outset whether the person they're dealing with can come up with some ideas to help market right out of the shoots. If they're asking for it as part of the query, it's not like they expect a bound plan with graphs and a shiny plastic cover. They're asking for a sentence indicating some kind of ability.

On your end, I think it's reasonable for that to be part of the negotiation if you're given an offer. In fact, a commitment of a certain amount of resources (read: money, more than anything) is something worth negotiating. Whatever ends up happening at that stage, it's reasonable to ask for much more than the sentence or two they're asking of you in the query.

That's just my $.02
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Tabris
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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2018, 01:18:38 PM »

I get that authors are more and more annoyed by agents asking for marketing plans. But the fact is that most marketing falls on the author these days.

That's not because of some strange alignment of the stars or an unavoidable natural disaster, though. Marketing is falling on the author because the publishers themselves are not doing as much marketing (or in some cases any marketing.) When I'm told on the one hand that one of the reasons to work with a publisher is because of their reach, but on the other hand that they aren't going to reach out to anyone, then I start getting irritated.

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On your end, I think it's reasonable for that to be part of the negotiation if you're given an offer.
You're probably right. It seems like wasting their time, though, if the author has a non-negotiable item and doesn't mention it until after the editor and a couple others have spent time reading the book and discussing it, then drawing up the contract. But it also seems rather rude to just fire it back at them in the query. "Although I don't expect to do all my book's promotion on my own, I plan to do A, B, C, and D."  no
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koji
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« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2018, 01:06:48 AM »

No, the marketing being on the author was not created in a bubble. But it is due to supply and demand. The simple fact is that books are a saturated market. There are more authors, producing more manuscripts than publishers can handle. From 2010- now, the number of annual book titles trad published has gone up by 375%. But the purchasing of books has not gone up at the same rate. So what it is now is a market that is divided by a greater number of books and authors. Meaning publishers cannot afford a full marketing program for every debut author- it just would not make financial sense for them.

Honestly, it sucks for writers. But the problem is not unfair publishers. The problem is a world where so many people want to be published authors but not everyone is reading.
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