Saturday, February 2, 2008

I'm OK, You're OK, Venting Is OK

We're just using this forum to vent about a problem that is old news, yet still always a worry for all writers.

The publicists I've worked with have seemed great to me... but I hear you that that's not always the case.
As long as we all understand that harassing your publicist isn't going to influence her support of your book in any positive way, I would like to hear more, specifically, about what you feel is not getting done. Obviously I cannot change the industry, but if we can find some common ground, maybe there is some progress to be made.

The more comments the better, so pile it on!

37 comments:

LindaBudz said...

I'm not at that stage (yet!) so I can't answer your question, but I found it fascinating that the anon person on the last post who appeared to be an editor or publicist found it so out of line for an author to lobby to have her own book carried by a major bookseller. Color me clueless, but I don't get it?

At my job (unrelated to publishing), I have told my staff I don't want to hear anyone use the term "step on someone's toes" ... ever. We're all working toward the same goals. If what someone does furthers those goals, who cares who did it? Of course, we need to keep each other in the loop, but why limit each person's contribution?

I'm a nice person and I hope I'll be a nice author someday, but I'd love to hear from you or your readers what the line of reasoning could be on that topic.

this writer said...

I've had some great publicists, and some not so great. What I hate is not being told what is happening. It's like being at the airport and hearing one announcement after another that your flight will be delayed, but no one ever says why. What you see is passengers getting more and more angry - and as soon as someone says, "The doo-hickey on the right wheel has to be fixed before we can take off, otherwise we can't land" - everyone calms down (well, nearly everyone - there's always one pain-in-the-*).
So -as an example - my first book in a new genre got special attention from a publicist, a meeting, a "this is what we're doing and are you available for interviews etc". I did everything they asked, and more.
My second book in that genre (that could have been capitalising on the fact that the first one won an award) had a different publicist who never said what she was doing, if anything, and when I asked for the third time (and CCed the publisher), she finally told me that she was sending out review copies because that was the best option for "this kind of book".
So I went ahead and organised a lot of the publicity myself, using my website and blog, as well as a launch at a school and press releases to every single magazine and site that was relevant to the topic. I'm not sure that what I did added to sales in any significant way, but at least I was doing *something*.
And what annoyed me the most was simply being kept in the dark about what the publicist intended to do. Or not.
I do believe in teamwork on a book - it starts with the editing and finishes with the marketing. But to be effective it needs everyone to be part of the team.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. All it takes is an email. If you say "I'll get back to you in a couple of weeks on that" and then know that's not going to happen, let me know.

Or simply put the ball in my court: "I'll try to do that in the next couple of weeks but if you don't hear from me, please feel free to drop me a line."

Then I'm not caught up in the whole "do I check in or not" dithering that only leads to unnecessary anxiety and anger.

Also, I think any editor who writes a lot of letters or emails that begin with "thank you for your patience" may need to look at how she's treating people. At first this felt like a compliment to me (why, I was even compared to Job!); I've gotten so many of these missives through the years that now I feel like a total chump whenever I see those words.

I'm not saying don't acknowledge it when you see it but be aware if this part of your standard phraseology that some of us are rolling our eyes. And eye-rolling does not make for good relationships.

Anonymous said...

>>Also, I think any editor who writes a lot of letters or emails that begin with "thank you for your patience" may need to look at how she's treating people.

Do we have the same editor?

Standing here with a DEAD book -- a book that was apparently DEAD the moment it was published -- I can tell you that I've never had contact with a publicist from the (major)publisher, except for my very busy editor. Never, ever, ever.

Everything I've done has been my own initiative and when I've tried to show the publisher what I've done and what I'm capable of doing to promote it, nothing has come of it.

Book: DEAD
Me: GRUMPY, SAD

-Milquetoast

Anonymous said...

I should clarify my previous post (the third one) because I realize that I sound like a needy ninny. I'm not saying that I need to know what's going on if two weeks turns into three weeks or even a month. I'm talking if two weeks turns into two months (or beyond ...).

Thanks! And thanks for opening up this forum.

Anonymous said...

A lot of the problems boil down to communication. It should be standard operating procedure to cc the author on all e-mails that pertain to marketing and publicity efforts that are being waged.

Publishers should stop dispensing free review copies willy-nilly and instead use some of that money to send press releases/postcards or other less expensive promo materials to targeted markets (and following up with review copies as requested). Publishers should have starred reviews up on Amazon immediately. In an ideal world, publishers should stop spending all the marketing dough on the books that don't need it (like Curious George for instance) and continue to support the investment they have already made in the book they chose to publish in the first place.

If there is no money to market the books, maybe too many books are being published in the first place.

Anonymous said...

As an author with a number of books to my credit, I followed the post and comments yesterday with fascination. And I agree that trust and communication are key.

Naturally publicists want to know what's going on, publicity-wise, so they don't look like fools. They also might want to head off what they perceive as a dumb move by an author. And they certainly don't want to feel as if the author is breathing down their neck, checking up on them, or otherwise showing a lack of trust.

What those on the publishing side don't realize is just how often they, in turn, fail to communicate, fail to follow through on legitimate opportunities, and show a very evident lack of trust in their authors.

Just because something is obvious to a publicist (after all, it's industry standard-- every other NY publicist understands it), doesn't really mean that it's at all apparent to an author. We haven't been trained as publicists, see.

And if you're kind enough to explain it to your author, try hard not to sound 1)bored, 2)annoyed, or 3)patronizing. We can tell. It is not endearing.

If you don't want to follow up on a legitimate opportunity, be honest and tell us that it's because you represent a lot of books, not just ours, and you need to think in broader terms as far as what will be most beneficial to the publishing house, rather than an individual book. Then give us your enthusiastic go-ahead to follow up on our own, and perhaps even some pointers. We'll appreciate the support, and the honesty, too.

And finally, we would like you to trust us as well. Just because you've had a bad experience with an author, or heard of a bad experience, doesn't mean that you should automatically treat us as a potential time bomb. We've heard of bad experiences with publishers, too. Many of us have actually HAD them. We're still in the game, doing our best with the information you're willing to give us.

For me, it comes down to respect. Doing what you say you'll do, when you say you'll do it, is good business. Honesty rather than half-truth and evasion is also good practice. And trust goes both ways-- or should.

nw said...

I haven't dealt with a publicist yet, but I'd love more communication from my editor. All I know is that we have an illustrator, and a possible pub date (as in which season). What I don't know is what's going to happen between now and then. Will I see sketches? Will I have a chance to revise before proofs? Will I see proofs? At what point will they ask me to fill out a publicity survey? etc.

It seems like maybe editors could have some boilerplate to give their authors about what to expect from the process. Then we wouldn't pester to find out. (Or sit around wishing we had the guts to pester.)

p.s. All you "Anonymous"es--could you come up with a nickname instead? It would be so much easier to follow threads if we knew that the person who said X was the same person who said Y. Thanks!

pudders said...

Why am I here for I am not yet published... but...?

Someone said 'anonymously' hee hee...maybe there are too many books being published. There ARE too many books being published that look the SAME as in title, subject, whatever. I am just talking pbs (which maybe a more limited mind set but I hope not) here as that is where I spend half of my life. I can't tell you how many books I see that look like another. And they are spine in so all you do is cock your head, read the title and say, "Should I pull this out...do you think it will be different from something else I've seen...and I say I really hope so." Now that is just me. Do booksellers feel that way,too? Or do they say, we need another book like this because the last ten did well?

The ones my indie puts on display are either similarly themed, already best sellers, or by a local talent (Yes!! who have been nice and normal and not retiring strangers), or by very established talent.

So if you don't fit any of those things your spine will be showing instead of your face. I don't know about you but my face is more attractive than my spine.

ChristineEldin said...

Cool.
Another time suck...err...writing blog that I will spend hours on instead of writing.

*clicks off to read the rest of the blog, ignoring family and rabid dog in the meantime*

Anonymous said...

I cover children's books for a respectable outlet. The most important thing your publicist must do is to get advances out BY MY DEADLINE. Blogs, magazines, newspapers all need things at different times. The publicists I love are the ones who know when I need to see a galley or F&G and deliver it on time.

What seem (to me) to be a waste of time and money are bookmarks, pencils, T-shirts, and any kind of swag. I throw these out and they have no bearing on what I write about. If your book is beautifully written or illustrated, it will stand out.

Hate to say it, but there is a lot of crap out there and that makes me hungry for books that are truly artful.

ae said...

"Truly artful." poster,

I love you. SMILE. You made my day!!!

Sarah said...

Welcome Chris.

This is a good one, but nothing like our own EE.

Joni said...

"It should be standard operating procedure to cc the author on all e-mails that pertain to marketing and publicity efforts that are being waged."

Oh my gosh, what a concept. It wouldn't take ANY more of their time and we might actually know something.

I'm in 100% agreement with Anon 9:30, except that I will contradict whoever said authors don't have any publicity training. Truly, many don't, but I personally know 5 new authors, including myself, with literally decades of day-job experience in marketing and PR. The skills involved in writing lead themselves to people having that kind of day job and experience; it's not a fluke but fairly common. And as a previous editorial commenter suggested, many of the house publicity people are straight out of college. And even those with oodles of experience are admittedly crunched for time.

It is very frustrating to be in a position to know some things that would probably be effective, to have the skills and resources to do them, and to either be constantly in the dark about what is and isn't being done at the house (and thus afraid to step on toes by doing anything yourself), or to get no response from inquires to the publicity person, or to be told in a rather gilded form, "go away and let us worry about this. But oh, BTW, we don't have time to worry about your book(s) specifically." So we are shut down and helpless -- when it is OUR careers on the line. If our book fails, the pub house isn't going under -- but our careers might.

As a result, I pretty much take the approach of keeping my house informed, more or less, after the fact, and getting yelled at afterward, if necessary (haven't been yet, although they may very well think I'm wasting my time, but I don't), rather than asking permission beforehand. I think I have the know-how not to do anything too stupid.

And this year, for the first time (on my second book), my house sent me a general "here's what we generally do to market books" document. It was really helpful and felt like a miracle to get even that much general communication. But I would love, love, love to be more in the loop on specific book activities. And I don't see how a cc on e-mails would be very hard.

ChristineEldin said...

Hi Sarah,
Thanks!
I agree. The evil just isn't here. I looked. The kitchen slush scene came very close, however.


:-)

Very anonymous said...

Say you've been in the field for a while. Your sales are good not great. Your reviews are good to excellent. You get an occasional trip to ALA, but ads are too expensive, so no advertising. Postcards? When you tell them you're going to design and print up postcards for the book and would the publisher like to chip in (total cost is $100), the reply is, well, we can't spend that, but could be sure to included the publisher's info on the back, please?

To turn the question back around, then, what can an author fairly expect from sales and marketing? I get that they send out review copies. I get that they like to tell illustrators what exactly to put on the cover. But what else do they actually _do_?

My sense is that the whole operation is run on the principle of triage. Every now and then a book that early on looks like a breakout title gets a ton of support. Everybody loves a winner! The rest of the list is left for dead.

Anonymous said...

I'm the editor from the previous post who got hot and bothered about the idea of an author lobbying with retailers to carry her book. I don't want to step on ea's toes myself, but I would like to clarify my own reaction. There is NOTHING wrong with going to your local stores, introducing yourself and your book, and asking them about bringing in copies if they haven't. Actually, that's something you should do if you're comfortable doing so. It's simply a matter of attitude and communication on all sides. I guess I perceived a tone in the post I was responding to of, "Well, the publisher didn't try hard enough to get them to sell my book, so I'll just do their jobs for them." Negative. As you said, lindabudz, it is a matter of keeping each other in the loop. Talk to us. Make your concerns heard, and hear our side of things as well. We want the big chains to take your book. Badly. We do our best to appeal to them. Our sales team does their best. Unfortunately, the national buyers looking at the books--often one person, with one very powerful opinion--don't always see things the way we would like. Going to your local outposts and talking up your book (like a friendly, polite, stable non-stalker)--awesome. Trying to go bigger than that--please, please talk to us first. Don't, you know, call up B&N corporate. Going too far steps on toes because it can make our company look bad to sellers we depend on, which is more serious than stepping on egos.

I'll shut up now. I love authors, and just want them to love us back. :)

Anonymous said...

Coming from an editorial perspective, this is one of the better approaches I've seen from a group of authors taking things into their own hands:
http://classof2k7.com/

Sad but true that publicity/marketing departments can't do it all. Publishers' resources and manpower are distributed over many books and maxed out. Unfortunately not so easy to just hire more people, which I often hear from my authors.

LindaBudz said...

Thanks, anon editor, that makes a lot of sense and I appreciate the response.

I do sympathize with the author if the publisher was telling her there was no chance of getting the bookseller to carry her book and so I can see why she pushed. But I can appreciate the publisher's position as well. And, I'm glad to know approaching the local B&N, Borders, etc., is encouraged!

Joni said...

Yay, 2k7! (And scion 2k8.) But it's interesting that Anon Ed 10:07 would bring up that example (and hopefully our experience is okay to share in collective, because I think this kind of discussion can only benefit authors AND editors).

Of the nearly 40 authors involved, some had publishers/editors who were enthusiastic and supportive from the start; many were sort of, okay, well, we'll see; and we had at least four authors whose publishers' original position was that they would NOT be allowed to use their book covers in promo materials the class developed.

Now, that changed over the subsequent months, because we demonstrated that we were serious and professional. But it is indicative, I think, that even a handful of publishers assumed from the start that anything we did was likely to be unprofessional and damaging. Are there that many authors doing their own marketing in a bad and offensive way? I've never seen it.

Also worth noting: while many of the class started out hopeful that their pubs would pay the small fee chipped in for group expenses, only a single one did. And particularly for the books from some of the smaller, resource-strapped houses, we arguably got more press, name- and title-recognition marketing, and website referrals for those authors than their publishers did. Which is not meant to be a slam on those publishers, but only an example of how effective author-generated marketing CAN be.

Anon Ed 10:07 again said...

Interesting point. Some of this may have to do with size and structure of publisher. I work for a smaller house where (within bounds of professional behavior) we do encourage creative self-promo from our authors.

Another point, I find at the marketing stage of a book if it has to be "anybody vs. anybody," it is more likely to be author + editor vs. marketing (and what they are willing to do), than editor + marketing vs. author. You can bet your buns that after exerting months or years of her own blood, sweat, tears, and reputation on a project, your editor does NOT want to see it fail.

Anonymous said...

I'm anon author 9:30 from February 2, and thanks so much for the elaboration on your post, anon editor 9:47 February 4. It sure helps to hear you love us-- and we love you right back. Really.

A story for you:
An elderly relative of mine was diagnosed with senile dementia. When I asked the doctor why Tom had also become suspicious and accusing, she said "He has gaps in his understanding of what is going on, and it makes him feel afraid and helpless. He tries to make up explanations to fill in those gaps. But he's filling in the gaps from a place of fear; so all the answers he comes up with are paranoid."

Substitute "writers" for "Tom", and the analogy holds, I think.

All the writers who said they hate being kept in the dark? Me, too. But when I ask questions-- not of my editor, she's great-- but of publicists and marketing people, the responses are often slow, scanty, and create more questions than they answer. I can always ask my editor, but I hate to bother her about something that is not her province, and make her track down the info; then, too, it looks like I'm trying to do an end run around the whole marketing department.

One problem, I think, is there are a lot of very young, very inexperienced people in publicity and marketing, and they also switch jobs a lot. Someone with more experience generally isn't so nervous about giving out information, and doesn't take requests for more information, or an alternate idea, as a challenge to their authority and competence. People who have been around the block a few times often are quicker to recognize a good opportunity or idea when it presents itself. And good people don't take a default position that any idea but their own is automatically suspect. Amazing story from Joni about the lukewarm or actually negative response of some of the publishers for the 40 authors in 2k7, but unfortunately so very believable.

Andy J Smith illustration said...

Not quite sure where to post this but here's my take on a revision for the logo...
http://www.andyjsmithillustration.com/etc/slush2.jpg
or...
http://sillydrawings.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

This whole discussion has been fascinating. I am curious if the writers who have had such bad experiences with the publicity of their books are represented by agents? Would an agent go to bat for a writer with the publicity department? Does a book contract include a marketing plan that would list the ways the publisher plans to publicize your book? Are these questions to ask before you sign on the dotted line?

-Anonymous Newbie

Anonymous said...

I think... if it's a great book, it will get discovered.
Am I crazy?
And a great writer will find work.
Am I nuts?
I do have hope for the talented.
It just might take years for a writer to nail a project with... great voice, perfect theme, fresh idea, good use of language.
Marketing isn't everything.

Anonymous said...

I kinda agree, Anon 3:02. It's as if publicity is Slush Pile #2. You have to trust that if it's worth buzz, it's going to get it. And according to an essay in this weekend's NY Times Book Review, buzz is what sells books these days in the face of diminishing ad budgets. (Mind you, this was about adult books but probably the same applies.)

Just as great books get picked from the slush, they should (should!) stand out in the piles of galleys. I don't think of the slushpile as the final hurdle in terms of appealing to someone's taste.

Meanwhile, a picture book writer doesn't only have to achieve all those elements you mention, Anon. He or she also must be paired with an illustrator who's going to turn heads -- not necessarily a "name" but a perfect match for the writing.

Anonymous said...

I have to respectfully disagree with Anon 3:02. Of course, in some very rare cases, an excellent book will rise on its own merits with no external marketing. But the sad reality is, most people don't read the trades and will never see the starred reviews. Heck, most people don't even read the NYT children's bestseller list. The only books most people see are the ones promoted by the bookstores -- and, unfortunately, mainly promoted by the chains. Well over 5,000 kids books are published each year. Do you honestly think that only the hundred or so that make it "face out" in the bookstores are the cream of the crop?

People can't buy your book if they don't know it exists. And if it isn't supported by publicity, the chances are better than great that it will fall through the cracks.

By the way, editors and publicity and marketing people aren't to blame for the problem. It's the business model of the publishers' that needs revamping.

Many authors call it the "spaghetti theory" of marketing. Publish as much as you can, throw it all out there and see what sticks. Any student in Business 101 would fail with a plan like this.

Anonymous said...

As someone who works in the marketing department for a children's publisher, I can tell you that most publishing houses are suffering from the same economical problems as the rest of the country. This means that we don't have enough people working in marketing. Ever. This means that we HAVE to prioritize our titles. Otherwise, nothing would ever get done. How do we prioritize our titles? Three ways:

1) In-house buzz. Make sure your editor is your biggest fan. Make sure that when the marketing team reads your book (and, yes, we do read your books--why else would we be here if we didn't like children's books? It's not like they pay us in diamonds) we love it and want everyone else to love it too. How to do both of those things? Write a great book.

2) The size of the advance. We are not going to bid on something, pay a bunch of money for it, and not support it. Most agents demand a marketing scramble plan from publishers that will be strictly adhered to once the book is published. That means pricey books that eat up a lot of the budget. That is just the way it is.

3) Whether or not the book is picked up by the chains. Don't get me wrong, publishers love the indies. However, a shocking amount of our sales come from the chains. We support the books that make it to the chains more than those that don't. We'll pay big marketing budget dollars for placement because books face-out and books on tables sell.

None of this means that a title that doesn't fit into the above categories will be ignored by their marketing department. We spend a huge amount of money on sales materials each season. We spend huge amounts of money on catalogs and websites and going to BEA and major library and educational conferences. That is all marketing for your title.

Anonymous said...

I'm Anon 4:37. I guess what I'm saying is that I don't know how many truly meaningful outlets there are for children's book marketing/publicity. There seem to be a number of "tastemakers" out there -- Betsy at Fuse #8, Roger Sutton (wanna bet booksellers will be examining their stocks of Pale Male after his post today?), some of the other popular blogs, and the trades -- who then influence booksellers and librarians.

I think hand-selling is a huge part of children's books. You're right; what parent reads the trades? But I see plenty who'll ask a bookseller for help.

I guess I always wonder what really works. Sure, I could put up a website, post blog entries every day, and do some school visits but without strong material and influential people who recognize it as such, how much of an impact will any of that really have on sales?

I just wonder if it goes back to what someone said earlier -- the most important thing publicity can do for you is to get your galley into the hands of those who create the buzz.

Yeah, maybe it's only 20 percent of what a marketing plan should be, but maybe it also will create 80 percent of your sales.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 3:02 said:

"I think... if it's a great book, it will get discovered.
Am I crazy?"

Yes. But I mean that in only the kindest way.

You should be right. Unfortunately, life and children's publishing isn't always fair. In fact, it's especially children's publishing that isn't fair.

How does it go wrong? Any number of ways, including, but not limited to poor marketing. And marketing that targets only big name books. And buzz for books that don't really deserve it, and no buzz for books that do.

Reviewers who seem to have their heads where the sun doesn't shine don't help either.

And some books languish for a spell before they really find their audiences.

In fact, there is an article in this week's PW that talks about the new movie coming out based on "Where the Wild Things Are" and Sendak, himself, mentions that the book "took a while" to catch on-- before it went on to sell 19 million copies to date.

The real sadness is when great books go out of print before they have had a real shot at getting known and that means that good writers can slip into the shadows as a result.

Geesh. Now I'm depressed.

Maybe it's better being naive and crazy.

christine tripp said...

>Do you honestly think that only the hundred or so that make it "face out" in the bookstores are the cream of the crop?<

Your so right, other wise Madonna's fare (poor Madonna, I always pick on her but there are celeb books out there just as bad as her's... not very fair but maybe it's because I only have to know how to spell ONE name:) wouldn't of had it's own boxed jacket and it would of resided on the store shelves spin out.

Book publishing, marketing, sales seems similar to comic strip syndication.
It was always hard to understand why a syndicate would spend only a limited amount of time and money on the launch of a new comic strip, then in a matter of months basically ignore it to see if it would find it's audience on it's own. After the initial launch and push to the newspapers, they would step aside and instead encourage the cartoonist to market and promote it themselves. All the while they would still be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and man hours on the promotion of their "older then dirt" strips.
Seemed weird, seemed wrong, why worry about a sure thing that is basically selling itself and not devote that same time and finances to the new stuff??
Well, because odds are the new stuff will probably NOT be the next big strip, if it is to be it may very well get there on it's own and their concern is to NOT let their money strips LOSE any momentum. If they have one of the big strips, the ones that bring in multi millions every year for the syndicates share, they do not want to risk that strip losing even one paper. On the other hand you have a new strip, unknown, that launches in 12 papers bringing in to the syndicate their 50%.....a whopping $60 a week.... which one do you spend the money on? Make sure "Peanuts" stays in 2400 papers around the world or worry about "newstripbyjoe" in only 12? Which one do you think they can justify spending their advertising dollars on? I know, it still seems to make little sense to me too but I guess it's just business. It's like a horse race, a few risk takers and dreamers will bet on the long shot, but most bet on the favorite. Why is it the organizations involved in books, comic strips, ... the arts in general, understand this business is mostly about the bottom line but artists, the people who create what these orgs sell hold on to the belief that it is a labour of love???

Anonymous said...

I'm anon 3:02... aka Pollyanna! Just kidding.
But writers, we gotta keep thinking... "Write that great book" and mostly, one that kids ask for! If I had to worry about every marketing moment, I'd never have time to write the next book. And here is one more naive, Pollyanna statement, "If you keep writing great books, again and again, YOU WILL GET NOTICED. Maybe most of all by your editor because your manuscripts will be a pleasure to work with.
Okay, now bring it on. Am I insane?

Anonymous said...

I think too many authors (and perhaps publishers too) have the Harry Potter/Fancy Nancy dream of major break out success in the chains, selling 100,000+ copies. It's a nice dream, but not realistic. The reality is that most books, even books that earn out, don't sell that many copies. And I think this overinflated ideal contributes to a lot of the disappointments. What about getting your book into libraries? Librarians do read the trade journals. They do purchase on reviews. They do look beyond the glitz and seek out quality books. They are also the people responsible for a lot of the major awards which do drive sales. I work for a smaller publisher. We actually do very little on the chain front and are still successful. There are other outlets and "smaller" but equally fulfilling goals to be achieved within publishing and bookselling.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Good point about librarians--

Especially since, as a parent, I like to "test drive" a book a few times before I buy it.

So if we check a book out of the library and the kids weep when we have to return it (And I DON'T weep at the thought of reading it every night for a year!) I'll probably end up buying it for them.

Because when you've got limited shelf space and limited cash, a book really has to be a "read-it-again" to be worth buying.

And if a librarian loves a book, she will make sure it gets into the hands of kids.... After all, librarians are the schoolyard crack dealers of the book world! =)

Anonymous said...

Excellent point about the library. Between schools and public libraries, there are tons. And librarians promote good books. And good books awaken the world to great writers. I can't see the average kid going into a bookstore looking for the Newbery book, but a librarian would dash out to order it.
Go Pollyanna, go.

Editorial Anonymous said...

Thanks to everyone for participating. Here's hoping that the publishing professionals who read this blog will take these reactions to heart and think about how they can better loop authors in on the post-publication work around their books.

I do need to say that cc-ing authors on the emails marketers send to reviewers and bookstore buyers is not ever going to happen--because publishers can't make those email addresses available to authors. Many of you, I know, would know better than to make use of them. But a few authors wouldn't see the harm, and the reviewers and buyers (people with whom publishers are trying hard to stay on friendly terms) would be pretty irritated.

anon children's book reviewer said...

To cut to the chase. Please do not harrass your local bookseller. Trust that your publisher is doing their job, the sales rep is presenting your book, the marketing dept is working hard. the most important piece of information is the galley, the f&G early enough to meet my deadlines. That's it.Postcards are useless. I spend every evening, every weekend reading. Yes the new Linda Sue Park is on the top of the pile but I am also looking for the surprise, the new author or illustrator that I "discovered" Yes introduce and make friends with your local children's librarian. Do not harrass.