Being that we are starting to work with more authors the question of marketing keeps coming up. So I thought a blog post might be in order!
Asking a publisher about their marketing techniques is an appropriate question. Particularly when approaching a green indie press (like we are), so I am always happy to discuss that with potential clients. Particularly since traditional publishing has a bad rap with writers for their lack of attention to marketing and antiquated marketing methods. Authors who ask these questions and consider them are often some of the best partners because marketing is something they have considered actively, and they are often more ready to help market their book and take the necessary steps to do so.
One thing to know about marketing, regardless of whether you’re traditionally publishing or self-publishing, is authors have to do a lot of it. There are many techniques and many ways you can learn to market yourself (and we are happy to teach authors how to accomplish these things!), but having a publishing company there to back you up when you are ready to start marketing your book is helpful. I think it’s important to be honest, so truthfully it isn’t necessary to have a traditional publisher in order to market for yourself. However, a traditional publisher (even an indie one like us) will have access to marketing channels that authors are simply unable to access due in part to the continuing stigma of being self-published. I could write books about that, but for now I want to focus on what marketing means for us here at Insomnia.
Marketing books is a multi-stage process that involves pre-release marketing, author marketing, and post-release marketing done by the publisher. To be honest, the job of the publisher is to facilitate the author’s marketing in any way they can while also opening doors to allow authors access to bigger channels. That sounds a lot like mumb0-jumbo, and I know it. But at the meat-and-potatoes level it is displayed in the fact that it’s J.K. Rowling doing the interviews and book signings, not Bloomsbury Publishing. It’s our job to position authors to gain attention from their fans as well as do what we can to get the word out there to those fans about the new book.
While I’m not going to provide intimate details of what our marketing process is in this blog post I want to emphasize that marketing of books is a joint effort – just like almost all other aspects of the publishing process. While we are assuming the risk of publishing the book I view our role as more of a partnership than anything else. And to my mind that’s how it should be. The joy of being an indie press is that we have the freedom to act as partners in the writing and publishing process and develop a relationship with our authors and their readers. It keeps us closer to the heartbeat of the industry and, in my mind, helps us preserve the importance of the ART of writing rather than just the business.