Wednesday 12 January 2011

Meeting a New Author

When I was an unpublished writer I used to dream of being invited to meet my editor or agent. I’d be wined and dined and perhaps be invited to eat spaghetti as a character test. I am now published and have worked for a dozen or so publishers and have only met two editors. In retrospect, I’m rather glad I didn’t meet the others. For the most part, I’ve worked with them on-line, in many cases even receiving my contract electronically. Certainly less embarrassing than eating spaghetti.
So, we at Bridge House recognised that we were doing very well when we met our novel competition winner at the Blue Sky café in Bangor North Wales. There is a sort of symmetry here: one partner lives there and had a convenient birthday, the novel is set in a possible future North Wales … and the café belongs to a relation of mine. Plenty of good excuses for a meet.
We didn’t make our new author eat spaghetti. We did shout her a modest lunch, though. And we did discuss a lot of marketing / publicity ideas: national and local press releases, use of social networking, review copies and literary festivals.
We, like all publishers, only have a small marketing budget. A tiny budget. Even with a competition prize. Of course, there is a lot we can do for free – e.g. all the social networking. But it takes time and effort and there’s even only so much of that available per book.
We’re lucky in having a proactive author this time. Even the big presses love proactive authors. From that whole list of marketing ideas we wouldn’t expect any one author to do every single thing. We would ask, though, that they do what they feel comfortable with and do it to extreme.

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