October 22, 2019

As a Book Author, Do You Feel Unnoticed? Here’s What to Do

Dee Dee De Bartlo, February's PartnersWhy is a literary agency’s senior director of publicity who formerly worked at HarperCollins now joining another former HarperCollins colleague in setting up “a firm that aims to help writers from the proposal stage through publication and beyond”?

Because Dee Dee De Bartlo (pictured), Gretchen Crary, and Kimberly Crowser believe that “the future of the industry is dismantling the silos that exist between publicity and marketing in the big publishing houses and coming up with solutions that maximize a book’s exposure.”

Their company, February Partners, “aims to help writers from the proposal stage through publication and beyond.”

For most authors and for most of their publishers, the “marketing silo” is quite short in height and thin in diameter. Except for getting publication information into the trade (bookstore) system, composing a book flyer, and posted information with Amazon.com, not a great deal happens–unless the author does it (or pays for it).

System Focus on “Readers” and Revenues

Now, in fairness, most publishers would say that their responsibility is primarily with book readers and only secondarily with book writers. Their agenda didn’t start out to be declining or winnowing down a much larger list of possibilities. It’s just that the publishers need to follow reader demands and trends in order to capture enough sales to make their efforts worthwhile.

On the front side, literary agents would say a similar thing. They don’t intend to decline most of what they see. It’s just that they know what will sell to publishers, and they as agents need to follow reader demands and trends in order to capture enough sales to make their efforts worthwhile.

On the back side, sales and publicity staff at publishers would say the same thing. For every 10 new titles, they can see immediately that 3 or 4 are going to do well with readers. So why waste large investments with the others to attempt to make them into hits?

Why Authors Want a Say

So what are the reasons for bucking this system, especially when most creative types are pursuing their own creative endeavors rather than crafting something for a market?

If I remember my Aristotle correctly, we humans are not simply social beings. We are political beings, meaning that each of us has an agenda, and we want to enlist others on it.

For each of us, this makes influencing others very important. For this reason, large publishers will continue to tower over smaller ones, and getting “a real” publisher will remain for many authors above being self-published.

Agents and publishers can maximize their revenues (go with what’s selling) while controlling their costs (cutting back on publicity). But individual authors ride a roller-coaster of fluxuating attention and nearly zero influence.

This new author’s agency model seeks to rebalance this equation by offering authors who can afford it the services they need from developing a good manuscript and publishing proposal to delaying their book’s cresting in sales.

What to Do

Authors, if you feel shut out, then put together your own editorial-marketing team or engage the services of author agencies such as February Partners–or My Literary Coach.

Speak Your Mind

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