Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Marketing Clause of Your Publishing Contract

In spite of many classes, emails and speaking personally with agents and publishers, this area of publishing is still a little undefined for me.

The very first conference I attended, an author told me her publisher did absolutely no marketing for her--she had to do it all herself. She made school visits, spoke at conferences, hired someone to do a book trailer for her...it all sounded time-consuming and exhausting. As a result, she threw out a number somewhere between ten and twenty thousand copies sold.

This was all very depressing for me. I hadn't anticipated that much work AFTER all I'd finished my book. I assumed the publisher took over that part for me.

This summer, I had the priviledge of speaking with the editorial director of Little Brown books. She told me that for their authors, they have two marketing people that tackle each book: one works with libraries, the other with book stores. They come up with a plan and budget for each book. Of course, I loved the sound of that.

Where do most authors fall? Somewhere in between? Most seem reluctant to give specifics.

When it comes down to the wire on a contract (if I ever get there), I'll fight for every marketing dollar I can get, and I'll want a specific plan to be communicated to me. (I'm have a business background and will make it work for me)

Are you willing to sacrifice a marketing clause in your contract (i.e. no marketing budget) to get published? Leave us a comment and let us know.


Paul West said...

I think the smaller publishing houses pretty much all require the author do his/her own marketing. If you're lucky enough to land a major publishing house, then they will help with the marketing, but it still is suggested the author do what he/she can. The larger houses only take on projects they know have good sales potential, therefore they are willing to put out money for marketing.

Tiffany Dominguez said...

I agree. Some of the larger houses, though, are very strict with what they allow the author to do. My friend published with scholastic and they sent her a 2-inch thick set of rules on marketing.