You’ve Seen Your Marketing Plan, Right? Right???

Let’s start with a premise: “Nobody buys a book of which they’ve not heard.”

Let’s follow with a question: “How many writers —under contract to a publisher large, medium, or small— have seen a written marketing/public relations plan from their publisher?”

And now, let’s (me, actually) request a favor: answers to the above question is what I’d like to reap from the many authors out there, as part of the research into what I consider THE single most important part of our business— arguably, given the marketplace evidence, even more important than the oft-cited phrase “First, write a good book.”

Ideally, this research would be incorporated into an article aimed at the those-who-write audience. I’d like also to include details of how professional and complete the publisher’s marketing plan was— for instance, did it provide quantifiable milestones (“within the first XX days of book publication, we will have scheduled X media interviews, guest-blog appearances, online author ‘events’ etc.”)? Was there a timeline of when specific activities were to occur? Were targeted audiences identified in a practical set of demographics and interests? What specific actions was the author asked to do, and what actions—again, emphasis on “specific”—were to be done (not “attempted”) on the part of the publisher’s marketing & publicity staff?

I’d like to limit input to that of publisher-published authors (tho I’ve found many now-independent authors formerly had publisher-contracts, even if they now self-publish themselves; feel free to participate in such cases) because I suspect technology has made the “traditional” advantages of publishing companies —typesetting & printing, design & art, “physical” production-warehousing-shipping activities… but also creating e-books) largely superfluous…

… with the largest exception being the access and resources publishers may have to venues of marketing and publicity.

If you’ve have NOT seen your book’s/books’ marketing & PR plan(s)—laid out and in written form— I’d also like to get your own on-the-record answer(s) to a question I plan to include in my article: “Why not?”

Please share this input-request on your pages and among your writer-friends. A ‘comment’ posting here to Earl Merkel would probably work best, but I’ll arrange an e-mail exchange or voice-phone contact as needed. Visit my website —— and click on the “Contact Earl’ link for the appropriate e-mail address.

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