Sunday, August 26, 2007

Pub Talk: Agents

Here are more notes from my conversations with publishing people in New York the week before last.

Folio Literary Management:
  • So you put up a MySpace page. Then what? You have to fiigure out what to do after that.
  • Don't blow off your author questionnaire.
  • No matter what we tell authors, they don't want to cough up the dough to do publicity right. They MUST understand there's a timetable for publicity, and get the sense of urgency.
Agent "M":
Everybody talks like theirs is the next Big Book. But books can be a success without being stars. Eighty percent of a publisher's money is made off the backlist. For example, on the DorothyL mystery list, the majority of the books that members talk about are old. And those people buy books.

People usually have to see a product seven times for it to make an impression. The question is, how do you get people to see your book seven times without hiring a publicist? You can manage publicity, but you can't generate it. Inhouse publicists are good at managing publicity, but they can't do the daily recognition stuff. [That's up to a freelance pub and/or the author.]


Anonymous said...

Dear Bella,

You are absolutely right about book publicity. Inhouse publicists are good at sending out books for reviews or perhaps setting up a first round of interviews. However, either the author or a freelance publicist needs to work--proactively, aggresssively and creatively--to get the book out there enough times to make a difference!


Bella Stander said...

Thanks, Sandy, but those were Agent M's words not mine. However, I do agree.