Dying Is My Business: Stuff About Marketing

Dying Is My Business


As we move steadily toward the October 8 pub date for Dying Is My Business, St. Martin’s Press has begun to focus on their marketing plan. To that end, they sent me an author marketing questionnaire. I’d never filled out a marketing questionnaire that was quite so thorough before. You should have seen this thing. It was five pages long and had dozens of questions! It took me half a day to get through it all! But it’s all good stuff, information they can ostensibly use to market the novel (and me) more efficiently. Questions ranged from the personal (Do I have hobbies? What countries have I traveled to?) to the ubiquitous convention panel-type questions (What inspired me to write the novel? What kind of experience has writing the novel been for me?) to the professional (Have I ever been nominated for an award? Which magazines do I think should get review copies?) to the kind of questions that are probably best left to others to answer (What features distinguish my book from others on the subject? What about me as a working writer do I think might be interesting or unusual?). It was a fascinating experience, actually. I found that being forced to think of myself in marketing terms was unexpectedly rewarding. What does make me interesting? Why would anybody want to read my novel? Discovering that you can actually answer questions like these makes you feel pretty good about yourself and your work.

I also had a productive and friendly conference call with both the Marketing Manager and the Director of Digital Marketing and Social Media at St. Martin’s. We discussed various online strategies to get readers’ attention, as well as some interesting ideas I never would have thought to make use of. (To my relief, they seemed okay with the fact that I will never, ever go back to being on Facebook. Ever.) These folks really know their stuff. Apparently, there is also a publicist who will be assigned to my novel to help with offline stuff, but I won’t get to chat with him or her until closer to the pub date.

So far, I have to admit my experience with St. Martin’s Press has been pretty great. From my editor to the online marketing folks I spoke with, everyone seems top notch, experienced, knowledgeable, and eager to make the book a success. I feel like I’m in really good hands. Now I’m just antsy for the damn thing to be published already!

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