I had just sat back down after getting a baby goat's head out of the fence. They're really good at getting it THROUGH, but those little nubby horns just won't come back OUT! It was the first thing that occurred to me!
if you're writing a nonfiction book about ranching (Cathy, how did that come up?)
Anyway, I agree with what Nomad said about the publisher's expectation. Now, for our fiction novel -- again, which is TOTALLY different, we (I write with a co-author) decided that there was an overlooked market that the publisher probably wouldn't reach with their anticipated marketing program. The book is marketed as romance. The book IS romantic. But it's a romance like The Sopranos on HBO is a romance! Technically, that's where it's shelved. But the readers who were going to LOVE the book were those who like dark fantasy, the Hitman video game, D&D RPGs, etc. We absolutely knew that. But marketing was reaching romance readers, and that's fine too. So, what we did was an "Additional Marketing Plan" to reach the readers who might not ever see the promotion the publisher was doing, and might NEVER venture into that section of the bookstore -- i.e., the 19-28 male demographic! As Nomad said, it's VERY important that you not only tell the publisher WHAT you intend to do, but WHY you believe it's important.
So, here's the marketing blitz we proposed. As a note, we DID reach the market we intended to, and our book is now featured on a number of video gamers sites, alongside walk-through manuals and the like! We have men all over various boards who brag that they "braved" the romance aisle because all their guys friends said what a kick-*ss book it was. After five months on the shelf, we've sold through our first print run of 70K, and the publisher just informed us yesterday that they will probably be printing a second edition when the sequel hits the shelf in August.
Let me know if you have any other questions! Cathy
PROPOSED MARKETING PLAN FOR
By C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp
The authors of HUNTERíS MOON hope to be active partners with the Tor Romance marketing team to assure exceptional advertising coverage of this paranormal romance in under-represented demographic groups. HUNTERíS MOON is a dark fantasy romance which the authors believe can sell well to both traditional romance readers, as well as male dark fantasy and horror readers.
In order to accomplish sales to the male 19-28 year old demographic, certain target markets must be reached by both advertising and subsequent word-of-mouth. The current success of HBOís cable series, The Sopranos, past network series, such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, as well as the large male reader base of Laurell K. Hamiltonís Anita Blake - Vampire Hunter series will assist with this marketing venture.
In furtherance of this, the authors would propose to assist the marketing department by implementing the following additional marketing programs:
A. Print Advertising
1. Contact the publishers of dark fantasy/horror magazines, such as Weird Tales, Dreams of Decadence, and Analog Science Fiction to run print ads for HUNTERíS MOON which would include favorable review quotes from other science fiction and horror writers (See Nontraditional Reviews below). Depending on out of pocket expense by the authors, a four color ad in half-page or larger would highlight the exceptional cover graphics. The authors have available Adobe PageMaker 7.0 and ad design experience to lessen overall cost but still ensure the quality required of a Tor Books publication. Ads should be run in the November/December issues of these magazines to heighten interest just before release. The design and content of the ad will require approval by the marketing department by the end of July to allow for publication lead time to place in a winter edition. Upon approval by the marketing department/publicist for additional print advertising, the authors will submit proposed designs for the ads. If Tor would prefer to design such advertisements and include fantasy magazines in the marketing budget for this novel, that would be acceptable, as well.
2. The authors have been offered the opportunity to publish an article about HUNTERíS MOON in the Laurell K. Hamilton Fan Club Winter Newsletter for 2004, which will feature teasers and ordering information for the book. This will be produced and published by the LKH Fan Club in approximately November. The text for the article has already been edited and approved by the Tor editor.
B. E-mail campaign
Conversations between the authors and owners of game shops which sell fantasy role-playing cards and board games indicate that "gamers" are highly interested in new dark fantasy novels. In addition, video game players recently celebrated the release of Hitman: Contracts, the third in a series of roleplaying video games which allows the player to become "47", a skillful hitman. Most game shops have a small section of recommended novels near the check-out counter. Targeting game shop owners with a bulk e-mail written by the authors can accomplish two goals. One ó owners are, at a minimum, familiar with the name when the book is released; and Two ó ordering information is available in the ad so if quotes by well-known authors whose books are currently carried by the shop catch the eye of the owner, the book can be ordered and be available to the buying public. The Tor Romance marketing team is welcome to review and approve any such e-mail to ensure it meets the standards of the publisher. Internet mail lists are easily obtained and the e-mail can be prepared so that shop owners can advance purchase through the publisher or one of its distributors in time for Christmas.
C. Internet webrings
One of the authors, Cathy Clamp, will be attending the Romance Writers of America 2004 conference in Dallas, TX in July, 2004. Over 2,000 romance authors will be attending the event. The author intends to contact other authors of paranormal romance and determine whether a "webring" can be established or added to which will allow the existing website of the authors, featuring HUNTERíS MOON, to reach a wider romance audience by "riding the coattails" of other well-established paranormal authors. In addition, the authors are members of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association of America, where additional webrings are available for the asking.
D. Marketing Goodies
The authors presume that Tor Romance will be making available standard "goodie" give-away items which feature a cover image of HUNTERíS MOON, back cover blurbs, review quotes and ordering information to be given to the public. Cathy Clamp intends to review the variety of goodies which other romance authors have created at the RWA convention, and suggest a list of appropriate items which might appeal to a male 19-28 demographic. If Tor Romance is unable to add such goodies to their present line, the authors will consider expending personal funds to create the goodies in order to attract a larger market.
E. Nontraditional Reviews
1. In additional to traditional romance and paranormal reviewers, e-zine and on-line reviewers are available. Several, such as Blood Moon Rising are geared specifically to shapeshifter-type novels and short stories. The subscribers of this internet site might not otherwise see HUNTERíS MOON, as it will likely be shelved in the romance section of bookstores.
2. The authors will seek review quotes by authors who are known fantasy or dark horror writers, which will increase exposure.
3. One game shop owner in San Angelo, TX frequently writes national reviews of new video and role-playing games for gamer magazines, and has offered to mention the book in his next review of a tie-in (horror/dark fantasy) product.
4. We have a list of over thirty different paranormal website reviewers, and will provide PDF or HTML versions of the copyedited book so that multiple reviews show up around the time of release.
F. "Ask the Author" Live Chats
Because of the authorsí location in Central Texas, on-line live chats may be more feasible to reach audiences than a book signing tour. These live chats have proved very successful for authors such as Laurell K. Hamilton and Mercedes Lackey and have increased sales dramatically (according to reports on their websites).
G. Book signings
1. Again, because of location, book signings outside Texas are not presently feasible because of the authorsí work schedule. However, because RWA is headquartered in Texas, there are a number of Texas romance writers who have indicated interest in mass signings in malls and large book chains in major metropolitan areas.
2. The authors have contacts in the western writing field due to the publication of a previous novel in the historical/western genre. The western genre is heavily male dominated. The authors have been invited to join a signing with western writers Ken Hodgson and Elmer Kelton when HUNTERíS MOON is released, the date of which coincides with release of a new novel from each of them. The anticipated date and time have yet to be determined.
H. Book competitions
Always an excellent marketing technique, the authors propose to submit HUNTERíS MOON to the Romance Writers of America RITA Award and ARTemis Cover Art competitions for 2005, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers NEBULA Award for 2005, as well as others in the paranormal, fantasy and romance genres. Presently, we have a list of approximately twelve competitions for which the book would qualify. Many readers and librarians keenly track the winners, as well as the nominees, of these competitions to see what books to purchase for their collections. In addition, there are numerous small book competitions that HUNTER would qualify for. The RWA Chapter which the authors belong to have just set up a section of their website to announce regional and national romance book competitions, which the authors will take full advantage of.
I. Donation Auction.
The Laurell K. Hamilton Fan Club has requested that, in addition to the print article to run in their Winter newsletter, the authors donate an autographed ARC of HUNTERíS MOON to be auctioned on EBay. The proceeds of the auction will benefit Ms. Hamiltonís favorite charity, the Granite City Animal Shelter. The auction will be sponsored, advertised and managed by the Fan Club employees.
J. RWA - Have We Got a Story For You!
This new program of Romance Writers of America is intended to increase the visibility of the romance genre by dispelling the notion that romances are only for women. They intend to partner with movie theaters to feature specific books in the on-screen advertisements before movies in major cities, such as New York, Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles, as well as surrounding cities. While the details of the project are still under development, HUNTERíS MOON (as well as the rest of the Tor Romance line) would be prime candidates for participation.
K. Press Releases
We plan to prepare web-based press releases on an on-going basis until close to the time of publication to increase interest in the book. By tying the release to an existing event, or existing author, we hope to generate "buzz" on the internet. If the Marketing Team would like to review or approve these Press Releases prior to submission, please advise.
L. Conferences and conventions.
We plan to prepare bookmarks and postcards which we will send via acquaintances to various conferences around the world. Presently slated are RWAís annual convention in Dallas; Dragon*Con in Atlanta; Armadillo.con in San Marcos, TX; FenCon in Dallas, TX; World Fantasy Convention in Phoenix, AZ; World Horror Convention in Dublin, Ireland. In addition, we will send postcards out to all of the members of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, who might be willing to cross the romance genre for a Tor Books offering.
M. Additional Focus on Achievements
The authors have just recently won an EVVY Award (3rd Place) in the 2004 Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA) competition for their first novel, ROAD TO RICHES: THE GREAT RAILROAD RACE TO ASPEN. While this novel placed in the historic fiction category, the book did contain a romance thread which several reviewers found added to the plot. It would be beneficial to sales to promote us (as relative unknowns) as "Award Winning Authors."
Additional quotes could be placed in the promotional materials, without naming the genre but still promoting the skill of the authors, such as:
Praise for the authorsí previous works:
The collaboration of Cathy L. Clamp and C.T. Adams has created an enthralling, original and deftly woven book . . . it is exceptionally well crafted and highly recommended reading! Midwest Book Review
Absorbing . . .fast paced . . .the authors breathe life into names from history books. Rocky Mountain News
That's it! Hope it helps!