Quote Originally Posted by priceless1 View Post
Now that MUSA has been up and running for a few months, I thought it would be helpful to find out a bit more about how you market and promote your books. You have signed a lot of authors in a short time, so I'm sure the topic of how you generate sales would be advantageous.
I am soooooooooooo tempted to say that we generate sales by having good books, but I'm not going to do that to myself. Sometimes, smartass is NOT a good thing.

Right now, we've developed a thorough campaign through social media. Our authors work together, and under the direction of our promotions department, to generate interest and buzz on Twitter, Facebook, and industry blogs. Our promotions and marketing department also develops press releases, interviews, and guest appearance opportunities. We've had authors interviewed on the radio (For example, Martin Bodenham, author of The Geneva Connection, was interviewed on the BBC radio just this week). We also place our books with multiple third party sites--some tailored to a specific genre so we aren't putting up a horror book at an erotica focused site--and get our ARCs to multiple reviewers. I believe our current list of reviewers is around forty sites. And, I can't forget to mention that Musa books are receiving multiple nominations now that awards season is here, so our books are doing well with reviewers and readers both. In the next few months, the efforts of our marketing department are going to be focused on a particular project that I'm not yet at liberty to discuss--but should be within the week.

As with our publishing programs, our advertising and marketing programs are still growing. We do have a core of knowledgeable staff members (several of whom are marketing/advertising professionals) that are developing our future promotions to work better for our company and our authors. We are always seeking to expand our marketing in much the same way that we are always seeking to strengthen our core base. Our site is averaging 10,000 hits plus per day, and with some outstanding trade publisher authors will familiar and beloved names added to the Homer Eon Flint project, we're generating greater general interest for Musa books all the time.

Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
I've noticed that too, and although I am absolutely certain that Celina has only the best of intentions and some useful experience with which to back up those intentions, I'll admit to being concerned by the speed with which Musa has developed. Because as we all know, good intentions are not a strong enough foundation upon which to build a good new publisher.

I'm also concerned that because so many of us know Celina, we've not asked her the hard questions that we'd usually ask of a new publisher who appeared here.

Celina, please don't take this post as a criticism of you or of Musa. It's not, not at all. But I am concerned that we're operating a double standard here because so many members consider you a friend, and I don't think that's fair. Not to you, nor to any of the other publishers who have had to endure ordeal-by-AW. I hope you understand.
Not offended at all and I agree. I've been tough on new publishers throughout my career at AW and absolutely expect the same scrutiny here. For the most part, I think Musa can stand up to it.

Look--here's the thing: regardless of who works there or who's being published there, Musa IS a fledgling press. And although the senior staff has extensive experience in e-publishing, we're still going to make some mistakes within the first year. And anyone who is uncomfortable or leery in submitting to a fledgling press should absolutely NOT submit to Musa just because I am there. My fingers are in a lot of little pies at Musa, but not every single book. That's impossible.

The Musa business model is based off two major points. First off, we wanted to bring the author further into the publishing process than other publishers. That's why we allow our authors to track their sales live, to know their royalties before they get the check, to keep them reassured and connected to the process at every stage of the game. That's why our royalties breakdown and contracts are on our website--because we believe in full accountability for Musa as a business and because we want to educate our authors for their careers beyond Musa.

But the other point is pretty simple: we're putting our money where our mouths are. We've taken on the challenge of building a publisher that no other publisher in the world believes can work.

We may fail. In fact, the odds are against us overall, I think. But, the fact of the matter is that we don't really care about the odds. There's a core of people at Musa behind the scenes--almost forty at last count--who are working long hours to make sure each book gets the same attention to detail as the USA Today Bestselling author, or authors with huge followings in their genres. Right now, we have over 400 books contracted, with our schedule working into summer of 2012, over two hundred authors registered on our database. We have agented and unagented authors, bestsellers and debut and genre hacks just like me. And what we really have at Musa right now that I've not experienced at another press (at least to this degree) is this overwhelming conviction among our authors and staff that Musa is exactly what we meant back in the day when we started off sentences with, "If I were a publisher, I would *blah blah blah.*"

Musa is going to hit speed bumps, naturally. We're a work in progress, established with a small financial cushion and 100 hour work weeks. January is our 'month off' with only four releases a week not counting the two Homer Eon Flint releases and Penumbra. But our authors, staff, and agents can check our database at any time to find sales figures. Our emails are usually answered in hours. Our submissions process is swift and particular. And our staff works as a unit to have one goal--to make Musa succeed.

And whether we succeed or fail, it's all going to be above-board and public. We can't hide behind the label of 'publisher.' Everything we have and are is available to our authors at any time.