More than a place--it's a writer's muse.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Things Learned From a Conference Call Between Publishing Folks

Today I had a conference call with people who are far more important than myself. I'm going to share a little bit of the content from that 40-something minute call with you because some day it may serve you well (I truly hope you have a chance to put the info to practice for your own book eventually).

First, a few facts:

1.) My agent arranged the call. He got the conference number, code, arranged the date and time to suit people's schedules.

2.) On the line with us were my agent (to lead the discussion--I'd provided talking points I wanted to make sure we hit), my agent's assistant (to be in the loop so she can help with immediate and upcoming project needs), my SMP editor (who knows the ins-and-outs of my book, my deal and whom I adore), a fantabulous marketing guru who I met at RWA (and I adore--enthusiasm tempered with brilliance), an awesome gal from publicity (who I've never met nor spoken with previously but whom I'm certain I shall grow to adore ;-).

3.) My son (in kindergarten) was scheduled to get off the bus 15 minutes into the call. His room was prepped with a healthy snack and his computer was on so I lost minimal time and focus. *twitch*

4.) The goal was to find out what is on SMP's agenda for my debut novel (a YA paranormal--werewolves), 13 TO LIFE (already available for pre-order but releasing June 22, 2010).

What I learned (and what was reinforced):


1.) Being a Goodreads author is important (I'm there, thanks to the encouragement of a fabulous blogger--CARLA!!!--who encouraged me to do it).

2.) Being on LibraryThing is encouraged (it's on the to-do list).

3.) Deep content for a website with direct relationship to the book series or title in the URL is definitely desirable (which works since I have a guy working on that).

4.) Tweeting and Blogging is a key to what they want me to do consistently right now. They mentioned booksignings *used* to be big but now the focus is online.

5.) They won't be horribly critical about numbers for my first--very first--novel (I believe them, but publishing is very much about money and I understand that so I'll be critical anyhow ;-)

6.) They want to be in the loop about nearly everything I plan (really).

7.) They don't want to push things too hard right now because they like to do a big push very close to the book's release date.

8.) They want to help coordinate book signings because then they can email a reminder to the store so they have enough copies on hand.

9.) They want me to write a brief prequel story they can give to just their mailing list (and they even had a specific direction they suggested--but pointed out it's up to me<-- I heart them!).

10.) They'll provide a little signage for signings.

11.) They're not so sure BEA's all it once was.

12.) They'll be sending out a gob of galleys to the trades, Facebook, Goodreads, LibraryThing and later (Feb/March for June release) to teen magazines for reviews.

13.) They'd like me to compile a list of any bloggers or folks in the biz I know personally and they'll decide if they should get a galley or a copy of the book later for review purposes.

14.) I should hold on to my galleys (which should be coming soon---SQUEEE!).

15.) I think if I combined my age and the age of my agent we'd STILL top the combined ages of our three wonderful (and very wise) gurus in NYC. :-) Perhaps it's the level of enthusiasm they bring to their job--whatever it is, I hope it keeps them young (they are truly terrific)!

What I Hope YOU Learned from This:

1.) MY PUBLISHER ROCKS! (and maybe they'll be your publisher eventually, too--seriously consider them)
2.) To actively think of things outside of your novel that can be used as teasers later (that backstory can be a rich resource for prequels, sideline stories and creative web content!).
3.) To not be afraid to talk to your publisher about their marketing goals and plans--it's a team effort and everyone has something invested in your book's success.
4.) To consider how and where you're building your platform/presence.
5.) To have a healthy snack and entertainment available for kids when they just happen to be coming home during an important call. ;-)

Take care and keep writing!
~Shannon

7 comments:

SarannaDeWylde said...

Very exciting, Shannon!

I've already said this once, but I will say it again. It's really helpful and eductional that you've been so open about what happens after you sell. You've kept us in the loop every step of the way.

And, I'm really excited to read your book. Both of my girls are too.

Shannon Delany said...

Thanks, Saranna. I just figure if I can give a little insight maybe it'll be helpful--I know the whole process has been an eye-opener for me (I've learned a lot already and there's still so much to learn).

And thank you (and your girls) for being excited about the book's release--I am, too! ;-)

*hugs*

Jennifer L Hart said...

Wow, this post made me feel good (and clueless ;-) all at once! I'm doing many things right, the social networking, the long term thinking. For the Laundry Hag series, I have recipes up on my blog. Recipes which will eventually be made into a book. Got the promo items. Hag Swag and whatnot which are this year's Christmas Gifts. Same with the prequil "The Story of Maggie and Neil" that I have up on textnovel and is slotted for more work after Redeeming Characters and then Stellar Timing.

I don't have a clue what BEA is or galleys for that matter. Wanna fill me in?

Robin said...

Shannon, thanks for making the "dark zone" of a first-time published author a little clearer! It's nice to know what *might* be in the pool we all hope to jump into!

Liane Gentry Skye said...

What a plethora of fantastic information, Shannon. I'm so excited for you and I'm truly enjoying this voyeuristic glimpse into the process of seeing your novel go into print with a major house. Kudos and thank you!

Casse AKA Catholic Kittie said...

Very informative and I almost broke out in hives just imagining that it was me on that call lol. Introverts don't do conference calls. eeks. One thing you didn't inform me of is...how in tarnation do I get on that mailing list?! hee-hee. I must look into that.

Shannon Delany said...

Quickly (because I didn't come back here as frequently as I usually do when I post):

BEA = Book Expo America (big event in NYC that seems to have been waning over recent years).

Galleys are essentially ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) of a book. They aren't as "finished" or perfect as it will be when stuff hits the shelves, but we have at least one movie production company waiting on galleys, so cross your fingers, girls!

Jenn--sounds like you're on the right track with your promo stuff! Keep at it!

No problem, Robin and Liane--glad to share in hopes it helps. :-)

Casse, I'm hoping SMP'll give me info on how folks can join the list so i can share that, too. =D

 
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