Marketing Steam - Andrew Crofts

Self published authors know that they can’t do everything themselves. We may have decided that we do not need the “full raft” of services that the big publishing houses offer, but we do need the help of some of the clever people who slave within the bowels of those giants. Before anything else we need editors to keep our words under control, and we need designers if our covers are to look as good as, or better than, the ones churned out by the big guys.

Both editors and designers are fairly easy to find on the internet and don’t cost too much if the book has a budget and a chance of earning some money back. But then we come to the marketing side of the business, or creating “discoverability”, as it tends to be called these days. This is altogether a knottier problem.

Back in May I wrote in this slot about a “real life 50 Shades of Grey" which I had been hired to ghost for an anonymous European lady. The book worked out well and one of the biggest agents in London agreed to take it round the publishers for us. The reactions were dramatic. Some were shocked by the contents and thought it too strong for the general trade market, others were worried that readers wouldn’t like the fact that it was non-fiction rather than fiction. We received some offers but they didn’t seem to reflect the value which we believed the book could have. The advances weren’t dramatic enough to distract us from the paltry percentages we would be earning in royalties.

We decided we would take control of the project ourselves by working with a new and dynamic partnership publisher, RedDoor Publishing, which is the baby of Clare Christian, an editor whose previous venture was The Friday Project, (now part of HarperCollins), but we felt we needed to address the “discoverability” side of the challenge right from the beginning. To that end we hired Midas, probably the country’s best known publishing PR and marketing consultancy, and they worked with Clare on the design and packaging of the book before starting to plan the launch. We now have all the elements of a traditional publisher in place, but without the overheads of a huge Thames-side building and everything that is required to support such an edifice.

The book is due to be published in February and the marketing machine is grinding into action as I write.

Chances is the true story of the most erotic of love affairs, of the most intense and rewarding relationship possible between a man and woman – a relationship that blossomed out of heartbreak.

“What” the cover asks “if your first love was your soulmate and perfect sexual partner but you made the mistake of letting them go? What if you were reunited with that first love after fifteen years of unhappiness and you were then able to fulfil every romantic and erotic dream you had ever had?”    


Lee said…
How about an excerpt to w(h)et our appetite(s)?

Jan Needle said…
keep us posted, andrew. lee - don't be so mucky!
Lydia Bennet said…
Another variation on modern publishing possibilities - very interesting, I hope it's a success! However I think paying for top notch professional PR might be beyond a lot of indie authors and even indie publishers.
Lee said…
Jan, I'm utterly low class - and American to boot!
glitter noir said…
Best of luck with this. And all due 'props' for taking the promotional reins in your hands. I have a sneaking suspicion--or is it a sneaky position--that this one will do well for you.

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