So I did some publisher shuffling a bit ago, which led my agent to inquire what I’d be doing to promote the books at the new/old house (don’t ask).
I took a deep breath and let it out very, very slowly. Before I lost consciousness entirely (or my temper, which was a lot closer to the edge of the abyss) I replied, “The same things I’ve been doing since I was still published entirely traditionally back in my own personal Dark Ages.”
I have a blog here to which I post regularly and which from what I can divine telepathically from WordPress analytics generates at least a little interest in the three-second click-through masses.*
But nobody knew this. My agent certainly didn’t know it. My editor didn’t know it. My publisher didn’t know it. The publicist he hired for his entire stable of authors a couple of years back didn’t know it and had to be hand fed links to all three, because Google is either so difficult to use or is incapable of finding any Dana Stabenows out there in those vasty Internet spaces. (Sarcasm. ICYMI.)
There has been a lot of talk over the past decade about the siloing of the publishing industry. Editors don’t talk to sales, sales doesn’t talk to publicity, publicity doesn’t talk to the warehouse where actual books might be found, the warehouse doesn’t talk to the print house, and nobody talks to the bookstores. They talk to each other but even in the same company nobody knows what anyone else is doing.
The worst siloing story I ever heard was a publishing house losing a book deal because the head of accounting was MIA and none of their people would sign a check without their say so, even when it was okayed by the publisher themselves. Who is generally held to be the boss of a publishing house, including the accounting department.
Some of this can be put down to constantly changing personnel and press of other business, true, but most of it is structural. As in endemic. So here’s the lesson for today, writer peeps. Be prepared to tell many different colleagues the same things over and over and over again. For years. Really, forever. Because you’ll have to.
*Oh, you didn’t know? Three seconds is the average time we all spend on websites before clicking away again. And before you click away, here’s the cover art and buy links to the latest book.
Author and founder of Storyknife.org.