I am submitting my “naughty novel”, Streetwalker, to Eternal Press early next week. I went on their website to find out the submission guidelines and discovered, for the first time since I have been looking at submission guidelines for fiction, that they require a marketing plan.
It shouldn’t have shocked me the way it did. I’ve written about this before. Every conference I go to, every class I take, someone, sometime mentions that you are in large part responsible for marketing your book. If you don’t care the most, who does?
In all my years of publishing non-fiction books, I was expected to know the target consumers and the competitive texts. My reputation in the field (based on presentations, articles, and other books) was part of the marketing plan. When I submitted a book proposal, I had to include sample chapters, an outline, and a skeletal marketing plan.
I get it.
But, fiction has been shielded from the worst of this for so long. Now, it is endemic. You must promote yourself and your works. At minimum, I learned at one conference agents/editors expect you to have a following through your blog, website, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. That’s the minimum.
So what does one do when one encounters this expectation for the first time, in real life, with consequences? The message I took away from the Eternal Press info re submissions was that my marketing plan was part of their consideration for whether to offer a contract. Hmm.
What did I do? I sent out a distress call to my two critique groups. They came through dutifully and beautifully. One critique partner in particular has a business background and her suggestions were amazing. Learn more about Sandra Evans and her many books with business applications at livinglegacyjourney.blogspot.com.
In a later blog, I am going to share what I send to Eternal Press in hopes it will help some of you who are facing the same thing.
It doesn’t even matter that we resent having to invest our time this way. It just is. So do it.