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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Marketing Materials - First Step

31 August 2011, Marketing Materials - First Step

I'm showing you how I prepare marketing material for my novels.  Here is a repeat just to introduce the subject.  Today, I'm working on the first section of the long form information.

Marketing a novel is more difficult in my mind than writing a novel.  I'd like to just spend my time writing, unfortunately, before your novel is published, you have the burden of finding a publisher and after your novel is published, you have the burden of following your publisher's marketing instructions.

Marketing is a very important part of writing a novel.  The first thing after writing your novel is get your marketing stuff together.  Marketing information is critical to your writing and it forms the basis for the inner and outer cover and other future marketing materials.  Here is the outline of what is required.  I'll start with the long form information and continue to the short form.

I put all this information together in the same file.  I do produce a second file, that I will go over with you specifically for my regular publisher.  I put the commentary in italics.

Title of Work:

Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon

Remember, I told you you need to set a title on the work.  Go  back and look at how I've written about this.  This may not be the best title, but it is unique and meets the criteria I mentioned for searches and other works with a similar name (there are none).  You have to set a title because you need to call the novel something.
Author(s) Name:

L. D. Alford

This is your nom de plume.  I use L.D. Alford as my professional writing name.  You put your real name on your cover letter or the top of the marketing materials.  By the way, you are producing these materials so you can give a publisher a couple of pages of information that definitively describes your novel.  You are also producing these materials for the future use of your publisher in producing other marketing materials and the front and back covers of your published novel.  These include the teasers for your novel.
Type: Either Screenplay or Book


This matters to some publishers and some agencies (don't ask me why.  Ask them.)

Length: Either # of words for books, or # of pages for screenplays

121,475 words

Novels are measured in the number of words.  This is the only measure that means anything.

Keywords and Market Focus:

Fiction, Russia, Austria, 1918, Wien, Vienna, Daemon, Demon, Aksinya, Asmodeus, Catholic Church, Sorcery, Travel, Orthodox Church, Russian Revolution, WWI, temptation, desire, convent, nobility, Countess, aristocracy, languages, Latin, Greek, German, French, contract, evil, Tobit

Will fascinate anyone interested in sorcery, mystery, and suspense—will appeal particularly to those who enjoy historical mystery and suspense novels.

This is an unbelievably important section.  The most important part is the end where we see the Market Focus.  The keywords themselves allow a publisher or an agency to get a feel of interest for the work.  They also provide the ability to categorize the work.  These are helpful to you in developing your websites and information.  Pick and choose carefully those words that uniquely describe your work.  Try to determine words that will excite and intrigue the publishers and possible readers.  These will become the words that generally describe your work.

Market focus is your real first chance to get the publisher excited about your work.  This will focus their interest and give them the first impression of what audience the work is aimed at.  Plus, this allows you to determine the audience of your work.  You wouldn't send a book like Aksinya to a cooking book publisher.  You wouldn't send this kind of novel to a young adult publisher or to a science fiction publisher.

Author Bio: Approximately 120 words

Synopsis:  Approximately 500 Words
Registration: WGA, ISBN, or Library of Congress, Write the number.

Other Information:  If you have more work, a website, anything interesting and professional, especially any awards or recognition.

Short form information: 

Reviewer’s quotes.

1.  No more than 3 sentences about the content of your manuscript.

2.  One sentence about successful works similar to yours.

3.  No more than 2 sentences about yourself. (use 3rd person)

4.  No more than 2 sentences that include “other,” i.e. any reasons, relationships, or other factors that might make your work more attractive.

Tomorrow, we'll look at more information with commentary.

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