My Snap Scene entry, part of my effort to market this novel before it's even published! Check it >
My Snap Scene entry, part of my effort to market this novel before it’s even published! Check it >

I’m (almost) ready to start sending my manuscript to a potential publisher, and I’ve been looking through the submission requirements of the small presses in Western Canada.

Along with the usual requirements, I noticed that at least one publisher asks writers to submit a marketing plan along with the manuscript.

Interesting. What exactly do they want, I wonder? How much detail do they need?

So I started asking around. A staffer from a different publisher responded to my questions thoughtfully and promptly.

The staffer didn’t want to be named because his thoughts may differ from other publisher’s requirements. But he gave me the go-ahead to include them in this blog.

While this publisher doesn’t require a marketing plan in the submission package, the staff appreciates them. They like to see things such as online and social media presence, media figures and stores the author knows personally or are on good terms with, and anything in the author’s background that might help. This might include conferences attended, courses taken, etc…

(If you didn’t know this already, what this really means is that you’re not just selling a book. You’re marketing yourself).

They also like writers to be available for interviews, and possibly do blog tours and book tours. Exactly what they’d like writers to do depends on the book.

“A mystery title has an entirely different ecosystem to move around in than poetry, for example,” he wrote.

If you’re looking for more on marketing, this post on David Gaughran’s blog is a good start. And I’d suggest you follow David on Twitter, too. I haven’t read his books (yet), but he’s smart and he speaks good sense.

Also, if you want to see a really interesting book promo project in action, check out Snap Scene, Jessica Kluthe’s Instagram project. (And check out her new memoir while you’re at it. It’s on my summer reading list).