Pub Rants

How Would You Describe A Dream Client?

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STATUS: Starting negotiations tomorrow with S&S for clause 20—their Out of Print clause. This should be fun. The latest “official” word is that they are now willing to include revenue threshold language in the clause. And as reported on Publishers Lunch, rumor has it that S&S might reconsider their stance on sales thresholds after BEA. All I can say is that I’m willing to forgive and forget (well, sort of forget) if they reconsider.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? BABY BE MINE by Michael Jackson

As promised, I’m talking about creative promotion on my blog this week and how would I describe a dream client? In two words: Jennifer O’Connell.

From day one of her career (even when she was a debut author with her first book BACHELORETTE #1 back in 2003), Jennifer has been a promotion machine. She has always taken this aspect of the job very seriously.

Case in point. Authors often create booksignings and hope fans show up. Jennifer establishes relationships with booksellers and then creates events where books might just happened to be signed.

Lastest example: her fun and savvy event on Martha’s Vineyard at the Edgartown Bookstore.

She gathered several authors from her Judy Blume Antho to come out and throw a party on the front porch of the bookstore.

Here they are, from left to right:
Megan McCafferty, Kayla Perrin, Megan Crane, Laura Caldwell and Jennifer O’Connell

These gals generated so much pre-event buzz, Plum TV decided to come out and interview them for their live Morning, Noon, and Night show. As Jennifer says, creating ‘events’ gives the press something to talk about vs. announcing a book signing. It gets people to go to see what all the excitement is about. At this event, even the people who didn’t know what we were doing stopped by to talk with us because they wanted to know why there was a crowd, and ultimately they got sucked into the crowd and became interested in the book and what we were doing.

Here’s Megan and Jennifer doing the interview for Plum TV on the beach in Vineyard Haven.

But Jennifer doesn’t stop there. She inspires her minions (otherwise known as her fellow writers in the anthology) to work their magic as well.

Diane Peterfreund has spotlighted the anthology on her blog and website. This week it was included in The Knight Agency e-Newsletter (since several Knight clients are included in the antho) and Laura Caldwell is going on the air with WGN Radio in Chicago tomorrow, June 6th, at 6:10 p.m (central time). If you want to listen in online, click here.

The best promotion is all about creating word of mouth. Even though there is no way to force people to start talking about a book with their friends, you can do lots of things to help make that happen.

Who knows. Maybe it was all this that got People Magazine interested (June 11, 2007 issue).

That’s why she’s one of my dream clients.

6 Responses

  1. Eileen said:

    I can’t comment on how she does with promotion- but as someone who reads her books- she’s a heck of writer.

  2. quint said:

    Curious, speaking of ‘dream clients’… I’ve been doing a tour of some old faves, reliving the past in reading some of my favorite authors’ older works; I don’t think they would hold up in today’s market.

    Can a formerly ‘dream client’ turn into a nightmare?

    I was reading some things from Julian May, written in the early nineties- things I loved back then. May’s got a wonderful vocabulary, but she beats you over the head with it: You MUST have read a previous series to get the basic gist of a three part hardcover series, or the work makes almost no sense: The main character is weak and ineffectual, with rare flashes of anything that could possibly be seen as admirable or even likeable: May constantly tells what happens, rarely using the megawattage of her vocabulary to show us much at all.

    This is someone who was first published in ’51. I’m sure that in those decades, she made a fortune for one agent or another. But when does an agent call up a well established writer and say, “Wake up, stupid! No one wants Melvillian tomes anymore! Read something current!”

    Just wondering.

    Hey, by the by, has the number of people frequenting forums and blog sites died down a bit? I rarely log on anymore, doing so only for news or e-mail every other week (getting a helluva lot more writing done since I skipped off to the real world)– I noticed Snark and PoddyMouth are retiring. Is this a trend?

  3. Vicki said:

    I love the front porch party idea. Marketing is such a key part of a writers life. The reader wants know needs to feel connected with them.

  4. Kanani said:

    I think it’s great, and one more way of making the writer’s world less isolated.

    It also makes the whole issue of a book signing a bit less daunting, worrying if anyone is going to bother to show up. How fun it would be to do this with other authors!