Pub Rants

How Would You Describe Your Client From Hell?

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STATUS: How is it possible for this many things to pile up after only being out of the office for one week? Truly, my piles of “need attention right now” is astounding.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? I WANT YOU TO WANT ME the remake by Letters From Cleo

One thing I spent two seconds on this morning is updating our entry for the Jeff Herman Guide to Literary Agents (which I’m thinking of just deleting anyway). If you can’t find me via the internet, I’m not sure I want you as a client.

In fact, that’s one of the questions on the entry survey: How would I describe a client from hell.

Well, let me tell you. A client from hell (and I actually don’t have any) would be a person who is not internet or tech savvy and has no intention of becoming so. When I first launched my agency in 2002, I had one client who met this description and I will never do that again. Communicating with the person was just too time consuming. Luckily, this client had a book that was a one-off (meaning it was just a one time thing and doesn’t plan to do more.)

So now let me describe a dream client by giving some examples (and I might do a couple this week because darn it, my clients are savvy and I love them for it). Also, it’s worth sharing some of the stuff they are doing because you blog readers can benefit from it. They are creative and some of their creativity might spark a promo idea for you.

First up, a new client for me: Marianne Mancusi

She and another fellow author Liz Maverick both write for the just launched SHOMI line at Dorchester (WIRED and MOONGAZER). They call themselves The Rebels of Romance (which is a great promo hook by the way) and when they can, they cross-promote their titles together. In fact, they have done such a good job, Dorchester decided to feature them in their booth at Book Expo this year. Here is Mari, in costume, getting ready for the signing.

Being the savvy gals that they are, Liz and Marianne did a youtube piece because they are all about the viral video marketing these days. (Now granted, Mari has a background in this since she is a former TV Producer but anyone can get savvy on this tech; it’s not complicated). The idea was to create a funny video that can spread the word about their new books without being obnoxious self promoters.

Check out their video on youtube here.

But then they didn’t stop there. They got Media Bistro to post it on their blog Galley Cat (and now they want to interview the two Rebels of Romance). In addition to targeting media and other blogs with it, they sent the link to sales/marketing at Dorchester who in turn sent it to all their book buyers. The Borders buyer even wrote Liz and Mari to tell them she loved it (and Borders do include things like that on their e-newsletters that go out to hundreds of thousands of people).

Not a bad return on some photos and a couple of hours of editing.

That is worth getting tech savvy for I think, and it makes Mari one of my dream clients.

10 Responses

  1. Kimber An said:

    Wonderful! In any endeavor in life, there are things one must do in order to accomplish a goal. If you don’t know how to do something that must be done, LEARN!

  2. Tori Scott said:

    I’m the same way about any agent I look at. I communicate primarily by email, and agents who don’t take email queries end up way down the list.

  3. Patrick McNamara said:

    There are programs that will help one do things like that. It reminded me a lot of a PowerPoint presentation.

    I like using e-mail, at least for agents to contact me with, because I’m in Canada and it gets around the problem of postage, particularly getting hold of US stamps.

  4. Anonymous said:

    Cue the lit types saying “Oh she’s pretty and has good figure and so she’s not a real writer.” I’m guessing her royalty checks will tell her otherwise.

  5. Trish Ryan said:

    That’s a great video – it reminds me of the Andrea Seigel video where she danced at her book signings. Gotta love creative people let out of the box!

  6. Anonymous said:

    It’s interesting you should mention Jeff Herman’s Guide. I had a rejection letter from an agent last week who strongly encouraged me to go out and buy it (sounded a lot like a plug and I was a tad put off). All I could think was, aren’t these books going the way of the dinosaur, what with the AAR website and Agentquery, RWA resources, etc.? Would anyone truly need to purchase one of these tomes to find an agent or publisher?

  7. Marsupialis said:

    You are the cleverest! You make a provocative remark about a hypothetical “bad” client but your real purpose is to get us to look at the clip. Bravo!

  8. WordVixen said:

    “Sometimes it just comes down to divine intervention.”

    That bit was great. Very clever women and I love their sense of humor. Not really my genre, but I may just be picking up their books anyway.

    Just goes to show, ingenuity counts.

  9. Anonymous said:

    Hilarious clip. And what I wouldn’t give for an awesome surname like “Maverick”!