Pub Rants

Why We Have A Marketing Director

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STATUS: Heading out for the night but plan to do some much needed client reading in the next couple of nights. Hubby is out of town. Amazing how much more work gets done when that happens.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? SUNDAY MORNING by Maroon 5

Early this year, I realized I was spending in ordinate amount of time talking with editors and in-house marketing and publicity people about my clients’ upcoming releases.

In fact, I was spending so much time doing that, I started wondering when I would have the time to read new material and take on new clients. After all, I’m an agent, not a marketing coordinator.

And that’s why this past March, I hired Lindsay Mergens to be out Marketing Director here at NLA.

Here’s a link to her bio so you can see what a great background she has for this job. However, being a Marketing Director for an agency is not the same as this corresponding title in a Publishing house. What exactly would she be doing? Would she be duplicating Publisher effort by actually doing marketing and publicity? Nope, that’s not what Lindsay does.

So here’s what she does—think of it more like coordinating.

1. Tracking all upcoming releases and doing a timeline of what is being done in-house and when we need to be following up with the author’s assigned publicist about the marketing plan.

2. She works on the marketing plan with all our authors so they have something to say other than “I don’t know what I’m doing with this.” All authors know more than they think they do. She adds these things to the Publisher’s plan and helps to tweak what will be done.

3. Sometimes she gets money out of the Publishers for an author visit that they might not have done otherwise if we hadn’t simply requested it.

4. She is the liaison for the in-house publicist and marketing person assigned to the author.

5. If the author would like to hire an external PR company as well, Lindsay hooks the author up with the right people. She also reviews any PR proposals that an external company might present.

6. She attends meetings with me in New York when we are meeting with the Publishing marketing and publicity people. As she used to be one, she knows exactly what to ask.

7. When the marketing plan is formed and finalized, Lindsay is the point person to see that all things get implemented and that all the info is disseminated to me, to the author, rights co-agents, etc.

8. She helps authors fill out the client Author Questionnaire (which can be a huge deal as that is often the in-house template that will be worked from).

9. When folks contact us about having one of our authors come and speak, Lindsay handles that and coordinates with the publisher,

10. Book Trailers. Marketing Materials and so forth, Lindsay reviews it all, requests changes if necessary or generally helps guide this whole process.

11. Book tours abroad. Lindsay handles it and coordinates with US publisher.

This list could go on and on. In fact, I’m probably leaving out tons of stuff but this should give you an idea of why I would hire someone to do this for the Agency. As the main agent, I’m cc’d on all communications but honestly, I’m not sure how I did without her for so long. It’s a job in and of itself.

15 Responses

  1. Anonymous said:

    It sounds great, but now I’m wondering if other agents have marketing directors like this. I don’t think my agent does, but I’ve never asked.

  2. terripatrick said:

    Dear Kristin,

    I’m not sure if I should thank you or not, all this recent business advice makes me feel I should begin the agent search, again, for my memoir.

    I was planning, when I get it back from my grammar maven, to just post it as a .PDF on my website. That way I could let it do it’s own thing and focus on writing romances.

    Sigh. LOL!

    I’ll think about it after Labor Day. There’s too much summer yet to enjoy. Thanks for this blog, it’s awesome.

  3. Anonymous said:

    Good morning Kristin,

    Not to nitpick, but in your first paragraph you say, “Early this year, I realized I was spending in ordinate amount of time…”.

    Shouldn;t that read, “…I realized I was spending an inordinate amount of time…”?


  4. nkrell said:

    Anon 9:32 AM

    Heaven only knows I’ve posted something on a blog and have misspelled a word or inadvertently typed one vowel instead of another. These things happen.

    But you know what? We’re all human and every once in a while, we might make a mistake. “Shouldn;t” we all just let it go?

  5. S. Krishna said:

    I am working on BBAW (Book Blogger Appreciation Week)and your blog, Pub Rants, has been nominated for an award! More information will be forthcoming, but please e-mail me your e-mail address as soon as possible, within the next 24 hours at the latest. My e-mail address is skrishna [at] skrishnasbooks [dot] com. Thanks!

  6. Anonymous said:

    My nemesis, the semi colon button placed next to the apostrophe button. Thanks Nkrell. =)

    As for the correction, I wasn’t pointing it out in a harmful way, but a helpful way. I operate under the mantra in which I would prefer someone to point out inconsistencies as they note them, rather than asking me afterward why I didn’t stop at the red light or why I added three cups of salt to the cake batter.

    If I offended anyone I apologize.

  7. Sierra Godfrey said:

    Hiring a marketing director is the mark of a really professional agency and it says you understand authors and their needs well.

    I wonder how commonplace this service is. You’ve just made yourself and your agency even more desirable for authors!

  8. Coral Press said:

    Marketing is sometimes quite a mystery to the untrained; glad to know there are organized people like you and Lindsay to delegate and coordinate that mystery.

    As Coral Press expands, we can only hope to find people as talented to help us out with marketing madness!