Promotion Plans

This post, from MCM, originally appeared on his site on 12/2/09 and is reprinted here in its entirety with his permission.

I should make a FAQ for publishers who want to help me “go legit.”  It would be funny, I bet.

Recently, I had some contact with a medium-sized press that wanted to take one of my older titles and re-print it “for a much bigger audience.”  They were very courteous and seemed well-intentioned, but there were more than a few stumbling blocks to overcome.  One was a request for a promotion plan. 

This appears to be standard fare in the publishing biz, and the lack of a solid plan appears to irritate editors.  Let me tell you, it irritates me even more.

So to all prospective publishers looking to scoop up a popular self-published or web fiction property, here is what you need to ask yourselves: what are YOUR promotion plans?  How much are you going to spend, where is it being spent, and what are the expected results?  I want to see a solid plan that I can sink my teeth into, or I’m going to have doubts that you can deliver.  Get that together, and THEN contact me.

See, I already market well to my audience.  When I release something new, it’s well covered.  Your job is to spread the word further than I can do myself.  If you want ME to do that, then it assumes I CAN.  If I CAN, then I have to ask why I would need you involved at all.  So I can get a smaller royalty?  I think you miss the key element of “value proposition”… the, uh, “value” part.  And please, don’t suggest I spend my own advance on it.  I’m not your marketing department.  If you need help in that area, I have a rate card I can send you.

MCM is the author of The Vector, which io9 called "a gripping, scary viruscore tale." He’s best known for his books The Pig and the Box, Dustrunners: Typhoon, and TorrentBoy: Zombie World, as well as RollBots, a Saturday morning cartoon airing worldwide.