At the end of Part 3, I asked Mary-Theresa this question: After the cover and copy are finalized, how much do you get involved with the marketing and publicity of my books?
MTH: That’s the part that I have the least input with and it can be nerve-wracking! Luckily we have a talented marketing and PR group who take the titles to the sales force, discuss where to advertise, what signings to support, how and where to position the title and arrange for blogging tours and interviews. I’m there for backup to talk up the story as needed, review some of the print materials, and talk to whoever needs me! But once I’ve turned in the last bit, I need to let go and hopefully just communicate the information between author and marketing/PR and do all I can to support both sides of the equation.
I need to remember that my focus is now on getting the author to work on the next title and make sure it’s equally fabulous! I will do what I can to support the author and be available for questions, but it’s out of my hands. Probably because each editor would be jumping up and down demanding all attention on her author and title! We all trust the other departments to do their best for each title, and I think we’ve got a great group working for MIRA (and TEEN and LUNA and all the other imprints!)
|Bookmark for promotion|
MVS: That's a good question! It's very hard to balance PR with writing and my family. With keeping up with my social media sites, my website, my email newsletter, my contests, blog, setting my event schedule, printing bookmarks, and responding to emails, I could easily spend over forty hours a week just on promoting my books. When my book is first released, it can be overwhelming and I've a hard time getting my writing done for the next book - especially when my book comes out in the US, UK and Australia all at the same time!
In order to balance my time, I've made a few decisions. I don't tweet and I only use Facebook and Goodreads for promotion, and they're linked to my blog. I limit my time answering emails and I've hired my sister-in-law to keep track of the readers who enter my contests. I only blog a couple times a week (unless I'm close to a deadline, then there won't be any posts that month), and I send my newsletter out quarterly (instead of bi-monthly). My poor website is update quarterly as well.
Since my new contract is for 4 books to be written in 3 years, I've cut back on my events (book signings, conferences, etc...) and I've cut back on writing short stories (for now!), and I'm not mentoring as many Seton Hill students. Mostly so I have time for my family.
Right now my day looks something like this: Wake up around noon, eat breakfast and then work on promotion/emails/articles/Seton Hill. My kids come home around 3 pm and I cook dinner and do the mom/taxi thing until they go to bed around 10 pm. Then I write until 3 am and go to sleep. This schedule really works for me and I'm able to get my new book written while still having time to promote my other stories.
Thanks for chatting with me Mary-Theresa! Working with you all these years has been a true pleasure and I hope we continue to be partners for years to come. You're not allowed to retire until I do ;>