And I'm starting with List Launch.
Why? Because it's the one thing (at least the only thing that came to mind) I've run into so far that I hadn't known a thing about before getting a book deal. I think the reason it isn't talked about much, is because there isn't much the author has to DO for it. Occasionally, an author launches without even realizing they've launched!
So what is list launch?
|List Launch is kind of like this. Only not.|
In a nutshell, it's when the editors (usually-- sometimes it's the publicist, or maybe even marketing) present the books they've been working on to the sales and marketing force.
It happens 2 or 3 times a year, depending on how many lists each publisher has. (Most have spring and fall; some also have winter or summer.) I don't know how far in advance of the book coming out list launch typically happens-- I just know that it happened at the beginning of this month for me, and my book doesn't come out until fall 2013. The editors are the ones who know the book best, so they are the ones who usually talk about the book. If the book has a cover, they show the cover, pitch the book, and talk about the book details and sometimes the marketing plan. Basically, they try to get sales excited about the book they're pitching.
Because sales are the people who go from bookstore to bookstore, and help them to decide what books to carry in their stores. There are TONS of books that come out each season-- there's no way any bookstore could buy all of them. The sales people help them choose. And the sales reps hear about a LOT of books, so it's really good if yours stands out. And do you know who really wants your book to stand out as much as you do? YOUR EDITOR. That's why they make such great presenters at list launch.
The other awesome thing about list launch is that the info-sharing goes both ways. The people who talk to bookstores about what to buy are experts at knowing why bookstores choose not to carry books. They know what types of covers they tend to like less. They know if a book's title is likely to get lost in the masses. So they tend to give really great feedback to your book's team. And that is a very awesome thing.
A few months ago, I read a post on Pub(lishing) Crawl where Vanessa Di Gregorio talked about list launch from the perspective of a Sales Rep, and it was fascinating! Definitely worth checking out.
So I'm curious. If you're pre-published, did you already know about list launch? And if you're published (or in the process), did you know about it before you got your book deal?