The always-introspective Jane Friedman of Writer's Digest has come up with a column on "3 Sure-Fire Ways to Insult Someone in Publishing."
After you read what she writes, if you're published, you may wince if (like me) you recognize yourself in some of what she says. But then again, publishing isn't a perfect world, and mistakes do happen. There are too many bad book covers and books tossed on the shelf for authors to smile benignly and leave the marketing and promotion of their books solely to the publisher.
If you don't get involved, odds are slim you'll break out of the box as a publishing success -- and be published again.
To put it bluntly, some of us have learned the lesson "Burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me" the hard way.
That said, I love the second part of her article, in which she gives wonderful tips about how to work in tandem with your pub house on marketing and promoting your book. This includes:
1. Ask questions about the business.
2. Ask what you can do to make your book or project or idea more successful.
3. Ask about the publisher's strengths and weaknesses, and where your help can really make a difference.
4. Share your action plan for marketing and promotion, and ask the publisher for specific things where they can meaningfully and realistically help you (usually things you know they've done to assist other authors).
5. Ask for examples or models of what other authors have done that have led to success.
6. Communicate, communicate, communicate. (Do not hide out, do not point fingers, do not blame.)
We're all in this together,
Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives
Simon & Schuster/Pocket
Look for it in bookstores