My manuscript has made it to the desk of a large NY house. Not one of the big 5 (or is it 3 or 4 now?) but still a large and well-known house.
I have no agent and followed up with the editor’s assistant after 3 months with an email. He informed me he has given the ms and a “report” to the editor and I should hear from her when a decision has been made.
Obviously, this is exciting since I’ve made it through the query and first full review stage.
Now it’s on the editor’s desk I am wondering if I should follow up and let them know a couple of things.
From what I understand this house encourages its writers to publicize their books and take ownership of pushing the book.
I work in the software industry, have a degree in computer science, develop web sites and have a good idea on internet promotion and using the internet as a useful sales channel.
My question (finally!) is this: should I follow up with the assistant and let him know I have this background and am willing to throw myself 100% into helping promote the book using my skills?
Would this sound desperate or amateurish? Or would it help possibly sway a 50/50 decision?
Amateurish. If you made it this far I don't think they would toss the book just on that, but they will laugh at you behind your back.
Many authors put this sort of thing into their initial query, and unless you have big media connections, it's irrelevant. Yes, you're willing to do publicity. Yes, we want you to do publicity. Guess what? If minimal publicity is actually budgeted for a first author, we expect the author to participate in publicizing their book. I think there's a line in the contract about how the publisher will do all it can and the author will do all they can to promote the book. Today, in the world of tight publication budgets, this generally means the author being asked to make a website and write up guest blog posts. Publishers will help the author do this if they are inept. I was recently offered web space for my books on the publisher's site, and I told them thank you, I already had a site. Then they made recommendations for mine.
Publishing companies expect that the author, if required, will be part of the publicity. They often won't contractually require it, especially if it involves traveling a lot, and the author can always turn it down, but authors generally don't. I did everything my publisher asked of me, and then some, but they don't expect you to go door-to-door with copies of your book. At most that would sell a couple dozen out of guilt, and publishers think in the thousands, or tens of thousands.
Also, while it really helps if you can launch some national media campaign, it doesn't mean that the book is good. And, at least on principle, we don't accept books that suck, even if Oprah is on your speed dial.