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  1. #1
    Alison Cunningham

    About Hartline Literay Agency.

    Does this sound right to all of you? Are authors supposed to do their own marketing and promotions?
    Hartline states on their website.......

    Increasingly, fiction authors are encouraged to promote their novels themselves through writers' conferences, book signings, web sites and other related techniques. This is because publishers are not likely to spend significant market dollars to promote the typical 'midlist' author. Therefore, every less-than-best-selling author out to be prepared to spend and invest in book promotion. Let us know if you plan to set up a website for your book, create promotional 'giveways', arrange your own book signings or attend writers' conferences. Think out of the box. Tell us also if you will be able to get a well-known writer to 'blurb' endorse your book.

    Aren't agents supposed to take care of their client and is not the author supposed to do what he/she does best. Write.
    So is this right?

  2. #2
    James Macdonald

    Re: About Hartline Literay Agency.

    ... every less-than-best-selling author out to be prepared

    They meant "ought to be prepared," right?

    It's not true that publishers don't promote mid-list authors. It's just that the promotion happens out of the public eye.

    Agents don't set up promotional events either ... agents negotiate with publishers.

    Authors can do their own marketing and promotion. It's not required. The publisher is already marketing all their books to the bookstores. That's the key thing. Splashy magazine ads don't make a lot of sense for most authors, whether the publisher pays for them or the author pays for them. Book signings are okay, if you enjoy them. They're not going to bring in a significant number of sales.

    Sure, keep your agent informed of what you're doing. If what you're doing is "writing your next book," that's good.

    The number one reason anyone buys a book is that they read and enjoyed a previous book by the same author. The number two reason is that the book was personally recommended to them by someone they know and trust. All the rest of the reasons vanish down into the single-digit percentages.

  3. #3
    Alison Cunningham

    Re: About Hartline Literay Agency.

    So, in other words, Hartline would not be one of the agents you would choose? I'm not contacting them because, I don't feel comfortable with their website. I only contacted the ones that were approved by P&E. That's a good website and very helpful to authors I feel.

  4. #4

    Re: About Hartline Literay Agency.

    As far as I know nowadays authours are largely left on their own to promote their book and are encouraged to hire publicists and those who I've met who do, haven't regretted it. But it sounds draconic.

    If you're having doubts about that agency I don't think what you posted deviates from other agency policies, but maybe there's something else about them that's bothering you.

  5. #5
    KJ --

    Re: About Hartline Literay Agency.

    Hi, Alison - James is right that agents don't set up your promotional events. And you're right not to query an agency that makes you feel uncomfortable, for whatever reason. But it's not unethical or "off" for an agency to look into what sort of self-promotion you're willing to do. It's all part of how marketable a package you and your manuscript are. Many agents now recommend that their clients hire outside PR and, in general, take an active part in promoting their book. Of course there are exceptions but, in most cases, your publisher will not actively promote your book. If you sign with a big publishing house, their sales reps will get your book into bookstores. Your in-house publicist will send out press releases (that you have most likely written) to relevant publications/reviewers (but your publicist will probably not follow up on whether or not those publications actually review your book. In most cases, they will not.)
    But all this is yet to come for you! Right now, good luck on the agent hunt!

  6. #6
    Happy Soybean

    Re: About Hartline Literay Agency.

    I didn't see anything strange about that blurb from the site. I think everything they said is mostly true. If you still feel uncomfortable about the site as a whole, or if you prefer an agency at least willing to work with the writer on publicity, then trust your instincts. But I'm not overly concerned with what I see here. They're being realistic, which is better than allowing authors to sit around and expect the publishing house to promote the book. I think it's good to give potential authors the heads up that this will take a lot of work, even after the contract is signed.

  7. #7

    Re: About Hartline Literay Agency.

    Looks fine to me. They aren't asking for bux.

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