At 5.45am this morning I woke up with a fully-fledged Marketing Plan rattling around my brain.
Somewhat belatedly I realised that by putting my novel, A Half Life of One, on the web I have in effect created a unique identity for it, a literary history, a pedigree that allows me to differentiate it from virtually all the other mss that deluge agents on a daily basis.
Think about it. Most unsolicited submissions have no pedigree. If you're an unpublished novelist the best you can do is cite some short stories you have published in obscure literary magazines. Maybe you once published a poem in the school magazine.
But my book has form. My book has already been read by people all over the world. In other words it's been extensively test marketed. I have the statistics to prove it. For example, I know that of everyone who has started the book, 95% have finished it. And that's in its crude electronic form, which we all know is hell to read.
And what do readers think about the book? Well, on my query letter I can quote the following opinions:
"The book is good. Very good."
"Great. Reminded me of 'Bonfire of the Vanities'."
"This is a great read."
"There's real power in your story."
"Excellent. Got more?"
What agent could resist such a sure-fire proposal? Okay, I'm hyping the book but isn't that what it's all about these days? I'm selling a product, which is part of the authoring process, one I've been slow to learn.
So, here's the new deal. While I'm investigating the mechanics of self-publishing I've decided I'll send the book out to one more agent. Suitably packaged with positive feedback from my blogging experience. I'll let you know how I get on.
Now, back to bed while I catch up on some of that beauty sleep I've been missing.