The Muffin readers, you're in for a treat today. We have an interview with Sarah McGinnis, who is vice president of creative services at Frenzy Marketing. So, what is Frenzy Marketing, and what can they do to help you with your writing career? Read on to find out!
WOW: Welcome, Sarah, thanks for stopping by today. So, what is Frenzy Marketing? Tell us about your position there.
Sarah: Frenzy Marketing is a newly re-launched, full-service marketing company specializing in work for authors, artists, and other creative professionals. We are all working artists ourselves, so we know how difficult it is to navigate the world of promotion and how awkward it can be to market yourself to others — we've been there. But we've also worked on the other side of the business--at publishers, art galleries, and even in the film business. So we know what "they" are looking for and where they're looking and how crucial it is for writers and artists to carve out a presence for themselves in the world and on the web.
I'm the vice president of creative services, so I get all the fun of overseeing our design projects, event planning, and other creative work, while the other partners in the company, Anthony Pizzuto and Anthony Cox, handle the numbers and all the really geeky behind-the-scenes stuff. We also have a fantastically talented group of freelancers in NY and beyond that we will be working with as well.
WOW: I love how the three of you understand the marketing aspect from both sides of the issue. So many authors struggle with marketing! So, how can Frenzy Marketing help an author promote her book?
Sarah: When we say full-service, we mean it! We offer everything from print and web design to event planning, web promotions, and ongoing representation. So, we can create an entire website; design bookmarks, postcards, or other promotional materials; plan author signings—the sky's the limit! Our goal is to offer plans of work that are completely flexible and customized for each individual author—plans that make use of the skills and resources an author already has, and that are totally in sync with her goals and priorities. So for example, very tech-savvy authors might just want help with the event planning side or pitching the media, or they might come to us for web hosting. Another author might be a pro at print design, but need our help making her creative vision work on the web. And others may be starting from the very beginning with their first book or even before they're published, and not quite know where to start—we can jump in and be of help at absolutely any stage.
WOW: Sounds great. I love the idea of customized services. What if an author has a low budget? Do you have any packages for authors starting out that don't have much money? Can you give us a rough estimate of what you charge per hour or per service?
Sarah: Yes, absolutely--we can work with just about any budget. To start, we're offering three introductory packages at a great value:
Web Package $450
1 Year of Free Hosting & Domain Registration Service ($129.00 Value)
Twitter Account Setup (and training if needed)
Facebook Fan Page Creation
Search Engine Submissions
Print Promo Package $350 (Not inclusive of printing & mailing charges)
- Business Cards
Web & Print Package $700 — all of the above!
We are definitely open to adding more packages in the future as the company grows, and as we start hearing feedback from our clients. In the meantime, we work hard to keep our hourly rates competitive as well--currently it's $30/hr for design work and $50/hr for marketing services. We will also be offering a variety of arrangements for ongoing representation to work with each author's budget and needs.
WOW: Thanks for explaining the packages and prices to us. Why is it important for an author to have a marketing plan?
Sarah: There are so many amazing ways to promote an author these days, it's fantastic. But for a new author especially, it can also be overwhelming, even paralyzing. It's so hard to know where to start and what's most important; and of course, everyone you ask will have a different answer. But the one thing I think everyone can agree on is the importance of having a plan--whatever you do, however you do it, write it down! Having a marketing plan instantly puts you in control--instead of just guessing as you go and wondering if you're making the right choices, you have each step laid out in front of you, and you can clearly see how each one works to get you closer to your goals. You know who's doing what and that everyone you're working with is on the same page. Working on your plan in advance also gives you the ability to plan BIG—to book popular venues for your events, get a feature in a prestigious publication, or create a major launch on the web. You have enough variables to deal with as an author already--edits, sales, print runs, etc.--there's no need for your marketing plan to be another question mark.
WOW: Most marketing plans these days seem to entail a website as well as social networking sites. Does every published author need a web presence?
Sarah: These days, yes. But the definition of web presence can vary greatly. I've worked with plenty of authors that don't even have an Internet connection—some that don't even have electricity!—but I've made sure that every one has some sort of web presence. Every author should have a profile page on industry sites like LibraryThing, Book Tour, and JacketFlap--they're so easy to set up, need virtually no maintenance, and make it so much easier for readers and publishers to find you with a simple Google search. And there are plenty of other tricks too--one of the off-the-grid authors I worked with wrote for a local paper, which then posted her articles online (with a mention of her book in her bio). Others make themselves available for interviews with bloggers via e-mail or over the phone--it's really no different in that respect than speaking with a local reporter. Find your most web-savvy neighbors—bookstores, arts organizations, nonprofits—and offer your help with events or even to write a column for their e-newsletter or contribute to their blog. Donate copies of your books as prizes for online auctions for your favorite causes. Encourage your friends and fans to post their reviews of your book on Amazon or Goodreads. . . In other words, do you need to devote hours a day to tweeting your every meal and change in the weather? No way. If you're not comfortable with the technology, or think it's a waste of time, that will totally come through in your posts, and it won't do you any good. But if you and your book don't pop right up when someone makes the effort to search for you, you're missing out on a whole virtual world of opportunity.
WOW: Great points, Sarah, and thanks for all the creative suggestions! It's easy to see why you are the vice president of creative services. Writers, if you are interested in learning more about Frenzy Marketing, please visit their website.
interview conducted by Margo L. Dill, http://margodill.com/blog/