Friday, May 07, 2004

A Savvy Marketer 

Karin Slaughter is the best-selling author of the Grant County series set in rural Georgia. The books have done fairly well in the US, but they are unqualified successes in the UK. The Bookseller catches up with the writer and asks her about her series (the fourth book, INDELIBLE, will be published on both sides of the Atlantic this fall) and touches upon what might be the singular reason for Slaughter's success in general:

Slaughter's success with the trade has been helped by the fact that she understands the vital importance of marketing and promotion to the success of her books. Before deciding to try writing as a career, she ran her own business in Atlanta, as a sign-painter. "It was the best preparation ever for understanding that, as passionate as I feel about writing, once I finish my book that's when the hard work begins--the jacketing and the marketing," she explains.

Considering the current climate of publishing, truer words were never spoken, and Slaughter's one of the most driven and ambitious proponents of self-marketing in the crime genre. Not surprisingly, such a single-minded focus is not exactly universally beloved, but then again, neither is the level of her success. How many writers, after only three published books to her credit, could convince publishers on both sides of the Atlantic to take on an anthology of linked stories that has, at best, a limited fan base?

Never mind that the marketing plans are far from the saturation point; no doubt that when INDELIBLE is released, trade shows, book reps, booksellers (and eventually, fans) will seeing and hearing a whole lot more of Slaughter. And the cycle continues...

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