How Do You Fire Your Marketing Manager When You're Married To Him?

by Linda Thorne

My marketing manager is my husband. I realize I should feel lucky to have help because so many authors I know do not, and many of them work full-time jobs just as I do. Most of us can’t afford to pay for help either.

But, if my marketing manager misspells my lead character’s last name one more time, I think I’ll scream. He prepared return address labels with our street address so scrambled, I didn’t recognize it. When I complained, he called me a micro-manager. A couple of things were returned with no postage.

I’ve always had this dream marketing plan that every restaurant or place of interest where I’d set one of my scenes would have an owner ecstatic about putting up my book where visitors and/or customers would take notice. When patrons asked questions about why my book was there in full view, someone would tell them the book had just been released and an entire chapter was dedicated to their establishment. All those patrons would rush home and immediately order my book online.

So I assigned this task to my marketing manager, my husband, hoping I could keep writing my second book in the series with the limited time I had. But my husband got nowhere. He decided to send a general mailing out to each place. I thought a personal touch would work better, so I asked him to hold back one of the mailings and I’d try to make the contact myself.

I called the restaurant that I’d used for a setting in Chapter 18 and asked for the owner who promptly came to the phone. She was excited that I had a scene with her restaurant in my book, gave me her e-mail address, and asked if I wanted to come down for a book signing. Yes, she does want to prop my book up in her restaurant. So, why was this so easy for me, but so hard for my marketing manager? 

Then I checked out the Biloxi Yacht Club, the setting for another chapter. My husband said he tried, using the general phone number, and could not make contact. I checked online and saw that they’d named a new commodore who happened to be my husband’s doctor when we lived on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and his e-mail address was listed. This doctor knows my husband and would’ve remembered him if my husband had made direct contact. At this point I heaved a heavy sigh.

Okay, after I calmed down, humility hit center. Most of these places may want to talk directly to the author. I may need to take the time whether I think I have it or not. Also, I don’t know how I would’ve gotten a lot of things done without my husband’s help. He created my book trailer all on his own. He read about “branding” and created a new top for my website so the picture and header blended in with the business cards and bookmarks that he designed for me. I like being married. 

Keeping him around is much more important than my minor gripes. I’ll handle contacting the places on the Mississippi Gulf Coast where I’ve set scenes and I have a feeling if any of you visit any of these places, you’ll probably see my book out in the open somewhere.

Just Another Termination:

At long last, she lands a job with a good employer, but the trouble is just beginning…
Human resources manager Judy Kenagy hopes her days of running from bad bosses and guilt-ridden memories are over. But alas, she’s barely settled in when a young female employee is found shot to death, spinning her new workplace into turmoil. Small-town police chief, Carl Bombardier solicits Judy’s help in her role as the company’s HR Manager. While working with Judy, he shares his fanatical interest in a twenty-five-year-old double homicide he believes is linked to her last and worst bad boss. To make matters worse, the trusted assistant of her monster ex-boss starts showing up, keeping the unwanted connection going. When the pesky trusted assistant turns up murdered, Judy learns there’s a connection with the shooting death of the employee. She starts sleuthing at the crime scene and stumbles upon an important piece of evidence. Can she solve all of the murders with this single find? If she does, will she finally be freed from the demons of her past? Or are things not as they seem?

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Linda Thorne said…
Marilyn, thank you for having me on your well-known blog today and tomorrow. I'm looking forward to talking to you, meeting new people, and maybe chatting with some of my current friends.
Claire said…
Linda, you've got a sensitive issue here. However, it sounds as if some things are better suited to his talents than others.You mentioned some graphics-related things he did. Perhaps he's more suited to the creative, visual aspects of "marketing."

He may understand marketing, but not be the best person to carry out the mundane tasks of his marketing ideas. Marketing and Sales are separate in most businesses for a reason -- the skills and talents for one do not make one good at the other.

The more you can get him to help with those things he's good at, and save some of the other tasks for yourself or someone who is more suited to them, the better.
Linda Thorne said…
Thank you Claire for your good advice. Since I wrote this, I've taken over more of the "sales" part. I do think people prefer to work with the author directly. The talents he has are things I don't know a thing about, so that is helpful.
The hardest thing for me right now is having a full time job.
Linda, I loved his post. I think that you are handling things right.
Linda Thorne said…
I was complaining about something he'd done and then joked about firing him. He said that would make a good post, so that's what I did. Marilyn, I really envy how you put out book after book. I keep trying to get to my second one and so much gets in the way. I did download your newest Tempe Crabtree book. I hope to get to it by the 17th when you visit my blog.
It sounds to me like the good and bad aspects of having your hubby for your marketing manager pretty much balance out on the scale. You are, indeed, lucky that he's even willing to try and do marketing for you. My own husband would be completely lost. Also, I have discovered that most places do prefer to actually talk with the author rather than receive items regarding one's latest book via the mail. Great post. I love the fact that your husband suggested the topic.
Linda Thorne said…
Yeah, he's suggests a lot of things. I don't always take his ideas for stories in my book, but when he tells me places are slow or boring, I sure start rewriting. Your face looked familiar to me, so I looked online. Maybe I've seen you on Facebook. I lived in the Denver area about 15 years and know a number of the Colorado mountain towns and curious where your bookstore was. I got caught up in the We Are Different Story. I would say that title would fit something so sad. Then noticed your fiction.
Marja said…
Over the years I've found that personal contact from me, rather than someone trying to help, really makes a difference. I think you're handling things just right. There are two businesses that I mentioned in stories who put my book in a prominent place. Yes, it helped. Thank you for sharing your story with us. My husband helped when he could, but generally he was the best at thinking up titles and giving me his opinion on covers and book trailers.

Marja McGraw
Linda Thorne said…
Yes Marja,I think even if my husband had called those establishments, the owners may've been put off by someone else speaking on my behalf. Someone told me they pay a person to handle their Facebook for them (do the likes & the comments). That is carrying "delegating" a little too far in my opinion. I know it's time consuming, but I wouldn't want to comment to a representative of a Facebook friend. I glanced at your website. Interesting. I started off in Arizona and then lived in California twice in my life (first time San Mateo), the second time the Central Valley. When we ended up in Mississippi where my book is set, we fell in love with the South. I'm in Nashville now. It's our final stop.
Linda Thorne said…
Marilyn, thanks so much for hosting me. You have been a big help to me and I truly do appreciate it. I'm looking forward to you visit on September 17th. That will be one fun post since I'm named in the book.

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