Thursday, July 21, 2011

Follow Up Questions for Kirt Forakis- Marketing Director At Cedar Fort

I appreciate Kirt taking the time to answer the questions I posted yesterday. As I read and prepared the blog I had a few other questions pop into my mind. I asked Kirt if he would answer my follow up questions and he is gracious to answer.

Steve: How is the marketing budget for a project decided? Is there a standard marketing package or is the marketing plan created for each unique project?

Kirt: Each project is a little unique and and we decide as a team what a budget will be. We don’t focus as much towards “how much,” but rather what types of advertising will work for a particular book. Some books will get a budget that is used towards traditional marketing, but it is not as effective as it once was. We would rather focus time and effort on social media. Authors are able to reach hundreds and thousands of people with little or no money spent. Authors can participate in blog tours and interact with followers through Facebook and other types of social media. Authors should not feel bad if they do not get a budget for traditional marketing. In most cases this just means that we feel an author can reach their audience better through social media and face to face interactions. There will need to be a unique marketing plan for each book as well. The type of book will determine the type of blogs an author will want to engage in and so forth.

Steve: What is your philosophy for expending marketing dollars to get CF books into Deseret Book, Seagull and other catelogs?

Kirt: This is a topic that I have not gotten fully involved with and can get back to you later.

Steve: How does Cedar Fort plan to increase marketing and distribution within large chain stores such as Wal-Mart or Costco from regional to national participation?

Kirt: This falls more on our sales team, however as a marketing department we provide our sales team with ammunition. We need to get our sales team anything that will help get books into those chains. This is why we seek for book reviews, press releases, public relation info and more to support a book. If an author has any info, stats or material to help our sales team, we would like the material sent to us. The authors who put in the time to provide ammunition, such as press releases and developing large followings on social media, have a much better chance getting into large chains and selling well.

Steve: Will the marketing department discuss with the author the plans they have regarding the breadth of marketing? (ie LDS bookstores only, or Regional, or national plans)

Kirt: Most books that are LDS can expect to be more regional. There are some LDS books that have an appeal to a larger audience and sometimes we don’t know that until we see a demand for it. As we work with the authors, we will inform them of our efforts and what direction we are moving for their book.

Steve: A while back Mr. Mortimer stated that Cedar Fort plans to offer advances for books that have national appeal. How does this play into Cedar Fort's marketing strategy?

Kirt: If we have a good notion that a book will have a national appeal, we will focus our efforts a little differently. Again, this comes down to what type of book and the audience. We work as a team to form our plan geared towards each book. Online and social media is already national so we would just need to teak what is being done on it a little. As far as traditional marketing, we will consider our options and where the money will be best spent for an individual book.

Conclusion: Hopefully these posts over the last 2 days has shed a little bit of light on the marketing philosophies and workings within Cedar Fort. These interviews may have raised questions for you personally and I encourage everyone who has questions to work closely with their production team at their publishing house so that you are able to gain knowledge and understanding about the business side of publishing and also to ensure that you are satisfied with the end product. It has been nice getting to know Kirt and I appreciate his time and willingness to participate.


  1. Excellent questions Steve. Thanks for the heads up. Love that song too. I haven't see the Kansas temple picture yet. Very beautiful temple. Thanks.

    Anna del C.
    Author of "The Silent Warrior Trilogy"

  2. I am about to commit a blogging no-no, and leave a comment that has nothing to do with your post, but I just wanted to come over here and thank you personally for being my loudest supporter. You have no idea how much all your comments meant to me. I can't believe that people can be so hateful. I think I know who my anonymous commenter is and I am pretty sure she is someone who really has problems with my religion, so she decides to take it out on me personally. It's a good thing that blogging has gifted me with pretty thick skin.

    I am mostly just glad that you "get" my sense of humor.

    Have a great day.