I'm working on my marketing plan for Mahu right now. Trying to think of everything that I can do to help promote the book is a tough job! When I signed the contract with Haworth, I had to fill out a long marketing questionnaire, and I know that they have things they'll do to promote the book, but I want to do my part, too.
Haworth is mostly an academic publisher, and I don't think they have much experience promoting fiction. One cool thing they do is offer a review copy for academics, so one of my projects is going to be to send an email to people who teach gay studies or gay lit courses letting them know about the book. I think it would be great to get the book adopted for a course or two.
I think there's a real justification for this, too. I think any survey of gay lit course should include current books as well as classics, and because Mahu is a gay coming out story, I think it can fit with any survey of gay lit. Also because it crosses genres-- combines the coming out story with the mystery-- it's a unique approach.
According to the president of Haworth's book division, Bill Palmer, whom I met at Saints & Sinners, Haworth already has a list of these courses. I've been doing my own research online, to come up with my own list as well. I know from my own experience choosing books for courses I teach, it's a long process, so I'm not expecting anything to happen quickly.
In August, once the book is out and professors are returning to campuses, I'm going to send an email to as many professors as I can find explaining the book and inviting them to register for a review copy. Then we'll see what happens.