Jordana Beh wishes our backlist had received the kind of graphic branding that current titles get. Jordana was the marketing department lead for Ooligan Press until she graduated in June, and was responsible for generating interest in all titles, not just the frontlist. That’s why she conducted a Backlist Sales Initiative every quarter to study the effectiveness of past marketing campaigns. This, in turn, revitalizes interest in books published in prior years by applying up-to-date strategies.
“Think about what we learned from the Fall BSI,” she said in an interview. “We saw that Untangling the Knot would’ve benefited from a social media mention when they won the Goldie.”
She and Abbey Gaterud, Ooligan’s faculty advisor, came up with a fresh idea: each book team would create a mini-marketing campaign around a distinctive theme, choosing the titles and developing short campaigns to be rolled out between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
“The mini-campaigns allow us to finesse the topic into something creative and strategic,” Jordana said. “And meaningful, in terms of what these books have to say.”
Here’s a quick reading guide—and thank heavens it’s a non-election year—for summer 2017. You’ll see all of these campaigns in the usual places. Main hashtags are listed here, but that’s just to get the conversation started.
- Theme: School’s Out, May 27–June 10
- Social: #getoutside
- Titles: Ricochet River, A Series of Small Maneuvers
What it’s about: summer vacation, trips, destinations, exploring the outdoors, going where you don’t expect to go, and dealing with unexpected challenges. Celebrate National Grape Popsicle Day (May 27), National Hamburger Day (May 28), and, of course, Memorial Day (May 29).
- Theme: Pride, June 1–30
- Social: #prideNW
- Titles: Forgive Me If I’ve Told You This Before, Untangling the Knot: Queer Voices on Marriage, Relationships & Identity, The Ghosts Who Travel With Me, Memories Flow in Our Veins: Forty Years of Women’s Writing from CALYX, Siblings and Other Disappointments
What it’s about: June is International Pride Month which recognizes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and other queer lives and voices and their impact on history at all levels.
- Theme: Summer Dreaming, June 28–July 10
- Social: #summerdreaming
- Titles: The Ghosts Who Travel With Me: A Literary Pilgrimage through Brautigan’s America, You Have Time For This: Contemporary American Short-Short Stories, Dot-to-Dot, Oregon, Brew to Bikes: Portland’s Artisan Economy
What it’s about: The endless possibilities of Northwest adventure, exploring fresh and diverse perspectives, escaping reality even if just for a little while.
- Theme: Labor Day, Aug 23–Sept. 6
- Social: #celebratework
- Titles: Oregon at Work: 1859-2009, Dreams of the West: A History of the Chinese in Oregon, Speaking Out: Women, War, and the Global Economy, Brew to Bikes: Portland’s Artisan Economy
What it’s about: Everyone can be proud of the work they do. This reading list recognizes the importance of work as a celebration, diversity in work, history of blue-collar workers, and local Northwest businesses. Celebrate Labor Day (Sept. 4).
- Theme: Back to School, Aug. 28–Sept 17
- Social: #beyourself
- Title: Forgive Me If I’ve Told You This Before
What it’s about: Many teens spend high school trying to figure out who they are and begin to understand their sexual identities. As school goes back into session, read about showcasing the diversity of young people, anti-bullying, and exploring your identity.
#summerreading, #getoutside, #summerdreaming, #prideNW, #celebratework, #beyourself