The adage “don’t judge a book by its cover” has been proven to be bad advice not only for readers but also for publishers’ marketing teams. As it turns out, books’ covers are often exactly what they’re judged by.
For authors, social media is a wonderful place to share with friends, family, the writing community, and the world at large how fun and stressful the publishing journey can be. But if you’ve never used social media to promote yourself or your book, it can be hard to know how to get started.
Spend a few minutes on the internet and you’ll probably see the kind of highly curated images that saturate social media, whether they’re posts by influencers or ads from retail powerhouses. Every detail in these images is planned, from the succulents in the background to the coffee mugs placed strategically on the counter and yes, even the books lining the shelves with precise color coordination. Just based on a quick scan of these picturesque galleries, it’s easy to make the assumption that these books aren’t going to be opened in the near future, if at all. This use of books for their “aesthetic” induces eye rolls in some and can even be downright offensive to literary enthusiasts.
As a culture, we are growing more inclusive every day, but not all young readers grow up in the same environment. Not every town offers good examples, not every family is understanding, and not every book teaches the same thing. When you’re marketing a novel to a young adult readership, it is important to understand that while the internet is a map to nearly every young reader, it can also be the thing that destroys a novel.
Have you ever fallen prey to a beautiful book and bought it simply because it was pretty? Cover designers work hard, and well-made covers are usually responsible for someone stopping to browse. A similar phenomenon happens with preorder gifts, which leave readers desiring more than just the story.
Transmedia marketing uses the world-building concepts of transmedia storytelling to create awareness campaigns, maintain or spark media buzz, and generate fan involvement. Instead of broadcasting a concise message across multiple advertising mediums, it focuses on creating opportunities for engagement, encouraging fans to interact with it and make it their own.