“There are people right outside of this door that will never get to see what you do, and that is not because they are uncivilized or they are uncultured or even because they are unaware. They just can’t afford a ticket.” —Adam Thurman, Director of Marketing and Communications, Children’s Theatre Company When I began writing […]
Online book giveaways are becoming pretty standard in the publishing industry’s marketing toolbox—so much so that readers have come to expect them. Giveaways familiarize readers with book covers and copy, increase the number of reviews they receive, generate pre-publication social media presence, and build loyalty around both the author and the publisher.
Publishing houses employ some of the most creative people around, and that creativity often extends further than just choosing the right books to publish. Marketers in publishing are challenging perceptions in a traditionally conservative industry by implementing targeted branding strategies. Branding is one of the most essential components to a marketing mix, and is usually recognized as an image or symbol companies use to differentiate themselves from other companies.
Book marketing is a great way to get to know a book. It not only allows one to be involved with a manuscript through the entire publishing process, but it gives those responsible for marketing books the chance to tell a story about the story. Sometimes these stories work really well, and other times ideas fall flat—that’s marketing. Nevertheless, coming up with a solid marketing plan, or even a functional concept that works well for a book, typically comes from the text itself. But even before those ideas roll out, the marketing process has started; it begins as soon as a manuscript arrives at the press.
Right from the start, I wanted to focus on marketing throughout the Book Publishing program because it was what I knew best from a previous internship. And lucky for me, on my first day I was assigned to a project group that was in the marketing stage. While I had experience with social media, blog posts, and other digital forms of marketing, I had never heard of the term “collateral” before and wasn’t aware of its significance in marketing.
Marketing is focused on finding a book’s most interesting points and framing them in a way that appeals to the intended audience. Editing needs to take similar ideas into account: What are the readers going to see from this book? What is the most interesting part of this book to readers? Which characters appeal to readers, and which bore them? Are the themes in this book suitable for the intended audience? While you don’t need to tailor the book to a specific audience, it is important to see where the book shines (not just what you like about it), and how those elements merge to create the final project.