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.
Save the date for Ooligan’s next big book release party—May 13 is going to be one of the first memorable events of the summer. If you like Portland, books, scavenger hunts, or all of the above, this is one event you won’t want to miss. To celebrate the launch of Brian K. Friesen’s debut novel, At the Waterline, Team Rivers is throwing a massive party to show you how excited we are about this book! Keep reading for all the details.
It is no secret that young adult literature has exploded in the last couple of years. The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Twilight series have elevated the status of the genre. And as more and more adults reach for young adult books on the shelf, how do publishing houses market these books? Some publishing professionals say that it is important to “give authors ‘social media’ training [and] make sure they become invested and actively involved with maintaining their social media pages” (Yin 2012). Having an active social media presence, it seems, is crucial to having a successful book because that is where the teens are—online. Everyone has a social media page of some sort, so it is imperative that an author connects with these people online because “teenagers are reading! They want access to the writer, and one only needs to look as far as John Green and his website, Nerdfighteria.com, to see what an authentic voice can do for building a community of loyal followers and readers” (Publishing Perspectives 2015).
One of the major highlights of At the Waterline is the unique, compelling characters that shape the houseboat community. There’s Dory, the marina’s hot dog vendor and source of local gossip; there’s Barry, an ex-Catholic priest turned alcoholic; and of course there’s Jack, the unofficial harbormaster who’s lived his entire life on the river—his only constant companions being a little dog and an outdated, but fully functional, shotgun. These are characters you care about. They’re duplicitously loveable and frustratingly human, and they reflect our own lives with an intense clarity you can’t get enough of. We hope to market this story to Pacific Northwest readers who genuinely care about the quality of the literature they read.
Write to Publish—the annual conference that Ooligan hosts to demystify the publishing world for writers—has come and gone. By all accounts, it went pretty well. For an event that housed two concurring panels and a room for publishing vendors, the rooms were filled and it was well attended. Of course, the logistics of hosting an event is one thing (securing food for the event, finding speakers who were willing to talk, etc.), but getting people to buy tickets and come to the event is another, which is where marketing comes in.