Friday 27 January 2017

How we work with authors on marketing their books

We very much see this as a joint effort. We work with our authors in the following areas:

Reviewing blogs  
Reviewing web sites  
Creating letters to reviewers
Sending letters to reviewers
Finding reviewers    
Creating press releases 
Contacting local press
Contacting local radio
Contacting local television
Creating advance information sheets 
Contacting local bookshops about possible signings
Inviting people privately to a launch
Creating a public Facebook event
Advertising the event publicly on our web site
Creating a Facebook page, making the author an administrator, as she will probably use it more than we do. Some authors prefer to create their own page.    
Designing and publishing a book trailer 
Getting postcards made
Holding a cyber-launch 
Promoting the book via our social media 
Contacting schools re school visits
Contacting festivals.
Contacting writers’ groups.   
Contacting local libraries
Organising signing tour.

We find many of the people we contact thought the author herself and in any case these are often the most effective contacts.  

Obviously there are only so many hours in a day and only so much time we can devote to each author. It’s great if the author does some of these actions themselves. We probably have a few more contacts than individual authors and have a few effective routines.

It as true for the Big Five as it us for us smaller presses that authors need to be proactive. An indie author I know works seven days a week, about ten hours a day and spends 50% of his time on marketing. I read in an article recently that indie authors need to spend 90% of their time on marketing.  

One of the most effective marketing tools is a good email list of fans and followers. The new author should start building that up right away.

Over the next few posts I’ll be looking at each of these in more detail.          

Monday 16 January 2017

The extra bits

We’re quite fond of our writers and we like to treat them. For instance, we hold an annual get-together in London. Last year it was “sold out” (the event is free to our writers but we do have to issue tickets as there is limit on spaces) and although we’ve booked the same venue for next year, I suspect that for the year after we might have to find somewhere bigger.

We’re also looking at doing a similar event in Manchester in the summer.

To me, organising events like this is actually quite creative. I enjoy doing them.
However, these are definitely extra services we offer. They do take time and effort and can be quite tiring on the actual day, though naturally also very rewarding.   

We announced our next call for submissions at the event on 3 December 2016. However, we’ve only just put it out to the public for two reasons:
·         We’ve had problems with our web site provider and couldn’t actually edit our pages for a while.
·         We’ve actually been rather busy on core activities.
Normally we make the announcement on 1 January.   

Sometimes we make a rod for our own backs by offering extra services: people begin to expect the extras and expect them of others.

I’ve seen this happen in various teaching situations as well. As I’ve taught for over forty years, most of it comes to me quite easily, so adding some extras isn’t a problem – except that then students expect everyone to do that and they also expect me to do it every time. It’s not always possible.    

We must manage expectation here.

We do do our best. I find it reasonable to assume that so does everyone else.