Posted in Marketing books

I’m so lucky. I love my job.

I guess I’m luck to be working in the publishing industry. I love my job. I know few people can really say that.

Since working at Zeus Publications I have receive the best inside knowledge about the industry and being a writer as well as a marketing publicist – that’s priceless. I wasn’t naive when I came here. I had read plenty of reference books, attended workshops and researched the industry beforehand. I’d also worked in magazine design, marketing and publishing but I just didn’t realise that to market well for authors I had to educate them at the same time.

Zeus may only be a small independent publisher but the industry works much the same throughout. Often I ponder if bigger publishers are inundated with as many bizarre questions as we are. I don’t think they’d be asked if sales could be traced, how the royalties are worked our or why a book isn’t displayed in every bookshop in the country. I doubt if a mass market publisher even takes author calls on such nature as to why the marketing department haven’t got their book listed on every online bookstore on the planet (even when sales overseas aren’t feasible). So why do authors keep asking such questions?

Mostly it’s because they are ill informed. As a result I try to give my authors as much information as possible so they are ready to market their book. Marketing guidelines are sent out with each contract and they are on the website but also there are regular updates on Facebook, Twitter, this blog, in the newsletter and through personal correspondence.

One thing that amazes me most is the lack of knowledge when the book is published. I would have thought researching a market and possible sales would happen before a book is even submitted. Hey, that’s just me.

Researching any market is important no matter what business you are in. The business of writing is no different. Without a good marketing strategy many businesses fail.

As far as mass-market publishers go, I definitely envy their marketing budgets. From what I can gather we all try everything possible to get our books noticed but they can advertise, whereas I have to find free publicity in the media. I’ve got press releases down to a fine art.

Buying shelf space at bookstores is out of the question for us and when I see big displays of books with glossy A3 posters, fold-outs, bookmarks and other marketing paraphernalia I can understand author envy (yes I almost weep). I can totally understand why an author would question why their book doesn’t get the same treatment.

The fact is, there are (well at least I was told this at over 2,000,000,000 books in most bookstores (of course that wouldn’t be the tiny independents). However, you see my point as to how many titles each book is competing against.

Take heart though. If your book is good it will eventually sell by word of mouth, luck or possibly my efforts. You just have to find a way to snare your share of the market. Obviously there is a demand for books. People still love books. I love books. So keep writing just bear in mind that you need to understand the realities of book marketing.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Book Launch with VIPs

Working in marketing and publicity can be hard work, especially when there are deadlines to meet and the stress is building up. Mostly though, the job is fun, fun fun! I love what I do, especially because I work in book publishing. It’s weird how the job came about at a time I really wanted to get back into the industry. (Thanks to Bruce for seeing something in me and giving me the chance, but that’s another story.)

Marketing can come in many forms because of the diversity of each industry, and of course, book publishing is specialised. I’ve marketed plenty of other products but books (and the authors attached to them) require a unique strategy. I get to write most days and I also have to be creative. It’s extremely rewarding when a book I’ve put effort into begins to sell well.

So, this weekend (though I don’t usually work weekends) I’m working. (Kind of.) Can you call going to an A List Book Launch at a top-notch function venue, work? Wish me luck and I’ll fill you in on the juicy gossip later.

Keep guessing where this secret party is and who’s attending.

Hint: It’s rarer than sighting Elvis (think Wintersun where you’ll see a million) but the reclusive Alby Mangels will make an appearance.

The thing is too – I don’t get to dress up often so I’m going all out (big heels, glam dress, fake nails, makeup and hair). Here’s how I dressed for last year’s Christmas Party:

Dressed flapper style (well it is glamorous) Kirra 2009