Today we hear from marketing and PR, sales and export as well as rights.
Marketing & PR – Katy Cattel, PR & Communications Directors
The PR department is involved as soon as you step a successful foot through the door. They are an integral part of the acquisition process and are there for you at all times, not just when the book is ready to sell in the shops, warehouses, etc.
Pre-publication:• Acquisition has been confirmed
• Press release telling the world the good news around 6 months before publication, to gather interest and potential enquiries
• Social Media – Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest...
• Bloggers & Vloggers • Proof copies/Advance mailings – usually has publishing house on the front with blurb and thumbnail of cover on the back.
• NetGalley – an on-line hub to sign up and receive a proof copy
• On-line presentations and packs • Sales kit – a treasure trove of info on your book that will help promote it and excite buyers. SEO (search engine optimisation), the illusive search by a consumer, your book should be on the first page of results that pop up on the screen:
• Self promotion ideas
• Wikipedia, Goodreads etc – do you have an account for all of these internet based sites?
Pre-order Campaign:• On-line advertising boosts on social media
• Links to Amazon • All other literary retailers too
• As an extra bonus – your pre-orders go into your first week sales!
The LaunchThe time has come for your book to make its debut. Congratulations, you did it! Media coverage goes wild. National papers are ablaze with you and your book. Entice book reviewers to ignore the other 50 books they have and read yours first!
PR and marketing work very closely together so their budgets are shared.
• Engaging, gripping content
• Competition – join forces with other companies and more space can be given in book shops for your novel.
• Events and festivals are key to getting your name out there. Regional festivals are a fantastic way to promote your book as they have an abundance of connections in their community.
• Local bookshops – visit every store in your area and tell them about your amazing book.
• Connections – keep them updated with who you are visiting and when, they can help provide materials and support if required. Give them time to get books out there though!
• School visits – info in book bags, stickers, posters, workshops, puppet shows etc
• Blog tours/Q&A • Visuals for posting on-line: quotes, #'s – know your world on social media
• Point of Sale – bookmarks, postcards – creations that sit near the till in a book shop that will catch an unsuspecting reader by surprise.
Sales and Export – Louise Knight, Sales Manager
At an international level, local retailers from around the world provide contacts from within each country to ensure your book is on as many bookshelves as contracted. The definition of Export for an English language publisher is “...the sale of an English Language book outside of the Home market...” There are many benefits to this - profit and royalties are just two. The major book fairs are run over hectic weekends of non-stop meetings, procuring the sale of your book to as many parties as possible. The promotion of your book doesn't stop there as networks of agents manage the smaller markets too.
Things to consider in Export/Sales:
• Fluctuating currencies – markets need to be in favour for maximum profit
• Local differences – must respect their own local authors
• Retail – can still sell your book worldwide even if it's no longer sold in UK
Rights – Juliet Clark, Rights Manager
A part of the process that can seem hard to understand, here are Subsidiary rights:
• US market
• Audio • Educational – OUP and others
• Book clubs – Scholastic
• Film/TV – sadly only 1% ever make it to the big screen. Selling rights happens in March at the Bologna Fair and October at the Frankfurt Fair. They meet with 200+ publishers over 3 days – half hourly appointments from start to finish. Attending the fairs can be lucrative as they help to solidify relationships for future sales.
TIP – send your MS to an agent just before or just after a fair.
Michael Morpurgo's War Horse - 44 languages
Minecraft – 41 languages
Mr Gum – 30 languages
Barry Loser - 16 languages
Egmont normally have ten tables at their stand where foreign editors come to the stand, provide proof copies and information/blurb on books and their authors.
As with all these events, the hospitality went on long after we had departed the offices at Shepherd's Bush. The night was still young, so we carried on our questions and thoughts amid a sea of eager faces and SCBWI camaraderie. Thanks again to Non Pratt for organising such a fantastic event. We look forward to more Industry Insider events coming up soon. In the meantime, keep swimming, we'll all get there one day.