September 22, 2015
We’re ba-ack…with BEYOND THE PAGE, our blog series about turning Catrina Burgess’ Dark Rituals into a published book series. This week, we’re talking about marketing, so we have someone brand new to introduce. But maybe you’ll recognize her writing from some badass facebook post or tweet…
Caroline Breed is the Associate Publisher and Digital Marketing Coordinator at FFF. She was an English and Communications major at the University of Richmond, but took a major detour and worked at Bloomberg as a fixed income specialist for two years before landing at Full Fathom Five Digital. In her free time, she can be found listening to Hanson, eating, and attempting to be witty. You can see these attempts on the Full Fathom Five Digital Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and blog.
Serious questions that must be asked:
Tell us what blog you visit on a weekly basis.
If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?
For a quick getaway: Bermuda. For an extended stay: Italy.
Favorite comfort food?
Tell us something sitting on or by your desk.
I’m kind of a neat freak so don’t keep anything on my desk besides a notebook.
Now down to business:
Talk about some of the marketing stuff you will be working on for the books (for instance, setting up arcs on Goodreads, sending out review requests, setting up blog tours, etc).
While the audience for each book can be very different, there is one important thing that every book needs: REVIEWS! One of the biggest components of my job is working with the author to get their book as many awesome reviews as possible. How does this work, you ask? Well, let me break it down for you.
First, about two months before the book publishes, we write a pitch letter. A pitch letter is something we send to bloggers to get them interested in the book. It contains a little teaser of what to expect, some background on our bada$$ author, and a Netgalley widget—don’t worry, I’ll get to Netgalley in a minute—which allows recipients to download an advanced reading copy (aka: “ARC”) of the book. A pitch letter needs to have a great hook to grab the interest of the reviewer it’s being sent to, so this is how we started the pitch for Awakening:
Have you ever given in to your dark side, or wondered what it might be like…?
It makes you want to read more—right?!
After a couple rounds of edits, the pitch is sent to appropriate bloggers and Goodreads reviewers who would be likely to review the book. For The Dark Rituals series, this is any and all bloggers interested in YA, paranormal, or horror genres. Cat and I worked together to compile a list that ended up with well over five hundred people! Then, we divide and conquer said list and generate interest by offering some exclusives. For example, Cat organized this awesome giveaway to showcase the spooky, paranormal aspects of her series. (Psst…go enter! Then come back. I’ll wait.)
Many bloggers will post about a book if they are interested in the cover, description, or concept before they have even completed their review. For example, Cat has already had some amazing features:
- Once Upon a Twilight featured the Awakening giveaway,
- Manic Readers featured Cat as a guest blogger…
- and so did Miss Ivy’s Book Nook
Before we go about scheduling a blog tour, we want to ensure a strong number of reviews, so that is something we wait to plan until after the book as published. It’s as simple as: more reviews = more sales! Instead of organizing a book tour for Cat right away, I decided to organize a book blitz instead. A book blitz is a quick way to get the word out that your book is publishing. For Cat’s blitz we decided to work with YA Book Bound…(psst, if you’re a blogger, you can still sign up). The more people we can get to spread the word, the better!
Organizing reviews, features, and book tours is just the first stage of marketing a new title. In addition to these steps, we also work with Goodreads reviewers and group moderators to get the book in question featured on a Goodreads list or selected by a Goodreads book group. There may also be opportunities for endorsements by bigger websites like Nerdist as well as paid advertisements on sites like Reddit or Romantic Times, or social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. And you can’t forget the power of unpaid, grassroots social media. My biggest piece of advice would be: authors are their own best advocate. Keeping fans updated on sites like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or a personal website/blog is the best way to grow a strong fan following. In order to successfully market your book you must actively promote yourself while supporting other authors and intriguing your readers. Clear as mud?
And with that, I bid you adieu.
What is BEYOND THE PAGE?
Ever wonder what happens after you sign with a publishing house? Catrina Burgess, author of The Dark Rituals series coming this October, has convinced us to give you a behind-the-scenes look at how a manuscript becomes a finished book. Tune in every Tuesday for a new installment, and check out the series on the author’s blog at catrinaburgess.com!
Catch up here:
- Tuesday, July 14: Meet the Writer..and Her Manuscript
- Tuesday, July 21: How Editors Find Authors and Manuscripts
- Tuesday, July 28th: Deciding to Sign with a Publisher
- Tuesday, August 4th: Directing the Publishing Process
- Tuesday, August 11th: From the Desk of the Editor
- Tuesday, August 18th: COVER REVEAL and the Art of Design
- Tuesday, August 25th: The Horrifying Experience of Receiving Edits
- Tuesday, September 1st: The Final Round of Edits (Or, “Perfecting the Kiss”)
- Tuesday, September 8th: The Final (Copy)Edits
- Tuesday, September 15th: The Mystical Process of Building an Ebook
- Tuesday, September 22: Planning the Perfect Promotion