Working collaboratively with Publishers: What Should You Do and What Should They Do? with Cindy Tamasi Hamilton, director of publicity at HarperCollins and Tracy van Straaten, vice president of publicity at Scholastic.
Cindy Tamasi Hamilton: It's a myth that printed national press is the way to go. There are niche magazines for everything, and these can often sell more books.
Tracy van Straaten: For any book, the coverage available in general print media is limited. Within that, the space for children's book coverage is smaller. But there are more opportunities online than ever before.
Jointly, they shared five simple rules for navigating the publishing road:
- Set realistic goals. You're not going to be on national TV with your first novel.
- Trust your publisher. They want you to succeed as much as you do.
- No two publishers are alike, no two marketing campaigns are alike. (Don't compare your book/campaign to someone else's!)
- Publishing is a partnership between you and the publisher. There is no such thing as no publicity.
- Always keep your publisher/publicist aware of your own marketing/publicity efforts. Ask questions before you start so you don't duplicate efforts.
Panel: Tweet, Promote and Brand Your Way to Marketing Success: Strategies and Real World Scenarios
|Lin Oliver and Theo Baker show the trailer for SOUND BENDER.|
Susan Raab, president Raab Associates, Inc. – Niche marketing can be an amazing tool. They put a Jane Yolen picture book about water into the Water Journal and sold thousands of copies.
Roxie Munro – Develop a niche for yourself. She does nonfiction and concept books. There are times when she has to say no to a project because it doesn’t fit her brand. She has a couple of apps out—adores doing them. The app has her name in the title—it’s reinforcing and developing her brand.
Tracy Barrett: She contributes to three blogs, a middle grade blog, a history and science blog, and a personal one chronicling her last year at her day job, where she looks at the financial and psychological aspects of becoming a full-time writer. “I had no idea I had a brand until a sixth grader asked me why all my books were historical.”
Lin Oliver: What kind of promotion can you do on the cheap? She rattled off a list of things she and her son, Theo, are doing to promote their science fiction novel SOUND BENDER. Here are a few:
- Throw yourself a launch party. Feed your guests and invite your author friends to talk about their new books, too.
- Produced trailer with stock footage.
- Build or commission a website.
- Speak at bookstores, but coordinate with school visit so you have attendees.
- Develop a curriculum hook (they talk about nature of sound, tied in with science curriculum)
- Know the name of every single person who works at your publisher and you should be really nice ot them and thank them for everything they do. (publicity, marketing, school and library services, etc.
Don't get wrapped up in the numbers of Facebook fans you have. Even if it's only two people who care, that's great. They'll talk about you. Each time you share something on your FB page, only 10 percent of your fans see it. Ever wonder why you follow things and never see stuff like that again? You fix that by paying them money.