It’s been great fun going behind the scenes to find out more about the publishing process, and I hope you’ve found it interesting. So far in the series we’ve looked at: what does an editor do?, what does a desk editor do?, how are book covers designed?, how do you record an audio book? , what does a rights agent do? and how are books translated into different languages? Now we’re going to talk about marketing fiction.
Meet the marketing executive
Amy Donegan is a Marketing Executive from Bury St Edmunds, working for Little, Brown Book Group. Her passions are chocolate, travelling and – of course – books.
What does your job entail?
I’m a Marketing Executive across commercial fiction at Little, Brown, which means that I look after the marketing campaigns for a whole host of books – everything from police procedural crime through to paranormal romance. Marketing fiction can involve creating beautifully designed bound proofs, setting up partnerships with brands, all things social media, planning and designing paid-for advertising, creating bookmarks, postcards and leaflets and lots more . . .
What is the difference between marketing and publicity?
We work very closely together, but generally publicity are responsible for getting media coverage and organising events. Marketing is all about reaching consumers through social media, advertising and lots of other creative means! We’re also responsible for helping with retailer sell-in and creating designed assets that can be used by the Key Account Managers.
How far in advance of publication day will you start working on a campaign?
It usually depends on how quickly we can get the assets, like the cover and the text ready. As soon as we have these, we can get people reading and start to work on a campaign and build momentum.
Is it easier to market books you’ve personally enjoyed?
Not at all – whatever I think about the book, there’s always an audience who will love it, and it’s my job to find them and make sure the book gets into their hands.
What do you like reading in your own time?
I read and enjoy a wide range of genres, but my favourite has to be psychological thrillers – of course!
How important is social media when marketing fiction? Is it essential for authors to have a social media presence?
Social media is now a huge part of a book’s marketing campaign – we’re using channels like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram more than ever before. It’s a great way to spread the word about a new book, and really get people talking. Also, it’s really useful for us as a tool to see specifically what people are talking about; we can then use this messaging in our campaign. It’s certainly not essential for an author to have social media channels, but it can be a great way to engage with readers.
Note from the author: Among many other things, Amy and the rest of the marketing team are responsible for creating visual assets like my Facebook banner, or the image on my website home page, as well as ads you might see popping up as you browse online.