Tag Archives: publishing

Book Promotion Strategies — That Actually Work

What’s the best book promotion strategy you’ve ever seen?

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian took to Reddit to seek promotion advice for his new book, Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed.

He asked the network of loyal readers: “What are some of the smartest things you’ve seen people do to promote a book? … I’d like to make the most out of all this time I have to do some awesome stuff for the fine folks who’d pre-order/buy a copy.”

We’ve collected ten reader responses below to help you plan your own book promotion.

 

Book Promotion Strategies That Actually Worked

1. oguerrieri wrote: “Definitely offer free e-book with purchase of hard copy! Something I wish every book did.”

2. JoanofLorraine wrote: “My favorite example is the writer who opened a storefront in Brooklyn that sold only copies of his own book.”

3. josephflaherty wrote: “The little things Field Notes does, like putting in a themed patch or button goes a long way to making their books feel more like cultural artifacts than indie Moleskines.”

4. HAGOODMANAUTHOR wrote: “Advertising on Reddit has increased my Kindle sales exponentially”

5. josephflaherty added: “Put it in a crazy package: Seth Godin put copies of his books in Milk/Cereal boxes which made them really stand out and feel more like limited edition products than books.”

6. Davytron wrote: “when i worked at a book store, these ladies gave every employee a copy of their cook book. A bunch of us used the recipes and ended up telling customers and family about them. It was very nice but also a clever way to get us to promote their book.”

7. Thestom wrote: “Free book of equal or lesser value with the purchase of the author’s book.”

8. josephflaherty also added: “I’m sure you’ve got the book tour part dialed in, but treating them more like concerts would be fascinating … Would be fun for a tour to host a few local entrepreneurs who have succeeded without permission.”

9. Ms Adler wrote: “doing a discount on ebooks will often get you more readers that may not otherwise purchase a hard copy, and signed first editions are prized by collectors.”

10. Ginroth concluded: “Writing a good book.”

 

Reblogged in full from Jason Boog at Galleycat

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Literary Mixtape: What’s Happening This Week

#10

What do we make of Marcel (Proust)?

#9

More children are using libraries

#8

Self-Publishing 2013 with Catherine Ryan Howard

#7

The Book Thief film adaptation

#6

Sylvia Plath: Reflections on her legacy

#5

The National Emerging Writer Programme

#4

A new look into Jane Austen

#3

On Richard III being found in a Leicester car park.

#2

How much should you budget to self-publish your book?

#1

Get a free copy of Poetry Magazine!

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Don’t judge The Bell Jar by its cover

Faber’s new cover for The Bell Jar may be garish, but if it finds a new audience for Sylvia Plath’s novel then who cares?


This post is reblogged in full from The Guardian website and is written by Sam Jordison.

It may have first come out 50 years ago, but The Bell Jar still causes controversy. The anniversary has seen all the old arguments and enmities boiling over again, but this book strikes such a nerve that even a new cover can start a row.

Writing on the LRB blog, Fatema Ahmed pours scorn on Faber’s “silly” 50th anniversary edition, calling it a woefully inappropriate attempt to rebrand the book as chick lit. She quotes the always reliable Twitter feed from Melville House asking: “How is this cover anything but a ‘fuck you’ to women everywhere?” and Andy Pressman, a graphic designer, who derided the new cover as “awesomelycomicallyhistorically inapprop” and said: “And by ‘historically’ I mean ‘incorrect on a scale of which we have few historical precedents’, not ‘That typeface didn’t exist in that era’.”

There is a strong argument against the new design. Ahmed says:

 

“The anniversary edition fits into the depressing trend for treating fiction by women as a genre, which no man could be expected to read and which women will only know is meant for them if they can see a woman on the cover.”

 

I can see where she’s coming from. That is indeed a depressing trend. And the cover does indeed look a bit like those other garish covers that supposedly only appeal to women. While I’m notching up the negatives, there’s also the simple fact that the original cover by Shirley Tucker is a thing of great beauty: a timeless classic that is to the new cover as a single-malt is to tar water.

But, here’s the thing. This latest edition has sold truckloads. The official figures aren’t out yet, but Faber have assured me it’s doing the business. There’s no evidence that this cover has ostracised a potential part of its audience, but there is already some that it has helped the book reach a new generation of readers.

Okay, this is an inexact science, and perhaps those sales should be attributed as much to the 50th anniversary publicity and renewed interest in the author as they are to that garish red cover. But the fact remains that the book is selling – and quite possibly reaching a new audience, as Faber claim is their exact intention. Hannah Griffiths, publisher of paperbacks at Faber, says they were aiming for a more “welcoming package” in the belief that “there is a reader for this novel who could enjoy its brilliance without knowing anything about the poetry, or the broader context of Plath’s work”.

Of course, as soon as anyone picks it up, breaks the spine and reads that first sentence they’ll know they’re in for something different. “It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.” Hardly Sophie Kinsella, is it? I even quite like the idea of someone mistaking the book for a sexy summer beach read and falling headlong into Esther Greenwood’s cruel world.

What’s more, those actually reading the novel – rather than judging the cover – may even see something in that blood red, in the queasy glamour of the 50s model checking her makeup, in the serious face in the mirror. It certainly conjures up a time and place, a sense of nausea and introspection. The novel’s Esther Greenwood would probably mock the new design mercilessly, but that too seems appropriate. Perhaps it’s right that she is at odds with the world in which she finds herself and the way she is presented? Perhaps this new cover isn’t quite so silly after all?

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Print Irish

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In this difficult economy, governments are putting ever more emphasis on supporting local business as a means to overall recovery. But that is not the only reason the Print Irish campaign is running.

The Print Irish Objectives

  •  Secure local industry and jobs in the print and packaging sector.
  •  Inform the general public that a product has been printed in Ireland.
  • Combat the issue of print being produced non-domestically.
  • Generate awareness that Irish print is focused on service and quality.
  • Create a value system so customers in Ireland are supportive of the Irish print industry going forward.
  • Promote jobs within the industry and encourage new consumers of print, to support Irish industry.

This campaign is a brand new initiative that aims towards putting a public face on the Irish printing industry. Printing in more recent years has become to be viewed as a somewhat generic service. Little thought is given to the thousands of jobs the printing industry supports and the high quality, good value service provided by a technology driven, high skilled indigenous workforce.

Just as the Intel Inside campaign transformed Intel from yet another semi-conductor manufacturer to a criteria of selection for computer hardware, the Print Irish campaign aims to encourage the Irish marketplace to support their own fellow workers and identify print that has originated on home soil.

What does Print Irish do for the Irish publishing sector?

It unites the Irish printing industry under one common flag. It also contributes to an industry war chest, enabling the Irish print and packaging sector to market itself more effectively and pool its collective resources for the greater good. It carries the Print Irish identity on your goods in order to demonstrate your commitment to Irish goods, services and manufacturing. It clearly differentiates between domestic suppliers of print and non-domestic suppliers of print. More to the point, it enables the 19,000 employees in 700 printing companies throughout Ireland to demonstrate their commitment to those companies who buy Irish print.

How does Selfpublishbooks.ie fit in?

As an independent publisher based in Cork, Ireland, Selfpublishbooks.ie offers a simple and cost effective means for authors to make the leap from file to printed book. With high standards of production and keen attention to detail, Selfpublishbooks.ie guarantees a high-quality product that is reliable, practical and local.

Print quality, print Irish.

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Irish Poetry with Sean O’Muimhneachan

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Sean O’Muimheachan, a primary teacher in Macroom, printed with Selfpublishbooks.ie a casebound book of his poetry. I had a quick chat with Sean and asked him where it all began.

“I was born and reared in a rural Gaeltacht area, Gaeltacht Mhúscraí,” said Sean, “and received my primary and secondary education in that area; I’ve
spent all my working life there. Very boring you might say! Not at all.
This is an area of natural beauty, steeped in history and culture and with
plenty of sporting and cultural activity throughout the year. We are within
easy reach of bus and train services and within an hour’s journey of two
international airports. But those things never bothered me growing up in
this area as there was always plenty to do.”

Sean was happy to relate how he first became interested in writing: “This locality has long been famous for its writers, poets and singers and
it was only natural that I would become acquainted with their work as I
grew up. Songs and poems were composed about many local happenings,
these being mostly humorous songs, but many more serious poets were
also at work, producing works that were to earn for them national fame.

“Seán Ó Ríordáin and Séamas Ó Céileachair are two who immediately
come to mind. Then there were the writers like An tÁth, Peadar Ó
Laoghaire and Dónall Bán Ó Céileachair, who preserved the richness of
the local dialect in their writings. Perhaps it was only natural that I would
begin to dabble in such pursuits as I grew to understand the importance of
such things in our society.”

How does work fit into all this? “Being a Primary Teacher, I often composed poems to fit in with topics in
the curriculum when suitable poems were not available or for use in stage
shows or drama competitions. Dámhscoil Mhúscraí provided the impetus
to practise my poetry skills and I have for many years participated in
this annual poetry session.

“I’ve been a regular attendant at Oireachtas na
Gaeilge and Fleadhanna Ceoil also, both of which hold competitions for
newly composed songs. This provided the incentive to write and compete,
which I have done for many years with limited success. Having heard
suggestions from many that I should publish some of my works, I decided
the time was right when I retired from teaching and so Gleanntán an
Aoibhnis began to take shape.”

I was curious to know what a reader can expect from Sean’s book. “The reader will find that the songs are predominantly humorous songs
and I must admit to enjoying writing such songs,” he admits with a smile, “When a good line comes
together it gives me a giggle of satisfaction and I hope it also brings a
smile to the face of the reader.

“Having said this, I am well aware that a
serious song or poem is usually of a far better quality than a frivolous
one. I have also written a few of those, both in Irish and in English. It’s
easy to draw a laugh but the song that draws a tear strikes closer to the
heart.”

So once he put all the words together, it was only a matter of finding where to put them between a book cover. Sean has already given a wonderful testimonial, but I was curious as to how he found self-publishing: “This was my first experience of publishing and, having approached Bard
na nGleann in Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh, I was put in touch with Lettertec
in Carrigtwohill. I was facing the unknown.

“However, I was given every
assistance and advice and Elaine Barry, who was in charge of design, was
most efficient, helpful and patient. Anything that needed to be changed or
corrected was attended to without fuss and her advice on layout, font, etc.,
was invaluable. The finished product more than I could have wished for,
a most professional package, and deadlines were met promptly.”

What’s in store for Mr O’Muimhneachan now? “At the moment I don’t have any other plans for publishing,” he says, “but who
knows what the future may hold!”

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Week Round-Up

A lot has been happening in the literary world this week, so here’s a Top 10 Hot Spot list of all the latest news & views.

cassettetape

# 10

Most overlooked books of 2012 – a literary mixtape 

# 9

Jamie Oliver and JK Rowling battle it out for Christmas top spot

# 8

Overwhelming response to Foyle’s revamp plans

# 7

The Casual Vacancy as BBC show 

# 6

Self-publishing case studies

# 5

Angela Carter named best writer of a century

# 4

What writers can learn from Literary Death Match

# 3

Mo Yan delivers Nobel Prize Speech (with some controversial notes on censorship)

# 2

NaNoWriMo churned out 3 billion words this year

# 1

Book-scanning robot coming to a library near you?

 

~Bonus~

Book Christmas Trees 

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A Certain Time, A Certain Place

Selfpublishbooks.ie are reprinting Katherine O’Riordan’s memoir, A Certain Time, A Certain Place and luckily I got to catch up with the author herself.

Katherine O’Riordan was born in Macroom town where she lived for twenty-one years until she married and moved to Cork. I asked her where the writing began. She said, “Those years I spent growing up left such a lasting impression on me that I was forever writing down memories as they came, in the hope that one day my children and grandchildren would get a glimpse of everyday life.

“This book is a opportunity for them to find what their grand and great grand parents were all about, and how life was lived and fun was had with neighbours and friends in those much simpler times.”

With her collection of short stories, she then decided to make a book of them and so A Certain Time, A Certain Place came into being.

Who should we count among the influences behind this decision? Katherine was happy to tell me. “Catherine Cookson, Edna O’Brien, Phillipa Gregory, Clare Boylan and Ella Wheller Wilcox, without a doubt.”

Having a father and uncles who worked as house-painters, it was no surprise that Katherine also took up painting as a hobby and has made hundreds of art works, which have found homes all over Ireland and further afield.

In A Certain Time, A Certain Place, Katherine has captured a part of Ireland that will evoke memories in anyone who enjoyed swims in Sullane, trips to the Palace Cinema or days at the visiting fairs, and transport anyone who is unfamiliar with those memories right back to Macroom in the ’40s and ’50s. It is easy to see the influence of painting and music on Katherine’s prose and she vividly describes a very specific part of Ireland’s history.

I asked Katherine what is next. “I would love to produce a book of poetry and illustrate it myself, so it looks like busy days ahead!”

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What’s with ISBNs?

Some of our readers were wondering how they might go about getting an ISBN. And what is it, anyway? Why is it important?

An ISBN is an International Standard Book Number. Up until the end of 2006 it was a 10 digit number, but from 1 January 2007 all ISBN numbers are now 13 digits long.

It is used by publishers, booksellers and libraries, for ordering, listing and stock control purposes. It enables them to identify a particular Publisher and allows the Publisher to identify a specific edition of a specific title in a specific format within their output.

In the past, ISBN numbers were 10 digits long but a new global standard, using 13 digits, has now been introduced. Under the new system which started on 1 January 2007, the 13 digits are always divided into five parts, separated by spaces or hyphens.

There is no legal requirement in the UK or Republic of Ireland for an ISBN and it conveys no form of legal or copyright protection. It is a product identification number. If you wish to sell your publication through major bookselling chains, or internet booksellers, they will require you to have an ISBN to assist their internal processing and ordering systems.

The ISBN also provides access to Bibliographic Databases such as BookData Online, which are organised using ISBNs as references. These databases are used by booksellers and libraries to provide information for customers. The ISBN therefore provides access to additional marketing tools which could help sales of your product.

If you are interested in obtaining an ISBN or would like a better idea of what’s involved, just click here.

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Looking over the last week…

Spoilers from JK Rowling’s upcoming novel are released, a guide of London from NW by Zadie Smith is printed, new life is breathed into Moby Dick with the help of well-known celebrities, a new biography exposes John Keats as an opium addict and Stephen King reveals the publication date for his sequel to The Shining.

This is all too much news for one blog post, so let’s focus on the first piece of literary fact.

According to the Guardian, JK Rowling’s first novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy, draws on her own experience of living on the margins of society and satirises a political landscape in which the poor are regularly cast “as this homogeneous mash, like porridge.”

The idea for the novel, her first since the Harry Potter series that made her the world’s first author to become a billionaire solely through her writing, came to her on an aeroplane. “I thought: local election! And I just knew. I had that totally physical response you get to an idea that you know will work. It’s a rush of adrenaline, it’s chemical. I had it with Harry Potter and I had it with this.”

Set in the fictional West Country village of Pagford, which bears a passing resemblance to Rowling’s own childhood home in the Forest of Dean, and telling the story of a parish election triggered by the death of councillor Barry Fairbrother, The Casual Vacancy investigates the agendas and infighting that fuel local politics, and the class divisions that rive even the most picturesque English communities.

The election ultimately turns on the fate of Pagford’s grotty council estate, the Fields, embodied in The Casual Vacancy by the wretched, wrung-out Weedon family: mother Terri, struggling to kick her drug addiction, three-year-old son Robbie, under threat of social care, and teenage daughter Krystal.

“So many people, certainly people who sit around the cabinet table, say: ‘Well, it worked for me’ or ‘This is how my father managed it’,” Rowling said. “The idea that other people might have had such a different life experience that their choices and beliefs and behaviours would be completely different … seems to escape a lot of otherwise intelligent people. The poor are discussed as this homogeneous mash, like porridge … They talk about feckless teenage mothers looking for a council flat. Well, how tragic is it that that’s what someone regards as the height of security or safety?”

The stratospheric success of the Harry Potter franchise has placed her in the enviable position of being able to do “whatever the hell I like”, she said. “I am the freest author in the world. My bills are paid – we all know I can pay my bills – I was under contract to no one, and the feeling of having all of these characters in my head and knowing that no one else knew a damned thing about them was amazing … Pagford was mine, just mine, for five years. I wrote this novel as exactly what I wanted to write.”

The Casual Vacancy is released this Thursday. To see a (rare) interview with JK Rowling, click here.

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Man Booker Shortlist Announced!


On July 26th, this blog announced the Man Booker Longlist titles, and today, we have the shortlist.

The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (Myrmidon)
 set in post-second world war Malaya.

Swimming Home by Deborah Levy (And Other Stories)
– in which a young woman entangles herself in the life of an English poet and his family in the south of France.

Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (Fourth Estate)
– sequel to Man Booker prize-winning Wolf Hall.

The Lighthouse by Alison Moore (Salt)
– a man trying to find himself on a walking holiday.

Umbrella by Will Self (Bloomsbury)
– the story of a victim of the sleeping sickness epidemic at the end of the first world war.

Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil (Faber & Faber)
–  set amongst the opium dens of 1970s Mumbai.

Click here to view the shortlist in pictures.

According to the Guardian, “After last year’s controversial focus on ‘readability’, the judges for this year’s Man Booker prize have concentrated on the ‘pure power of prose’ to pick a confident, eclectic shortlist of titles.”

As reported in the Independent, one of the books on the shortlist, Swimming Home by Deborah Levy, was rejected by traditional publishers and only hit the shelves thanks to a publisher which relies on subscriptions from readers.

Chair of the judges, Sir Peter Stothard, editor of the Times Literary Supplement, said: “We loved the shock of language shown in so many different ways and were exhilarated by the vigour and vividly defined values in the six books that we chose – and in the visible confidence of the novel’s place in forming our words and ideas. We were considering all the time novels, not novelists, texts not reputations. We read and we reread. It was the power and depth of prose that settled most of the judges’ debates. […] Without the renewal of English the novel does nothing very much.”

The winner will be revealed at a ceremony at London’s Guildhall on 16th October. The winner will receive a £50,000 prize, in addition to the £2,500 awarded to all shortlisted writers and, importantly, a huge boost in sales for their work. Last year’s winner, The Sense Of An Ending by Julian Barnes, has sold more than 300,000 print editions in the UK.

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