Seeing the Whole Process – Part 2

Seeing the Whole Process – Part 2

Posted on March 21 by Kyle
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In my last blog post, I outlined the general editorial process for Colleen Nelson’s YA novel, Sadia. This month, I am going to discuss the process of getting this book into the hands of eager readers like you, through marketing and publicity.

As the marketing associate at Dundurn Press, I am still learning a lot about how books move from the shelf into to the hands of our readers. For each title we publish, our marketing and publicity team creates an integrated marketing plan, or IMP, to organize the tasks each person will complete throughout the promotion process. The IMP includes print advertising, digital marketing and online ads, newsletters, school and library outreach, events, endorsements, publicity, special marketing materials, social media, contests, and blog posts. Together, the time and effort put into these marketing and publicity areas ensure that readers find our books.

The first step in creating the IMP is creating an overall marketing and publicity strategy by identifying the book’s audience, its publicity assets, and its marketing assets. For Sadia, the audience is young adults, but also teachers and librarians in Canada and the USA, social media influencers who emphasize the importance of diversity in literature, and organizations that donate books to immigrants and refugees. Assets for publicity and marketing include things like receiving starred reviews, featuring diverse YA characters, strong author reputation, and previous titles by the author receiving great reviews.

Once these strengths have been identified, it is time to start identifying specific marketing and publicity tactics for the title that will play to these strengths.

Print advertising consists of choosing the best outlets – such as magazines or newspapers – to place the title so that its target audience will see it. Digital marketing refers to activities like uploading the title to NetGalley (a website where reviewers can read a digital copy before the book’s publication date), and adding the title to Goodreads.

We feature many of our titles in some or all of the newsletters we circulate to authors, consumers, booksellers, librarians, and more! Sadia was featured in Dundurn’s Canada Library, USA Library, Author, and Consumer newsletters.

In terms of school and library outreach, Sadia was featured in our Spring 2018 Top Grade mailing, through which 100 K-8 school libraries receive copies of the book. In addition, Dundurn will be developing a teacher resource guide for this title, so that it is more accessible for educators to use in their classrooms.

Events are a great way to increase awareness for a title. Colleen Nelson held a book launch in Winnipeg, attended the Ontario Library Association Conference in Toronto, and gave a presentation for high school students at A Different Booklist – an independent bookstore in Toronto. These events, in addition to any local book signings, are promoted through our social media channels and any relevant local event listing. For Sadia, we also organized a blog tour by reaching out to bloggers who were interested in reviewing the book and scheduling content with each creator.

Our publicity team works to pitch each title to appropriate media and reviewers in order to have the book featured. Sadia received some great publicity from reviewers across Canada and the United States. The book received glowing feedback from sources like Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Booklist, and the Winnipeg Free Press!

Our marketing coordinator works to organize all of our efforts on social media. Each title is promoted using custom-made graphics on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages before, at, and following its publication date. Books are also featured when they receive great reviews or are nominated for awards. We also use social media platforms such as Instagram and Goodreads to host giveaway contests, during which we give away advance reading copies (ARCs) or finished copies of a book to interested individuals.

We also coordinate and post two blog posts each week. Colleen Nelson wrote a fantastic blog post for Sadia – a quiz to find out which character you are most like. We shared the book trailer that was created for the book in a second blog post, and this Seeing the Whole Process blog series is featuring Sadia as well! Each of these posts is shared on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Many of these marketing and publicity efforts require special marketing materials. These might include postcards, bookmarks, banners, e-vites, and custom graphics. Our freelance designer, Sarah, creates anything we need to promote our books.

Whew! That is a lot of work! This entire process takes about nine months, and involves everyone in the marketing and publicity departments – and some other departments as well! Keep an eye out next month’s blog post for an overview of the design department’s role in the publishing process!