By Erin L. Cox
I’ve worked in book marketing and publicity in the US for almost fifteen years. While some things in marketing have changed (the addition of social media, book trailers, buying Google Ad words, creating online communities), some things have stayed the same (full-page announcement ad on the back of the Times arts section, easelbacks, bookmarks, Reading Group Guides, regional bookseller holiday catalogs).
In the last fifteen years, the whole idea of bookselling has changed dramatically and, where we once competed only with film and television and the occasional video game for our readers’ free time, we now compete with so many other things. How can we compete with a marathon of “Hemlock Grove” on Netflix? How do we stand out amid the glut of information on the internet to show that our content, our books are important? How can we get people to read more than 3-4 books a year?
I have asked myself that question and tried many different ideas out over the years. I have gone from book publicity to handling the book advertising and promotion at a magazine back to book publicity and agenting. I have seen all sides of this industry and, short of me going door-to-door bringing people books I love (which is essentially what World Book Night is…bravo!), I haven’t figured it out yet. So, what I wanted to do to shake things up for myself was pick the brains of people both within our industry and those just outside for a spark of creativity, a flash of ingenuity, and maybe a few ideas I could borrow to help remind people out there why books are so important and why everyone should read (and buy) a few.
On May 28th, we, the folks at Publishing Perspectives and The Frankfurt Academy, are hosting a full-day event called Reaching Readers Book Marketing Conference that does just that. We are bringing together some brilliant minds from social media marketing and publicity, creative advertising, literary-minded magazines, start-up online publishers, online communities, and folks within the industry who are doing interesting things to share their ideas and illustrate how those ideas might dovetail with what we can do ourselves. We hope to spark new ideas too! We want to deliver a renewed energy for getting out there and finding those readers who are eager for our books…they just might not know it yet.
So, join us on May 28 in New York City and let’s get more books in the hands of readers together!