1. Martha, what trends do you see in advertising and promoting books? The advent of social media; and online and mobile marketing/advertising allow for a more direct connection with the reader. We can target readers who are fans of similar types of books and authors can build relationships with them. A great example of that is James Patterson who has over 1.9 million likes on his Facebook page and has over 49,000 members on his site with his discussion community. He has a direct line to his fans with whom he is fully engaged. The ability to widely distribute videos and book trailers is an effective tool to have in our arsenal. We went all out on a book trailer for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and created a great buzz and it got a lot of coverage including Variety (it currently has 670,101 hits on You Tube). It was reported that the movie trailer directly resulted in the movie being acquired by 20th Century Fox. This will breathe a whole new life into the paperback when the movie comes out next year.
3. How does book publishing differ from other industries in terms of your approach to advertising/promoting? Well, the budgets are on an entirely different scale but aside from that, instead of marketing one product and being able to spend a year working on the campaign for it, we’re working on campaigns for hundreds of books. We’re somewhat similar to the movie industry in terms of getting people excited about the entertainment and benefitting from their good word of mouth and that’s never been more critical given how rapidly that can spread.
4. What was the key to your most recent success story? Adrenaline: a book that delivers just that. Our goal was to make it the breakout summer thriller and I think we succeeded. It all started with a big-mouth mailing and doing an extra printing of advance review copies for Book Expo of America to fan the fire. We had major national publicity (Harlan Coben picked it as a Great Summer Read on the Today Show calling Jeff Abbott the next Robert Bourne, GMA selected it as a sizzling summer read), glowing reviews, and early quotes were all powerful ammo. We created an exciting TV spot along with print and major online advertising using the TV spot. It will debut at #23 on the 7/24 NYT bestseller list and we're confident that with the terrific word-of-mouth it will move up the list.
5. What advice do you have for authors looking to promote or advertise their books? It all starts with a great book that delivers...they should build relationships with their local booksellers, their readers (see Patterson example above), bloggers, and big mouths (influencers).
Brian Feinblum can be found on Twitter @theprexpert. If you need assistance promoting or marketing your book, please consult www.plannedtvarts.com and email firstname.lastname@example.org.