In continuing our valiant effort to catch up with summaries of #FollowReader’s past, we present our wrap up of the July 23rd “Book Marketing Fail/Book Marketing Win” #FollowReader discussion.
This twitchat was sparked by the Simon Kernick incident (wherein a promotional edition of one of Kernick’s older books prominently featured Dan Brown’s name on the front cover – large enough that a careless reader might mistake the book for a Dan Brown authored title). Twitter’s #BookMarketingFail Flames were fanned with news of the “whitewashing” of the cover for Justine Larbalastier’s forthcoming YA novel, Liar – a book about an African American girl. So, the topic of getting reader’s attention with marketing seemed a good one for discussion. And, it was.
The conversation began with questions and comments about what book marketing tactics work, and what tactics miss the mark. Participants seemed to agree that while any publicity is good publicity (even if not entirely scrupulous), the best marketing is marketing that engages readers on a more personal level. Bookstore parties and word of mouth were mentioned as favorite forms of book marketing.
Eventually the conversation turned to the impact that cover art, and book design in general can have on how a reader experiences a book. It certainly wasn’t the direction that I’d expected the twitchat to go in, but it was fascinating nonetheless.
In a happy turn of events and a true #FTW for everyone really, the the North American cover for Liar will be sporting the image of an African American girl.
Note: Thanks to Bowerbird for helping with list of participants and transcript capture.
Don’t forget to “tune in” Thursday at 4pm EST for our next #FollowReader chat.
Twitter #FollowReader Transcript: (start at bottom of page and read up)
@kashicat —————— @hprw Done. Under “Book-Related,” left margin. I may reduce font size soon, to bring links up more. http://bit.ly/JYmAx
@KatMeyer —————— @maggiedana lol. i guess it’s a tradeoff. when i don’t use excessive exclamation points, i use unnecessary “scare quotes!!!”
@hprw —————— Here’s a link to my blog, because Maggie Dana told me to post it (so blame her): http://howpublishingreallyworks.blogspot.com
@maggiedana —————— @maggiedana Better yet. Send it to @KatMeyer so she can add it to her fabulous “industry” (nod, nod, wink, wink) blog
@CupK8 —————— @KatMeyer Thanks for another great discussion!
@wiremamma —————— @KatMeyer — #marketingfail leads to stream of consciousness chatting today
@KatMeyer —————— i’ll summarize + post (along w/ ebook discussion) before this weekend. i promise! http://www.followthereader.wordpress.com
@hprw —————— @thewaryeye I’m not so sure… some editors insisted on independence from within the corporate structure — although many didn’t
@maggiedana —————— @hprw Post link to your blog. I bet everyone here would love it
@KatMeyer —————— time to wind down our chat. it’s been great fun. + informative. luv that it went different direction than i’d expected
@maggiedana —————— @wiremamma More blushing
@hprw —————— @maggiedana I feel a whole new list of blog posts coming on…!
@KatMeyer —————— @maggiedana i don’t know why i just used scare quotes w/ “industry” (did it again). there’s nothing tongue in cheek in its use
@thewaryeye —————— @hprw The corporate takeovers of smaller pubs though are different. The personal editorial touch is gone
@wiremamma —————— @maggiedana — and yet, you are brilliant type setter and author
@maggiedana —————— @KatMeyer Thanks. Am witless about book selling
@thewaryeye —————— @SheilaB01 Interesting. Again you would know. Will look into it as a model. Amazon is like a discount remainder shop
@KatMeyer —————— @maggiedana sell sheet is “industry” flyer for a book — has biblio info, sales info,marketing/publicity items, etc
@maggiedana —————— FSG one of last big publishers to insist on hot-metal. They really resisted computer-set type, and this was in the late 70s!
@SheilaB01 —————— thanks all — late here and I still have work to do. Thank you all — and thank you as ever @KatMeyer
@AnnetteFix —————— @maggiedana He needed book for Eng class. Chose a JP. Said it was ok. I bought 2 more. He said, Um didn’t I read this already?
@thewaryeye —————— @KatMeyer True. Always stop and take a look, but don’t buy as often. Coming of age is tiresome
@hprw —————— @kashicat That’s MY blog! Thank you!
@kashicat —————— @wiremamma Bwa! But it does mean I rebuy whole sets 2 or 3 times, just to get matching covers + new covers
@SheilaB01 —————— @thewaryeye @vanessadodds I believe technically speaking The Book Depository is an indie just purely online
@hprw —————— @thewaryeye Publishers have ALWAYS been profit-motivated: they just showed it in different ways way back when
@KatMeyer —————— @thewaryeye FSG still pretty much a “can’t miss” brand, though
@kashicat —————— @maggiedana I’m bookmarking the blog, & likely will put on blogroll of my own book blog, and reference it fr. time to time
@hprw —————— @maggiedana Now it’s my turn to blush!
@wiremamma —————— note to self — don’t knee-jerk buy books you saw on @kashicat‘s shelf — she’s just decorating
@maggiedana —————— @KatMeyer What’s a sell sheet?
@hprw —————— @wiremamma Recurring characters are brands too; as are recurring settings etc. Marketing depts can use them all if they want
@thewaryeye —————— @hprw Right. And marketing was not purely genre. Publishers were more competitive, not as corporate and profit motivated
@maggiedana —————— @kashicat Thanks… and the blog it’s one (was a guest that day) is fabulous. HOW PUBLISHING REALLY WORKS. Highly recommended
@kashicat —————— @KatMeyer I’m afraid I’m with you re: Amazon these days
@kashicat —————— @wiremamma Re branding author & similar covers: I like those just bc whole set looks nice on my bookshelves! /shallow
@KatMeyer —————— @wiremamma importance of sell sheet totally depends on book’s market. what say ye, bookseller? sell sheets important?
@wiremamma —————— @KatMeyer — how fast time flies when we’re having fun!
@pussreboots —————— @ErrantKnave It took a very unusual adaptation of Catcher in the Rye to get me to read it (and love it)
@maggiedana —————— @AnnetteFix Give that boy a gold star!
@hprw —————— @ErrantKnave Times were different when Catcher in the Rye was published: marketing was less sophisticated, choices were narrow
@wiremamma —————— @hprw — so, author’s reoccurring chars. lead 2 cover branding, yes? like Something Borrowed or Queen of Babble?
@maggiedana —————— @ErrantKnave But that was a VERY long time ago. WOM has kept it moving forward since then
@kashicat —————— @maggiedana I had just clicked on the link to it that you tweeted earlier. Thanks! Reading now
@AnnetteFix —————— @wiremamma Because the inside of JP books are all the same. Per my nonreader son who read 3. Noticed all alike w/ minor diff
@ErrantKnave —————— didn’t the Catcher in the Rye do perfectly well with a terrible cover?
@maggiedana —————— @kashicat If you have time, my article might shed light. http://bit.ly/2Yj6HH
@KatMeyer —————— for those of u who have something else going on — it’s 5pm EST. (5:03 actually). u have been notified!
@hprw —————— @wiremamma There are lots of brands in publishing: author, genre, publisher, imprint… they all play a part in cover design
@thewaryeye —————— @FFYM Farrar Strauss was the only reliable serious fiction pub in US, but they too have become genre as market narrows
@wiremamma —————— how important are sell sheets to bookstores?
@ErrantKnave —————— @JenniferWeltz Don’t they just brand themselves according to their marketing strengths?
@KatMeyer —————— @pussreboots i know + that’s kind of the point. AMZN has opportunity 2 win over haters (who, me?) by caring. not gonna happen
@kashicat —————— @hprw That’s really interesting. Now I’m wondering how much they might’ve influenced me & I didn’t know.
@maggiedana —————— RT @hprw poor font choice can deter readers even when a story is good. But most readers arent even aware
@wiremamma —————— @hprw — you made @maggiedana blush! good for you (publishing pick up lines: You can set my type any time!)
@wiremamma —————— How important is it to Brand the Author — like in a James Patterson way? every cover looks similar in some fashion?
@hprw —————— @kashicat poor font choice can deter readers even when a story is good. But most readers aren’t even aware
@maggiedana —————— @hprw Aww, thanks. Am now blushing
@FFYM —————— unless a publisher has a specific niche, it is hard for the reader to follow
@kashicat —————— @KatMeyer @maggiedana But I recog font makes some diff. I used to find my stories differed dep’g on colour of typewriter keys
@kashicat —————— @KatMeyer @maggiedana Agreed, ab. fonts making subtle difference, though for me, story tends to take over
@FFYM —————— does it matter? RT @JenniferWeltz But that is the prob. Why dont we know names of big pubs as readers?
@hprw —————— @maggiedana You typeset beautifully, too. It makes such a difference to the finished book
@KatMeyer —————— RT @maggiedana: I wrote article her http://bit.ly/2Yj6HH about readability and book design
@AaronsBooks —————— @JenniferWeltz some genres have brand name pubs, knew of Berkley long before I owned a store cause of their branded genres
@maggiedana —————— @JenniferWeltz Publisher’s names don’t appear in large type on cover, or on title page
@KatMeyer —————— @ftoolan i m so intrigued by idea of customized ebook/POD covers. perhaps a nightmare for art dept, but so much fun 4 mktg!
@kashicat —————— @maggiedana <cackle>
@VanessaDobbs —————— @SheilaB01 just wish was Indie near Worcester.Would give my support to it “sigh”
@maggiedana —————— @KatMeyer I wrote article her http://bit.ly/2Yj6HH about readability and book design
@SheilaB01 —————— @KatMeyer “the planet had instead succumbed to the natural state of decay known as the Shoe Event Horizon”
@KatMeyer —————— RT @SheilaB01: re AMZ/Zappos — we should all remind ourselves of the “shoe event horizon” in Hitchikers Guide
@AmethystGreye —————— @maggiedana No problem. I don’t think I’ve very good at fast pace of these things anyway
@ftoolan —————— @KatMeyer in a virtual world should a book have only one cover?
@thewaryeye —————— @maggiedana And your favorite font?
@JenniferWeltz —————— @maggiedana But that is the prob. Why don’t we know names of big pubs as readers? Why do we only brand auth names?
@maggiedana —————— @kashicat How long have you got?
@pussreboots —————— RT @KatMeyer: Amazon buying zappos — will Amazon become more customer-oriented (ala Zappos) as a result? (Ha ha ha — no)
@KatMeyer —————— @kashicat @maggiedana well-trained designers can do wonders w/ font-even when subtly different, changing font can make impact
@SheilaB01 —————— @KatMeyer re AMZ/Zappos — I really do think we should all remind ourselves of the “shoe event horizon” in Hitchikers Guide
@kashicat —————— RT @pussreboots: Too much emphasis on brand and not enough on product
@kashicat —————— @maggiedana Ha! Font nazi. So what fonts do you really dislike reading?
@maggiedana —————— @AmethystGreye Ah, sorry. I wasn’t paying attention to customizable cover convo
@FFYM —————— RT @pussreboots: Too much emphasis on brand and not enough on product
@kashicat —————— @SheilaB01 Yes, I always assumed rejacketing wouldn’t be left to stand on its own as marketing tool
@thewaryeye —————— @SheilaB01 Interesting. You would certainly be in the best position to know
@EGDeedy —————— RT @KatMeyer: as readers, what types of book promotions appeal to you? examples? any promo stand out as really bad?
@AmethystGreye —————— @maggiedana Kat mentioned cust. cover options in eReaders. Agree it wouldn’t make sense in galleys
@maggiedana —————— @kashicat Am font nazi. Book designer and typographer, and author, and reader
@KatMeyer —————— #marketingfail of a diff. sort, re: Amazon buying zappos — will Amazon become more customer-oriented (ala Zappos) as a result?
@FFYM —————— @JenniferWeltz In a way they get branded by their 2 or 3 big hits and that is how they are thought of
@SheilaB01 —————— @VanessaDobbs but good UK indies still do well (Mr B’s Emprium in Bath), Toppings (Bath & Ely) Bookmark in Spalding etc etc
@maggiedana —————— @JenniferWeltz But, honestly how many avg. readers know name(s) of big publishers
@thewaryeye —————— @VanessaDobbs Chains were spoilers and now here they can’t find the cash to keep up
@pussreboots —————— Too much emphasis on brand and not enough on product
@kashicat —————— @maggiedana That’s interesting. I rarely notice the font unless it’s something really glaring
@JenniferWeltz —————— The next question is how big pubs can brand themselves. Hasn’t been successful b/c they do too much. Collins tried
@VanessaDobbs —————— @thewaryeye in Worcester now have 2 branches of Waterstones and WHSmiths that sell books no indies now
@maggiedana —————— @AmethystGreye Customizable cover? For galleys? Waste of pub’s money, I’d say
@SheilaB01 —————— @thewaryeye I run a UK book distribution co. Online retailers growing fast — but many bricks&mortar hanging in
@CupK8 —————— @alyssa_day Yes, I assumed she misremembered context. Atlanteans != Mermen. Way too hot
@AmethystGreye —————— @KatMeyer Hmm, haven’t thought of customizable covers. Can see pros and cons. Sort of cannon loyalty vs. personal touch
@KatMeyer —————— re: Small Beer. i really dislike 1of their covers — if i didn’t know them as a pub, i would’ve passed on book based on cover
@murzee —————— Ha-ha, me 2 RT / @maggiedana <– will stop reading if they put Mel Gibson on covers
@maggiedana —————— @KatMeyer I feel the same way about interior design. Will NOT waste time reading book in font I despise
@thewaryeye —————— In UK too. Last time in London Charring Street had fewer book shops. Is that true country- wide? Is the web taking over?
@charabbott —————— RT @wiremamma: i’ve put down many a pretty cover after reading the back cover blurb and excerpt
@KatMeyer —————— int. RT @charabbott: If I have negative feelings about a book, I find that an ugly cover encourages me to exaggerate them!
@vasilly —————— @Eugenia_Kim Maybe I will. I’ll probably get a copy from the library instead of buying it now
@charabbott —————— RT @SheilaB01: proof how much book covers matter = my heart sinks every time I open packet with a self-published book in it!
@KatMeyer —————— @thinkmaya and i could actually have johnny depp on all my covers (were he to license his image) ala ringtones!
@Eugenia_Kim —————— @vasilly I’ll peruse it to see if the writing appeals to me, since don’t want the art dir to “win.” Give the writing a chance
@alyssa_day —————— LOL. No!! NOT Merman. Scales & tail=creepy! RT @CupK8: That would be @alyssa_day‘s Atlantis Unleashed
@charabbott —————— If I have negative feelings about a book, I find that an ugly cover encourages me to exaggerate them!
@kashicat —————— RT @wiremamma: .Note to self. never write about mermen with swords of any nature. [laughing my brains out]
@SusanneSaville —————— @KatMeyer Just stumbled on this — Yes, I like the idea of choose-your-own-cover! That could be fun
@CupK8 —————— @KatMeyer That would be @alyssa_day‘s Atlantis Unleashed. Much fun was had poking fun at the cover at SBTB
@FitzWitz —————— @KatMeyer sometimes I’d prefer a different cover. Several times, when it comes to fantasy novels
@AmethystGreye —————— @KatMeyer Yeah, that one was strong on the ‘bait and switch’. However, I wouldn’t let the pub’s deception stop my purchase
@vasilly —————— @Eugenia_Kim It’s sad that author thinks work might crumble b/c of this. I won’t be buying the book. Doubt publisher cares
@thewaryeye —————— Given the geography here best chance for new authors will be a web presence and a free chapter. Amazon is not cutting edge
@maggiedana —————— @JenniferWeltz I’d think all they need to do is read a page or two before deciding whether to review. Maybe less. One para?
@Eugenia_Kim —————— @KatMeyer Look how iTunes did a great job with CD covers for iPods. Yes
@thinkmaya —————— @KatMeyer I think mash-up you own cover would be cool — although popular more in one genre than others
@csummie —————— RT yodiwan…all publicity is good for newer authors.For established ones, bad publicity may stop repeat readers from buying
@FitzWitz —————— @JenniferWeltz no. It’s just a galley. The whole point is what’s inside. Plus, some quickie galley covers look kind of cheesy
@KatMeyer —————— sort of off-topic, but does idea of playing w/covers via digi-pub (ebook/POD) appeal? Choose your own cover? mash-up covers?
@pussreboots —————— @KatMeyer No. I can’t afford to get a whole backlist of an author. They’d have to be REALLY REALLY different to warrant that
@wiremamma —————— @KatMeyer — *snort* had same notion! LOL. sigh. Note to self. never write about mermen with swords of any nature
@maggiedana —————— @KatMeyer Depends where his sword is
@SheilaB01 —————— @KatMeyer my children would probably disagree re. meman & sword
@maggiedana —————— @vasilly Let me know what you think. I loved it
@mcvane —————— Holy cow, yes. Book covers tend to matter a lot if you aren’t familiar with authors
@KatMeyer —————— @wiremamma LOL! a merman with a sword is a bad idea in any context. not just on a cover!
@wiremamma —————— @vanessadobbs — if you find a new author you like, do you often go for their whole backlist?
@GenreReviewer —————— @KatMeyer Ugly covers are fine, but ones that give a wrong idea about what’s inside mean I don’t pick it up to read book desc
@maggiedana —————— @wiremamma I put it down if (1) interior design sucks and (2) writing sucks
@Eugenia_Kim —————— @vasilly I know. And so is it a failed marketing ploy? Another bad design choice? I think so. An art director gone mad
@vasilly —————— @maggiedana Thanks! It sounds like a great book! I’ll definitely be picking it up and asking my lib to get it too
@thewaryeye —————— @maggiedana Agree. Author’s name is what draws me, and reviewers in the States have little literary sense
@SheilaB01 —————— @JenniferWeltz proof how much book covers matter = my heart sinks every time I open packet with a self-published book in it!
@kashicat —————— @KatMeyer I’ve heard they often get new upsurge in sales by changing covers of bks from prev. editions
@JenniferWeltz —————— Question for people who get galleys — If there is no cover, does it influence whether you will review it?
@Eugenia_Kim —————— LIAR AUTHOR: “Covers change how people read books.”
@vasilly —————— @Eugenia_Kim It’s definitely getting publicity now but not for the story itself
@VanessaDobbs —————— sometimes try new authors through 3 for 2offers in bookstores
@KatMeyer —————— in the case of LIAR, it’s really hard to see how pub could have so blatantly disregarded author’s wishes for cover
@wiremamma —————— i’ve put down many a pretty cover after reading the back cover blurb and excerpt
@Eugenia_Kim —————— 3.3 ÉAt which point the entire book, and all my hard work, crumbles.” Sad
@wiremamma —————— in that vein, I’m digging the http://www.netgalley.com — green galley platform. Much easier for bloggers to target books for review
@Eugenia_Kim —————— 2/3 “If she doesnÕt look anything like girl on the cover maybe nothing she says is true. É
@maggiedana —————— @thewaryeye Erm, you mean Goon Show?
@JenniferWeltz —————— @KatMeyer book covers matter & nt only that they need to be appealing bt they need 2 appeal 2 readership who wld love the bk
@Eugenia_Kim —————— LIAR AUTHOR: “One of the most upsetting impacts of the cover is that itÕs led readers to question everything about Micah: É1/2
@maggiedana —————— @KatMeyer Covers are what make you pick it up (if browsing) After that, the writing has to do the rest
@CupK8 —————— I will be attracted by pretty covers, but unless I have read up on the book, probably won’t buy right away
@KatMeyer —————— @JenniferWeltz i agree. i will read anything from Two Dollar Radio + Small Beer (+ Chronicle even). i know it’ll be good
@FitzWitz —————— Actually, promoting new books is EXACTLY the sort of thing indies do well
@wiremamma —————— @KatMeyer — can’t recall the name but got yards of comments at SBTB.com — the merman with the sword? #coverfail
@pussreboots —————— @maggiedana I do too. Who published; when and where
@maggiedana —————— @vasilly If you decide to buy, get from The Book Depository, online UK bookseller w/free shipping to US. (I don’t work for em)
@kashicat —————— @GenreReviewer Okay, I cd see that, if blurb is from another fave author. Blurbs from papers & mags carry less weight w/me
@thewaryeye —————— @maggiedana Anyone who references the Gong Show knows who Johnny is
@GenreReviewer —————— @FFYM I’m a book reviewer. I don’t spend any time/money on sending galleys for reviews
@KatMeyer —————— do book covers matter as much as we think they do? seriously — publishers agonize endlessly over covers + still have misses
@vasilly —————— @maggiedana Okay. I’ll go look it up
@maggiedana —————— First thing I look at when picking up a book is copyright page. Want to see who published it
@kashicat —————— RT @maggiedana: <– will stop reading if they put Mel Gibson on covers. AMEN!!
@AmethystGreye —————— @Eugenia_Kim Oh, and the different makting strats referred to how cover designers think in different countries
@Eugenia_Kim —————— @vasilly I totally agree, but think this is more a meta issue. What works: PUBLICITY it got. Guaranteed paperback will differ
@kashicat —————— @KatMeyer Yes about reader perception & covers. Once or twice I *had* to get bk based on cover art alone, & bk lived up to it
@GenreReviewer —————— Except, of course, I think the cover is a large part of marketing.😉
@pussreboots —————— @thewaryeye Other than JK Rowling… JRR Tolkien… CS Lewis… Jane Austen… the Brontes
@maggiedana —————— @vasilly Check out THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF RACHEL DUPREE by Ann Weisgarber, pub’d by Macmillan UK. Coming to US in 2010
@JenniferWeltz —————— A great example of pub branding tends to come from small pubs — Unbridled, which was frm the guys who did BlueHen gd exmpl
@thewaryeye —————— @SheilaB01 Thanks. Will do
@GenreReviewer —————— Agreed. >> RT @KatMeyer: reader’s perception of story is hugely influenced by cover art. it’s not JUST about marketing
@FFYM —————— @GenreReviewer What percentage of your time/money do you spend on sending galleys ..strictly for reviews?
@SheilaB01 —————— @thewaryeye that’s http://www.bookdepository.com/ check them out
@vasilly —————— @KatMeyer As an AA the cover of Liar sends the message to me that having a cover of a person w/ my skin color doesn’t sell
@maggiedana —————— @thewaryeye johnny who?
@AmethystGreye —————— @KatMeyer Found the link. http://sarahtales.livejournal.com/149192.html
@thewaryeye —————— @pussreboots Here in US we never hear of British writers, not easily
@maggiedana —————— @KatMeyer Most readers don’t know (or care) about publisher. Wouldn’t know a colophon if they sat on it
@thewaryeye —————— @maggiedana So you too prefer Johnny?
@GenreReviewer —————— @kashicat Yes, I know several friends who have bought a book based on the cover blurb given by another favorite author
@SheilaB01 —————— @thewaryeye watch out for The Book Depository — they’re making huge inroads into UK online book retail and now launched in US
@Eugenia_Kim —————— Just caught up on the LIAR flap. I actually think it works
@pussreboots —————— RT @maggiedana: <– will stop reading if they put Mel Gibson on covers. (me too)
@pussreboots —————— @VanessaDobbs Likewise… UK authors otherwise unknown in US via WOM
@maggiedana —————— <– will stop reading if they put Mel Gibson on covers
@KatMeyer —————— @JenniferWeltz agree. pub’s imprint/brand should be able to convey what reader can expect. sometimes it does
@VanessaDobbs —————— @maggiedana thanks will do
@SheilaB01 —————— @KatMeyer you mean you think agents have a better insight into customer preference? And if so why?
@thewaryeye —————— Small book stores have disappeared in the US, now a chain such as Borders wobbles. I predict all will be Amazon
@maggiedana —————— @pussreboots Depp? Wasn’t he also called Fabian?
@kashicat —————— @GenreReviewer So people actually take those blurbs seriously? Wow
@maggiedana —————— @VanessaDobbs Check out The Book Depository (free shipping) soon to open branch in US
@SheilaB01 —————— @Eugenia_Kim only 20 years of observation. Probably need to ask a graphic designer that question
@pussreboots —————— @KeiraSoleore Depp is on book covers? OK… seen him on a Club Dumas Cover but how many we talking?
@KatMeyer —————— @SarahABA thanks!
@vasilly —————— @KatMeyer I agree the cover of Liar is a huge #marketingfail. I can’t believe the editor is trying to defend the cover
@maggiedana —————— Problem for booksellers is finite space. Can’t keep books long enough for them to marinade
@FitzWitz —————— Also, a lot of books are bought as gifts. Still, I like WOM. I trust friends, critics, and some booksellers
@KatMeyer —————— reader’s perception of story is hugely influenced by cover art. it’s not JUST about marketing
@VanessaDobbs —————— @thewaryeye have had loads of WOM from twitter. SomeUS authors that I had not heard of before in uk
@bookish_type —————— @pussreboots yes, even Amazon makes bigFAILS. LOL
@mcvane —————— @KatMeyer I think the whitewash practice exists in the romance genre as well, particularly with category romances
@SarahABA —————— @Eugenia_Kim @AmethystGreye A Water for Elephants case study: http://www.bookweb.org/files/open/pdf/BScasestudy.pdf
@GenreReviewer —————— @kashicat I don’t read recommendation blurbs on covers, either, but I know some people do
@KatMeyer —————— if u haven’t read it, here’s post on what happened w/ LIAR: http://bit.ly/1QtQg
@maggiedana —————— WFE (H20 elefants) big push by indies; ad in NYT book review week before pub
@AmethystGreye —————— I think some of my replies got swapped around. Gimme a second to remove small child from lap
@KeiraSoleore —————— @KatMeyer Putting Depp on ALL covers is pub branding like Penguin Classics.
@FitzWitz —————— I’ve seen research that suggests the majority of people buy books in-store that they never heard of. Good displays work
@wiremamma —————— @dearauthor — lord knows I do! seriously — WOM takes time & any book worth reading should survive test of time
@littlefluffycat —————— @KatMeyer the “Liar” fail is huge, partly because it’s an ongoing widespread trend. HATE covers w/no relation to inside!
@dearauthor —————— @KatMeyer I don’t get larbalestier’s outrage now when she was originally publicly excited about it #marketingfail
@Eugenia_Kim —————— @SheilaB01 Do you have info on diff tyopgraphic conventions btwn US and UK? Interesting
@KatMeyer —————— @SheilaB01 research data is great, but sometimes, success/fail can’t be predicted. trust agents more reliable predictors
@bookish_type —————— I have to jump out now. Will check back for wrap-up later. Have a great discussion!
@pussreboots —————— @bookish_type But Amazon et al will still get things wrong. Amazon is convinced that I like Harry Potter (I don’t)
@thewaryeye —————— Given the geography of the States, Twitter will be the vehicle for WOM, particularly for new or niche writers
@SheilaB01 —————— @thewaryeye yes stump up (UK) = put up (US) (but here “put up” often means to tolerate something not to fund it)
@pussreboots —————— @SheilaB01 I have but not for books
@KatMeyer —————— bigger #marketingfail deserves attention @justine_larbalestier‘s YA book, “Liar” given a whitewash by the publisher
@wiremamma —————— @maggiedana is right — indies are powerful influence. wondering if CBA is as powerful. Look at The Shack, for example
@JenniferWeltz —————— Branding publishers imprints or even agencies so that readers know what places they can count on for a great read-thoughts?
@bookish_type —————— @Eugenia_Kim Yes, it’s tried and true, based on customer’s previous browsing/buying experiences. So individually catered
@Eugenia_Kim —————— @AmethystGreye Re: H2O for Elephants, what different mkting strategies?
@SheilaB01 —————— @pussreboots Do you take part in any focus groups?
@GenreReviewer —————— Contests & free books do get me to take a closer look at a book, but I don’t necessarily buy if it doesn’t look interesting
@SheilaB01 —————— @pussreboots OK that makes sense! In my exp too many publishers make decisions on personal preference not customer research!
@AmethystGreye —————— @Eugenia_Kim @KatMeyer I will sleuth and see what I can find, ladies
@dearauthor —————— @wiremamma everyone wants the instant hit. WOM takes time to build right?
@Eugenia_Kim —————— @bookish_type “Behavioral targetingÉ” Shiver, but it’s age-old marketing and enacted in finding correct influential group, no?
@AmethystGreye —————— @maggiedana It was good, wasn’t it? I really appreciated the different marketing strategies
@pussreboots —————— @AmethystGreye Where did you get “cherub/toddler” from my tweets?
@kashicat —————— @GenreReviewer I’m very late & this may have been addressed. But I loathe blurbs all over covers; don’t make me want to buy
@bookish_type —————— One word: Party. Think about those crazy fun Harry Potter midnight magic parties, but boost up those indies!
@SheilaB01 —————— @KatMeyer in case you haven’t guessed I’m a big believer in backing anecdote/persoanl taste up with hard research data
@maggiedana —————— US indies got behing WATER FOR ELEPHANTS and helped turn it into a mega-success
@AmethystGreye —————— @pussreboots I think my preference stems from my tastes in para/sprntrl. Don’t want ‘cherub/toddler” faerytales
@SheilaB01 —————— @KatMeyer Kat are there dedicated book industry market research companies in US? Only one in UK Book Marketing Ltd
@KatMeyer —————— @AmethystGreye yes — if u can find link to the article on UK/US covers, please pass along to us!
@AaronsBooks —————— maybe this is why indies do it better, don’t follow hype, follow what we know customers would like and what we read ourselves
@pussreboots —————— @SheilaB01 I was speaking as a customer
@SheilaB01 —————— @Eugenia_Kim yes ditto re US/UK covers. Typographic conventions are VERY different in the two markets
@maggiedana —————— @bookish_type I predict Twitter will become more and more influential in book buyers’ decisions
@wiremamma —————— @eugenia_kim — you talk to a friend, who talks to a friend, who talks to another friend
@bookish_type —————— Then it’s picked up by bloggers, then larger media venues, and becomes an “underground” hit
@GenreReviewer —————— I think a lovely, accurate cover & being able to read the first few pages is best book promo for me. Ads don’t do much for me
@SheilaB01 —————— @pussreboots surely it isn’t about our preferences — but about the customer’s preferences?
@KatMeyer —————— @dearauthor i agree — marketing should be useful/helpful to readers. or at least provide something (like entertainment)
@bookish_type —————— For a specific book, though, the trick is to get one influential group ie Twitter chat or book club to talk about it
@Eugenia_Kim —————— @AmethystGreye @KatMeyer UK vs. US covers. Would like to see that article if you can find it
@wiremamma —————— LOL @maggiedana! jinx
@wiremamma —————— @jimduncan — yes, but that’s JAMES patterson you’re talking about. isn’t he allowed to do anything?
@maggiedana —————— @jimnduncan Yes, and Patterson does little more than provide a table of contents
@bookish_type —————— Behavioral targeting (*shiver — hate those words) actually works on a book marketplace a la Amazon recommends
@pussreboots —————— @AmethystGreye I tend to prefer a nice line drawing illustration to photo
@Eugenia_Kim —————— WOM WOM: but how do we (or can we) generate this?
@dearauthor —————— The more deceptive ur marketing practices, the more you lose face w. customer. Maybe not this time, but in the future
@maggiedana —————— @AmethystGreye I think I read same or similar article
@thewaryeye —————— @SheilaB01 “stump up”? British for “put up” as in spend the money?
@jimnduncan —————— @KatMeyer Aren’t Patterson’s books he does with co-author with him in huge print and co-author in small?
@wiremamma —————— I wonder if that’s something pubtrack is doing. Hmmm
@maggiedana —————— With print reviews dwindling, are pubs turning more to gimmicky marketing?
@wiremamma —————— @dearauthor — I like your style. Always trust friends/family over the marketers. LOL
@AmethystGreye —————— @KatMeyer I read a good article about diff/btwn UK/US covers recently. Personally prefer photo to ill. Feel photo more soph
@KatMeyer —————— @CupK8 that’s interesting. using a “personality” quiz to match book to reader. i luv it!
@maggiedana —————— Has anyone done a study of most effective book marketing strategies?
@AaronsBooks —————— @CupK8 did the same thing, went out and bought the book that I came up as… great marketing obviously!
@Eugenia_Kim —————— Regardless of the Dan Brown design faux pas, giveaway when you buy a Dan Brown book was a good mktng ploy
@bookish_type —————— Of course, book clubs generate a lot of free marketing
@dearauthor —————— u know why WOM works? Because we trust our friends, not the fucking marketers. (cursing intentional)
@mcvane —————— @KatMeyer For me, the only truly effective means of promotion is the word of mouth among readers
@pussreboots —————— @susanmpls I have a list of about a dozen bloggers / close friends who recommendations mean most to me for picking new book
@maggiedana —————— Poor cover design and bad grammar sunk that little ship for me
@CupK8 —————— @KatMeyer Also, JQuinn has Facebook quiz “Which JQ heroine r u?” Hadn’t read result I got, so bought it
@wiremamma —————— How about contests from blog sites? ARCs for book bloggers? Free books can generate WOM, yes?
@KatMeyer —————— @maggiedana thank you! (but get to know the face, it’s a good one ;))
@SheilaB01 —————— but in UK publishers rarely stump up for in depth market research
@KatMeyer —————— @jimnduncan i think deception stems from misleading (huge font for Dan Brown’s name/small type for actual author) cover design
@GenreReviewer —————— @Eugenia_Kim Not sure which comment you’re referring to. The bk wasn’t for sale. Ppl were only having to buy Dan Brown’s bk
@SheilaB01 —————— truth is that no-one in the industry is a typical reader — so real market research valuable
@CupK8 —————— @KatMeyer — Book giveaways = #win for me. If I like, backlist instantly goes on my “to buy” list
@JenniferWeltz —————— But how to get it in Friends hands
@ftoolan —————— @maggiedana it just goes to how disingenuous marketing blurbs are
@mcvane —————— RT @KatMeyer as readers what types of book promotions appeal to you? have any examples to share? any stand out as really bad?
@maggiedana —————— WOM still best marketing for me
@wiremamma —————— WOM, IMO, IYO, LMBO, Aye Yai Yai
@susanmpls —————— I look to trusted bloggers & bkslrs to suggest new aus/bks to me. (but I’m not a typical reader…)
@maggiedana —————— @KatMeyer Know the name, not the face. I’ll leave him all for you
@bookish_type —————— Unique cover art always captures my attention. Example is Haruki Murakami’s paperbacks. WOM also works
@j_c_hay —————— @Eugenia_Kim WOM==Word Of Mouth
@SheilaB01 —————— there’s a big difference between marketing that self-consciously references other authors/genres and marketing that deceives
@littlefluffycat —————— @KatMeyer They’re real birthday parties — cake, entertainment, activities, a story — grownup & kid fans having a good time.
@maggiedana —————— @Eugenia_Kim Word of mouth
@AaronsBooks —————— agree w/ @dearauthor instore estimate 9 out of 10, friend’s rec is reason some1 chooses particular book,not any marketing plan
@pussreboots —————— @Eugenia_Kim “Word of mouth.”
@MoriahJovan —————— @Eugenia_Kim Word of mouth
@wiremamma —————— @dearauthor — excellent point on WOM. What’s the best way to harness WOM, IYO?
@KatMeyer —————— @maggiedana oh my. i’m heartbroken if u don’t know — but that’s one less woman competing for his attention!
@VanessaDobbs —————— @dearauthor I agree recs work best although also browse bookhops
@Eugenia_Kim —————— @dearauthor what is WOM?
@maggiedana —————— @ftoolan Good for them. You brung ’em up well
@farmlanebooks —————— RT @wiremamma: just read the blog post — book market fail most interesting topic. today should be fun. http://is.gd/1IZdL
@KatMeyer —————— @littlefluffycat can u tell more about the HP parties?
@JenniferWeltz —————— I like promos that think outside the box. Remember promoting Isaac Asimov’s ROBOTS w/little robot giveaways
@maggiedana —————— @KatMeyer Who’s Johnny Depp???
@ftoolan —————— @maggiedana my 10 year old boys have learned to put down any movie with a blurb that includes the word “Hillarious”
@GenreReviewer —————— However, I do think that the cover should have made the promo more clear so people wouldn’t feel duped
@maggiedana —————— RT @dearauthor: only promo that really works for me is WOM. Good covers can get me to pick up a book but a rec makes me buy
@jimnduncan —————— @KatMeyer Isn’t this all similar to what Patterson has been doing for years to promote unknown authors? Or is this different?
@wiremamma —————— @maggiedana + / — of working with small press / epub. More interaction with cover artist = covers that represent book
@KatMeyer —————— still a fan of putting johnny depp on ALL book covers. deceptive? maybe — but who cares
@dearauthor —————— the only promo that really works for me is WOM. Good covers can get me to pick up a book but a rec makes me buy @KatMeyer
@GenreReviewer —————— Most marketing is deceptive to some degree; ex. smoking a certain brand of cigarettes isn’t going to make you super-sexy
@Eugenia_Kim —————— @GenreReviewer But would they have bought it or been pissed off?
@wiremamma —————— @KatMeyer — I’m looking forward to the Castle promotion this fall… is that wrong?
@maggiedana —————— @wiremamma Most authors get little to no input on covers
@charabbott —————— RT @KatMeyer: as readers, what types of book promo appeala to you? any examples to share? any promo stand out as really bad?
@pussreboots —————— @KatMeyer Blind mailing of galleys to blogs that don’t review that genre of book = #fail to me
@bookish_type —————— @GenreReviewer Yes, unfortunately that’s true
@KatMeyer —————— @permanentpaper girl, did u get airplane wifi? or did u cancel your biz trip for us?
@littlefluffycat —————— @KatMeyer The HP birthday parties. I have every HP book, but the parties make me look for something else to buy.
@Eugenia_Kim —————— Amy Bloom, sarcastically answering a question, “Yes, as a writer her intent is to fool the reader.” It’s seamy, unethical
@GenreReviewer —————— The point was to get people to pay attention to the book, and that worked quite well
@wiremamma —————— How much interaction between author/cover artist/publisher should there be to avoid #coverfail?
@bookish_type —————— New authors run the risk of having customers mad at THEM not at the pub house itself
@pussreboots —————— @permanentpaper It’s a shame especially for readers looking for ethnically diverse stories
@KatMeyer —————— as readers, what types of book promotions appeal to you? have any examples you can share? any promo stand out as really bad?
@maggiedana —————— @mskendra Yes, Brown and Kernick both gave permission
@maggiedana —————— Is this cover any worse than all those that tout “best selling …” leaving one to wonder what list they’re referring to?
@yodiwan —————— I think all publicity is good for newer authors. For established ones, bad publicity may stop repeat readers from buying
@littlefluffycat —————— @permanentpaper @KatMeyer — not duped exactly, & at least author doesn’t mind — but it *does* feel low rent, somehow
@ftoolan —————— RT @Eugenia_Kim: As a graphic designer and writer, I think it’s ultimately a bankrupt decision. [i agree]
@mskendra —————— Did Dan Brown give his permission to use his name on the cover? Don’t publishers have to ask?
@MoriahJovan —————— @permanentpaper @Eugenia_Kim I agree with both your tweets
@jane_l —————— that’s often how I feel re: pub campaigns RT @ftoolan: who said that scruples were necessary for publishing?
@maggiedana —————— Readers of Dan Brown get what they ask for
@KatMeyer —————— @GenreReviewer yes — good point to make: the book was given away free in the promotion
@ftoolan —————— @KatMeyer you have to give Smith’s credit for actually trying something
@Eugenia_Kim —————— As a graphic designer and writer, I think it’s ultimately a bankrupt decision
@permanentpaper —————— @KatMeyer I have to believe once readers discover it they will feel duped
@ftoolan —————— @KatMeyer who said that scruples were necessary for publishing?
@maggiedana —————— The grammar on cover is atrocious. It calls Dan Brown a ‘thriller.’
@KatMeyer —————— liking tweetchat so far (esp. on my netbook) works well for small screen
@MoriahJovan —————— @KatMeyer Yes, but will people buy his next book?
@GenreReviewer —————— Since the book w/ that cover was being given away free, I don’t see anything wrong — except maybe could have made promo clearer
@maggiedana —————— On the other hand, the books are only at Smiths and are given away free
@KatMeyer —————— others (like @jasonpinter) say while it may confound some, the sales kick for the book is worth it
@wiremamma —————— @permanentpaper — excellent point — so, there’s no such thing as bad marketing? as long as buzz is generated?
@MoriahJovan —————— @permanentpaper A variation of bait-and-switch
@ftoolan —————— @KatMeyer the Kernick situation looks like it follows the adage “any publicity is good publicity” — probably sell more copies
@permanentpaper —————— @KatMeyer I like what someone said earlier-it is prob a marketing WIN but an ethical fail
@wiremamma —————— just read the blog post — book market fail most interesting topic. today should be fun. http://is.gd/1IZdL
@KatMeyer —————— @sarahw’s + others’ contention — using bigname author’s name BIG on cover of lesser known author = deceptive mktg
@maggiedana —————— @KatMeyer The Kernick situation could be a HUGE marketing bonanza. Be interesting to see how many others jump onto it
@KatMeyer —————— ps: am trying out tweetchat and don’t know how fast it’ll post. (prob. better than tweetdeck though)
@maggiedana —————— @wiremamma Argghh! I’ve been busted
@MoriahJovan —————— Oooh, love Tweetchat already!
@KatMeyer —————— Simon Kernick situation a marketingfail? (if u don’t know it, check it out on @sarahw’s blog) http://is.gd/1IZdL
@wiremamma —————— @maggiedana — if twitter fails today, we all know whose fault it will be.😉
@maggiedana —————— @KatMeyer If Twitter fails today I shall throw myself into a Long Island Ice Tea. Care to join me?
@KatMeyer —————— RT @maggiedana: Join us in chat starting now. Suggest using TweetChat for this
@maggiedana —————— @hprw Topic today is: Book Marketing Fail
@KatMeyer —————— hi ya: about to start. put on your bookish thinking caps + check http://www.followthereader.wordpress.com 4 convo wrapup later
@maggiedana —————— @hprw Join us in chat starting now. Suggest using TweetChat for this
@jeanenne —————— RT @KatMeyer just a half hour away. we shall discuss BOOK MARKETING FAIL. so much of that to choose from this week! 4PM