Guest Column: Unite Marketing and Publicity
We make a point of sending our marketing department every canned Q&A — a list of 10 or so questions that our authors answer to give a sense of what their book covers — to use as part of their press material. Our marketing department offers the Q&As to grassroots websites of organizations with like interests, along with a brief, free excerpt from the book (usually no more than 1,000 words).
We do our best to keep our marketing department informed about forthcoming media appearances, so that they can make better decisions about where and when to place ads. No sense advertising a book in a publication that's already reviewing it, but great to do some newspaper, magazine or website ads timed to a big national radio or national TV hit like NPR's "Fresh Air," or C-SPAN's "Book TV" or Katie Couric's show. And of course the more the marketing department knows what media is in the works, the better the chance they can time in-store co-op appropriately. We also work hard to maintain an up-to-date list of review quotes for every book, so that any time our marketing department needs a choice quote for an ad, we can shoot them a two- or three-page Word doc with plenty of excellent options.
Things also work in the opposite direction. For example, when our marketing department creates a video book trailer, they send us a link so that we can forward it to producers at television shows to give them a sense of what the author would be like on camera, or how they could make the segment visual. When they produce BLADs (basic layout and design) or chapbooks, they order an additional quantity for publicity so that we can forward them to long lead-time magazines in an effort to convince them to save space for coverage. And when our marketing department takes out an ad, it sometimes leads to review copy requests.