HarperCollins Exec Reveals Secrets to Successful Online Book Marketing
From developing Internet sites for faux companies, posting scripted videos and creating elaborate storylines that add to a novel’s plot, book publishers are finding the need to interact online with potential book buyers and readers like never before. Jeffrey Yamaguchi, HarperCollins’ online marketing manager, talks with Book Business Extra about the changing needs of marketing a book in today’s digital world.
Book Business Extra: Why do publishers have to go to these lengths of creating an elaborate alternative reality to market a book?
Jeffrey Yamaguchi: I think the online space allows you to do that, to really explore what a reader will find in the pages of a book—it’s one of the best things about the Web. You don’t want to just put up catalog copy, so instead you explore the world created in the book. It’s not so much an alternative reality than it is taking the world of the book and bringing it to life through a Web site.
Extra: What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the way a book is marketed in the last five years? Why is the “old” way not good enough for drawing attention anymore?
Yamaguchi: It’s not that the old way is not good enough—it might be better to call it the traditional way of marketing a book, and those traditions hold. You still have to do those things. But the online world, that is relatively new, and that’s a big part of how people get their information and buy things, so of course we’re trying new things in the online space in terms of marketing books. It’s a very exciting time. Totally wide-open and people are willing to try new things.
Extra: What advice would you give a book publisher who is still marketing only the “traditional” way?
Yamaguchi: I’d tell them they are being left behind and missing out on reaching information-hungry consumers —and therefore sales—and to immediately hire someone who knows how to market online.