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By The Bookollective Team, Feb 5 2019 03:35PM

Bookollective are thrilled to by sponsoring these awards. This impressive shortlist showcases the incredible talent of independent author's and we look forward to getting to know more of you!

Sponsored by IngramSpark, in association with the London Book Fair and Bookollective

#theselfiesaward / www.theselfies.co.uk

BookBrunch is delighted to announce the shortlist for the inaugural Selfies Award 2019, sponsored by IngramSpark and run in association with the London Book Fair and Bookollective. The 2019 award will recognise the best work of fiction self-published in 2018, not only in terms of the quality of the writing; the judges will be considering the cover design, blurb and sales and marketing campaigns too.

The Selfies have been established to recognise and reward the fantastic work being done by the many highly dedicated self-published authors working in the UK today. The sector is booming: Nielsen’s Books & Consumers survey reports that self-published books accounted for 6.2% of all consumer book sales in the 12 months to October 2018, up from 5.5% in the year to October 2016. And self-published titles take an even larger share of ebook sales: 18.4% at the latest count.

The winner of The Selfies 2019 will be awarded £1,500 plus a special self-publishing package from sponsors IngramSpark for their next book. BookBrunch are also delighted to announce that pr agency Bookollective have joined the roster of supporters, offering the winner a bespoke book cover design, created by award winning designer Aimee Coveney, and a book publicity campaign worth £1000 for their next book.

Selected from a very strong range of submissions, the shortlisted books are of exceptional quality. Jo Henry of BookBrunch said: “The judges who have drawn up this shortlist feel privileged to have read some exceptional works of self-published fiction from a very wide range of genres. The shortlist we’ve come up with contains works that can confidently stand against the very best fiction being published in the UK today. All eight of the shortlisted authors are women, hailing from all round the UK – with one author originally from Belgium and another from Holland – and their books range from chic lit to historical crime fiction. We’re now on tenterhooks to discover who will be crowned the inaugural Selfies 2019 author of the year at the London Book Fair!”

The judging panel to choose the winner will consist of literary agents Kate Barker and Annette Crossland, Ingram’s Robin Cutler and London Book Fair’s Emily Laidlaw, and will be chaired by BookBrunch md Jo Henry.

The Selfies 2019 winner will be announced in the Author HQ at the London Book Fair on Tuesday, 12th March. For further details please email theselfies@bookbrunch.co.uk.

The Selfies 2019 Shortlist

Anita Belli, Once Upon a Blue Moon

Jane Davis, Smash All the Windows

Caroline Goldsworthy, Tangent

Mel Gough, He Is Mine

Susan Grossey, Faith, Hope, and Trickery

Kathleen Jowitt, A Spoke in the Wheel

Heleen Kist, In Servitude

Jane Steen, Lady Helena Investigates

By The Bookollective Team, Jun 29 2018 02:11PM

This week saw the arrival of the first ever publishing specific networking event in Portsmouth, Hampshire. Co-organised by locally-based publisher and writer Abbie Headon and book PR and design agency Bookollective, the Portsmouth Book Bash was held at the Hunter Gatherer speciality coffee shop. The evening offered the Pompey book crowd the chance to come together and swap war stories about life in publishing, start new collaborations and cross-fertilise ideas.

The event capped an exciting recent time in all things books and Portsmouth. Back in March, the Central Library announced new Arts Council funding to help boost storytelling and writing in the city, with a new Writers Room facility which celebrates and promotes historical and new local writers. Plus this week the city's biggest music event Victorious Festival announced it will showcase books for the first time this year, with its first literary tent #literacylive featuring author readings and giveaways.

Co-host Esther Harris of Bookollective, which will also run #literacylive at Victorious Festival said: "It's a really exciting time to be bringing something new and bookish to Portsmouth. Regional is no longer a dirty word in publishing, which has traditionally been London-centric. In fact, it's the very opposite. Following the Northern Fiction Alliance's recent open letter to publishing imploring they take a wider view of the UK, it feels like the industry is finally 'on the move'. Orion Books are on tour in schools and communities across the UK right now, HuffPostLive is hosting from Birmingham next month and looking to specifically find new bloggers and northern stories and there is Weidenfeld & Nicolson's 'Hometown Tales' series which has found, published and mentored new voices from around the country. It's such a positive step and we're very happy to be a small part of it."

Co-host Abbie Headon also launched and signed copies of her new book THE POWER OF YES - Positive and Practical Advice to Help You Live Life To The Full, published by Ilex. She said everyone who was working in publishing and Portsmouth based or interested in entering the industry was welcome to come along.

Abbie said: "It was a really fun evening. More and more people in the creative industries are working freelance now, so you're either on your own or working from home a lot. It can be isolating. So, to get together with like-minded people and talk shop in a friendly, informal atmosphere really helps. And it's really important the industry realises that you don't have to live in London to work in publishing."

Abbie said: "We will hold another Portsmouth Book Bash in the Autumn. Watch this space!"

If you'd like to register for the next event or for more information contact abbie@abbieheadon.com or esther@bookollective.com

By The Bookollective Team, Apr 19 2018 02:01PM

Unicorn acquires Pre-Raphaelite Girl Gang by Kirsty Stonell-Walker

Unicorn, the visual arts and cultural history imprint of Unicorn Publishing Group LLP, is pleased to announce that it has acquired World English Language rights from agent Esther Harris at Bookollective to Pre-Raphaelite Girl Gang: Fifty Makers, Shakers and Heartbreakers from the Victorian Era, by Kirsty Stonell Walker due for publication in September 2018 to coincide with Pre-Raphaelite Day on 16th September.

Pre-Raphaelite Girl Gang will introduce readers of all ages to the remarkable women of the Pre-Raphaelite art movement which began in the second half of the nineteenth century and continued through the early part of the twentieth. From models to artists, these women all contributed something personal and incredible towards the most beautiful and imaginative art movement in the world. From duchesses to poor laundresses, each woman has a story to tell and a unique viewpoint on art no matter their age, status or background.

Rich or poor, black or white, these women redefined what it meant to be beautiful and influential in a male-dominated world and broke new ground in art, business and women’s rights to pursue the life they loved. Spanning almost a century and uncovering the truth behind some familiar and less familiar faces, this collection will offer new information to readers already interested in Pre-Raphaelite art and open the doors on an enchanting and revolutionary band of women who are unlikely and compelling role models. Artists, sculptors, inventors, models, wives, sisters and muses, all provide inspiration for the ground-breakers and trailblazers of today. Kirsty’s text will be accompanied by some striking illustrations by Kingsley Nebechi, who was last autumn featured in Buzzfeed’s ‘34 British Young Black Artists You Should Pay Attention To Immediately’.

Unicorn Group Chairman Lord Strathcarron says: ‘It’s wonderful that Kirsty has chosen Unicorn to publish Pre-Raphaelite Girl Gang. It’s a terrific story about a great subject and Kirsty tells it with such enthusiasm and knowledge’

Kirsty Stonell Walker says: ‘I fell in love with my first Pre-Raphaelite stunner at 20 and I've been chasing them ever since. Their lives, loves, struggles and achievements have such an eternal quality that it’s impossible not to identify with them and the paintings they both created and appeared in have such beauty. Rather than being remote figures, some born almost two hundred years ago, these women bring inspiration on how to slay it in a man's world. These women deserve to be your Girl Gang and it's a joy to celebrate them’

It was while studying for her first degree that Kirsty Stonell Walker became immersed in the life and loves of the Pre-Raphaelites. The plight of ‘bad girl’ Fanny Cornforth fascinated her so much that she spent a decade researching her life and wrote her biography Stunner: The Fall and Rise of Fanny Cornforth. Since 2011, she has written a blog, The Kissed Mouth, where she publishes original research on the many models of the Pre-Raphaelites. She has also written two novels about Victorian artists. fannycornforth.blogspot.co.uk/

Kingsley Nebechi is an Italian born, British raised illustrator. His work is inspired by his love for patterns, comics and fashion. Kingsley's artwork has been featured on book covers, ad campaigns, product packaging and animation. After four years working at leading design studio I Love Dust on a range of projects for everyone from Nike to Red Bull Kingsley has now set up his own studio, currently based in London, UK. www.kingsleynebechi.co.uk/

Pre-Raphaelite Girl Gang * 13 September 2018 * Hardback, £15 * ISBN: 9781911604631 *

Illustrations by Kingsley Nebechi

For media enquiries please contact: Louise Campbell

Email: louise@unicornpublishing.org

Phone: (07540) 892364 /Twitter: @UnicornPubGroup

Notes for editors: Unicorn Publishing Group LLP is a leading independent publisher with three distinct imprints: Unicorn, specialising in the visual arts and cultural history; Uniform, specialising in military history; and Universe, specialising in historical fiction. Unicorn Sales & Distribution is UPG’s and its client publishers’ marketing arm, with worldwide sales and distribution operations. UPG has its corporate and marketing offices in London and Chicago and a design studio in Lewes, Sussex. Learn more at www.unicornpublishing.org

By The Bookollective Team, Feb 14 2018 10:17AM

Alice Crossland is pictured top left with the other writers who attended.
Alice Crossland is pictured top left with the other writers who attended.

Creative agency Bookollective - who manage #TheAuthorHour hashtag on Twitter - held their first offline Meet-Up in London on Monday this week. Following the success of their online platform, author Alice Crossland had the idea of hosting a regular Meet-Up for writers in London, to motivate each other with an hour of dedicated writing time. Commenting after the event at Waterstones Piccadilly, Alice said: "We had a brilliant inaugural Meet-Up in conjunction with #TheAuthorHour. Six of us enjoyed getting down to an hour of serious writing, after enjoying some coffee and book-related chit-chat!" Next month, #TheAuthorHour Meet-Up will be held on Monday 12th March at Waterstones Piccadilly's 5th View Restaurant between 6.30 - 8.30pm and the second Monday of every month thereafter. #TheAuthorHour was launched by Bookollective in 2016 to provide a free weekly forum for publishers, agents, booksellers and authors to promote their books and share writing advice. Anyone who is interested in attending the next London Meet-Up, or hosting a similar event elsewhere, can tweet @Bookollective or @TheAuthorHour

By The Bookollective Team, Jan 22 2018 09:12AM

Written by Alice Marie Crossland

I recently read a quote which resonated strongly with me –

‘Writing is like giving yourself homework, really hard homework, every day, for the rest of your life.’

You might ask yourself, why put yourself through that? Was English A-Level not hard enough the first time around?

Amazingly it is now a year since I published my first book, a non-fictive narrative based on the life of Lady Georgiana Lennox, a great friend and companion of the 1st Duke of Wellington. Working as a historical researcher at the time who specialised in the Duke, I was lucky enough to be offered the chance to work on a number of unpublished letters from Wellington to Lady Georgiana. This led to discussions with Unicorn Press, who took the project on. The book took almost four years to complete as I was working full time throughout the process, and was a wonderful learning experience for me as a writer. Unusually, we pre-sold copies of the book through crowdfunding, which helped to fund the practical costs of publishing such as the editor and designer, as well as PR support. I loved working in this way as it meant you worked with the publishers as equal partners, and I felt it gave me more control over the direction of the publication. Finally, on a boiling hot September evening in 2016, we held a book launch at Daunt Books on the Fulham Road. This was undoubtedly one of the best evenings of my life, and certainly made all the long evenings and working weekends worth it.

Life after Book No.1

I must say, after six months of working 14-hour day days (editing a book and working full time in a media agency is no picnic I can tell you), the joy of having actual ‘free time’ to do normal things was completely blissful. But after a few months you do start to think ‘what do people do all weekend if they don’t write?’ After the excitement of the book launch, publication day and press releases were over, I found myself itching for a new challenge.

Thus the writers curse strikes again. Not content with simply doing a normal job and having normal hobbies, authors go out of their way to make their side line as all-consuming as possible. The result, however, is the most marvellous of things. Whether an article, novella or full blown War and Peace epic, the pride resulting from turning a blank screen into the printed word is second to none.

The question that often arises at this point is where and when do I take the plunge? If you, like me, have a case of ‘the second album has to eclipse the first’, then read on for some tips from one writer to another.

Don’t rush

Enjoy your downtime, and allow yourself time to research in and around your favourite topics. Play to your strengths and to your own personal interests. Writing a book is like deciding to have another child, once you’re in it it’s for the long haul. So it needs to be a project that you literally have to write. Make writing a passion and labour of love, never a chore. Find your niche, and carve it out a little every month. The result should surprise and delight you.

Do, however, get a move on

Now this book is not going to write itself. Downtime is essential to take stock and read widely. But be brave and take the plunge! Books typically take at least a year to write and a year to publish, as a rough guide. As I was working throughout, mine took nearly four years from kick off to publication date. Imagine where you plan to be in four years’ time. Would you like a have a book in your hand that you managed to get published? If so, then get working!

Spread your wings

Now if your time to shine, so don’t hold back. You know that book you fantasise about when you’re travelling to work or trying to get to sleep? The one you whimsically ponder ‘If I could write any book…’ There is a high chance that if you are that committed to that story, then others will be too. Give it a chance, devote perhaps two days of research and planning to it, and see if it is feasible.

Then clip your wings (a little)

As I say, writing a War and Peace style epic is nigh impossible whilst running a business, working full time or looking after small children. If this is your first book, why not try something more manageable? From research to plot, to editing and book design, you will learn so much from this initial experience. When you have those learnings, and perhaps some more time (put your hand up if you are writer who dreams of either winning the lottery or retiring so they can write more!), than you can crack on with War and Peace.

Don’t tell your friends

Writing a book can be a daunting process, and when you are on your second you get asked when you are starting it – a lot. Deciding on a book can be a lot like having a delicious secret which you can ponder at your leisure. This time is important as you can work on the minutiae details of characters development and plot lines. However…

You then need to tell your friends

This step is important but terrifying. Telling your friends and family your book concept means you are basically committing to a long gestation period, and an enormous amount of work before the book comes out. It suddenly becomes very real.

Now tell the world

Yes that’s right, the earlier you get on your blog, Twitter, Facebook or forums and talk about the project, the sooner you can get the public on board. There is a warm and welcoming world of book worms online who love to support aspiring writers, and many organisations have been set up to help you through the highs and lows. Personally I have found the Bookollective to be incredibly inspiring, providing online support as well as running events to bring writers, publishers and designers together.

If you are not on book no.1, I hope you will have online and real-life friends who belief in your work and want to support it. Ask for their advice and help as much as you possibly can. Don’t be shy, send them that first draft when they offer their help (even though it is probably dreadful in comparison to the finished version) – they are asking for a reason.

Once a writer, always a writer!

Considering my last point, I should probably tell you (with fingers shaking on my keyboard) that I am now writing my second book. It is a romantic novel based on a real-life family in Brussels at the time of the Battle of Waterloo, and I can’t wait to share it with you. Whether I publish with Unicorn remain to be seen, as it is still early days. However, knowing that I have got through the process once, relatively unscathed, gives me a sense of confidence of what can be achieved. Whatever happens, and even if book No.2 does not get published, I know I will learn so much from the process of writing it that I can apply to future projects.

I think most authors will confirm that the process of book publishing is totally, and irrevocably, addictive. For better or for worse, we return to our well-worn keyboards with aching fingers, and just keep trying to make the magic happen as best we can.

. . . . .

Have you recently started work on a new book? I would love to hear from you in the comments section if so.

[Alice Marie Crossland’s book ‘Wellington’s Dearest Georgy: The Life and Love of Lady Georgiana Lennox’ (Unicorn Publishing Group, 2016) is available online and in-store. The kindle version is now available on Amazon for only £2.99 for a short time only.

Follow Alice on Twitter @amcrossland1 or Instagram amcrossland_author

Bookollective can be followed online @Bookollective, for more information see http://www.bookollective.com/

By The Bookollective Team, Nov 6 2017 03:40PM

On the release of his new book Write to the Point, author Sam Leith shares his top writing tips with Bookollective

The most important tip I can offer for any writer is: remember who you're writing for. I don't tire of repeating the quote: "When you go fishing you bait the hook with what the fish likes, not with what you like." This applies whether you're writing a memoir, a novel, a biography, an academic gloss on Kant's Critique of Judgment or a children's book.

It affects everything from subject matter and structure to how you put together sentences. And as a rule, if you're writing for the widest possible audience (rather than, say, one of specialists) you will want to make things easier on the least able of your readers.

That means preferring right-branching sentences, where the connection between subject, verb and object isn't obscured by a pile-up of subordinate clauses. It means thinking hard about what your reader will – and won't – know; it's easy to take things that you know for granted, and leave a reader flailing. And what will they be most interested in? It may not be what you are most interested in – as many unread blogs about the author's feelings or breakfast choices testify.

Take advice, as egolessly as you can. Another set of eyes on your manuscript – be it those of a spouse, a friend or (ideally) an editor – is a taster of first contact with the enemy. Don't assume everything they say is right; but don't assume it's wrong either. If a passage presents them with difficulty, it will present others with difficulty too. That doesn't mean their suggested solution (if they offer one) is the right one; but it does mean a solution is needed.

Leave your work in a drawer for a bit and come back to it. You'd be surprised how much work the back of your mind does on a manuscript when the front of your mind is doing other things.. You may find it improves on rereading: when you've been working hard at a revision you'll be painfully conscious of the cut-and-paste scars. They heal over the days and weeks. Also, it's worth reading your work aloud. Cadence, the rhythm of prose, is hugely important. You'll be able to hear it better when you read aloud. If it's hard to read, you need to revise.

It's also been suggested I offer the odd tip on how authors should approach literary editors in the hopes of getting review coverage for their books. If you have a publicist – or your publisher does – then the best advice is not to: the lit ed will be hearing from them anyway.

If you're self-publishing, be resigned to an uphill struggle: most books pages won't review self-published books. This is not out of snobbery (we recognise that many self-published books are great) but because with 300 or so trade books coming in a week, and any multiple of that number being self-published, we have to limit the candidates for review space somehow. And the proportion of trade books likely to be good (having been through professional agents, editors and acquisition meetings) is higher than the proportion of self-published books, where the bars to entry are lower.

But nil desperandum. If your work is good it will find an audience even if it does not do so immediately. Just ask Herman Melville or John Kennedy Toole. The general rule is to send a copy as far ahead of publication as possible (the earlier you send, the more likely that you'll get a review – the Spectator, where I work, hopes for books at least a month in advance) and make sure to enclose a press release with the date of publication prominently displayed. Then cross your fingers. Good luck!

Sam Leith is Literary Editor of the Spectator and the author of Write To The Point: How To Be Clear, Correct and Persuasive on the Page (Profile) - tweet Sam via @questingvole


By The Bookollective Team, Aug 29 2017 10:23AM

Following a successful pitch Eyewear Publishing has appointed Bookollective as its retained agency to publicise one of its key titles this autumn.

The independent publisher boasts an eclectic backlist comprising of novels, poetry and political titles. Commenting on his latest association with Bookollective, Director Dr. Todd Swift said: "I am very pleased to be represented again by Helen McCusker from Bookollective. Helen has been a superb PR for us in the past and I believe she is ideally suited to work with us on our biggest project yet - The Monkman and Seagull Quiz Book. After a tense bidding war we secured the rights to publish the book in the face of fierce competition from several major publishers. We hope it will be a popular choice for book buyers this Christmas as it will be packaged as an ideal stocking filler."

Bookollective is an award-winning specialist book design and marketing agency, representing publishers and authors across the world. Launched just eight months ago, it was recently featured on The Bookseller's Rising Stars list for 2017. Speaking of the appointment, Head of Publicity Helen McCusker who will be managing the account said: "Eyewear Publishing is a visionary indie press - small in size, but big in ideas. University Challenge stars Eric Monkman and Bobby Seagull's debut book is already gaining national media interest, as well as promotional events scheduled at Waterstones Gower Street and Yeovil Literary Festival. Like every campaign we manage, we will strive for the best results possible."

For all media enquiries please email: helen@bookollective.com

By The Bookollective Team, Aug 17 2017 10:40AM

I am a children’s author with over 35 books, published by several publishing houses, including Walker Books, Heinemann/Egmont, OUP, Frances Lincoln, Macmillan, Hachette, translated and sold around the world. I am now also publisher of Dinosaur Douglas Books.

I became author/publisher a few years ago, after I met Kate Barnard, Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital.

Kate told me that almost one-third of five year olds and half of eight year olds have fillings or missing teeth caused by decay, and the most common cause of hospital admission in primary school children each year is dental decay and infection - 26,000 children aged five-nine needed emergency dental surgery last year.

Kate wanted a book that would make children realize the importance of brushing their teeth, a book that would be available to as many children and parents as possible, including people on low income and those who didn’t go into bookshops. She wanted it to be in all nurseries, schools and hospitals.

Kate and I met many times and Dinosaur Douglas and the Beastly Bugs took shape, finally becoming a fun, rhyming story about a cheeky dinosaur.

Alex Godwin, international artist and street painter, who had painted the streets of London, Berlin, South Africa and beyond, had long wanted to illustrate a children’s book. I sent her the story. She sent back some sketches. We loved them.

Why did I decide to publish the book myself?

Having worked in publishing for many years as editor and commissioning editor of children’s and adult books, I knew it would be difficult to find a publisher willing to produce an inexpensive health-related picture book. Most picture books are beautifully produced hardbacks with international appeal. Those that become paperbacks have usually sold well as hardbacks. I was aware that no publisher would want to commission a book about teeth, written in rhyme, using a first-time illustrator. I had to do it myself.

Many publishers send picture books abroad to be printed because it tends to be cheaper. But I wanted to keep the project local. I found a friendly Hammersmith printer, who advised me on paper, book format, spine, cover and print-run, keeping costs to the minimum.

Aiming to get the book to all the children in nurseries and reception classes in Hammersmith & Fulham, I approached local businesses for sponsorship. A dentist, an architect, a chemist and one or two others were interested. An estate agent challenged me, “If you are doing this for the community, why isn’t the council backing you?”

I had approached the council several times, without success. Now I had one more try. My proposal bounced from one councilor’s office to another and finally landed on the Senior Public Health Officer’s desk – and I received a phone call.

It took several month’s of negotiation but eventually Hammersmith & Fulham Council purchased over 5,500 copies of Dinosaur Douglas and the Beastly Bugs to give to children across the borough.

The book was launched at a local children’s centre, where illustrator Alex painted a Dinosaur Douglas mural to tie in with the launch.

A year later, I was asked to create a Dinosaur Douglas poster to promote Vitamin D for children. Rickets was back and there was a need to inform and educate on the need for sunshine and vitamin D. So I wrote Dinosaur Douglas Has Fun in the Sun, highlighting the importance of vitamin D. Dinosaur Douglas and the Rumble Grumble Tum, which covers the subject of obesity, followed a year later. A further title on the importance of hand-washing will be published this year.

Marketing has been the most demanding and costly part of self-publishing. I spent far too much money hiring stands at dental conferences, Nursery World, Childcare Expo and the Ideal Home. I visited schools, libraries, bookshops, and the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in search of foreign co-publishers. I embarked on time-consuming social media.

Has it been worth it?

Yes and no. Financially, no: marketing and distribution on a small scale is expensive and time-consuming. Amazon and Gardeners take 60% of the rrp, and the p & p also has to be paid. But in terms of satisfaction, definitely yes.

Dinosaur Douglas Books have now been reviewed by Books Monthly, The Sun, The Mail on Sunday, Probe Magazine, Dental Hygiene, Baby London, The Dentist and Teach Early Years. Last month the British Dental Journal stated that:

“Dinosaur Douglas and the Beastly Bugs is definitely the best children's book we have read about the importance of brushing your teeth.”

Doncaster City Council has added 3,500 copies of Dinosaur Douglas and the Beastly Bugs to their oral health packs.

Recently, a Director at Public Healthy England asked permission to quote from Dinosaur Douglas Has Fun in the Sun in a lecture on Vitamin D.

To date, over 10,000 copies of Dinosaur Douglas Books have been sold and this year Dinosaur Douglas is a finalist in the Early Years Excellence Awards.

How does self-publishing compare with traditional publishing?

When published by a traditional publisher, the author works with a team of editors and designers, while print, sales, distribution, marketing and publicity are taken care of by others. However, publicity can be an area of contention, as each new title has to compete for time and budget with others on the publisher’s list. Authors often feel their works don’t get given enough attention.

Traditional publishers deal with the financial side, sending out annual royalty statements but an author has no idea who their readers are. Self-publishing is giving me a growing database of readers. It has also introduced me to a new way of life and a host of inspirational people through networking and marketing events.

I spend a lot of time emailing and chasing up, visiting bookshops and exhibitions, but I do still find time to write. And each day there is the added feeling of excited anticipation as I turn on the computer and, hopefully, learn that there has been a sale and/or a review. It’s a great feeling.

- Heather Maisner is author and publisher of the Dinosaur Douglas series of books. Find out more at: www.heathermaisner.com

By The Bookollective Team, Jul 20 2017 09:53AM

Written by Aimee Coveney

Many authors assume that if you take a traditional publishing route that you would receive a marketing service to get your book ‘out there’, so for some it is a shock when that assistance suddenly stops. Self-published authors have nearly always had to achieve this themselves or employ the help of a professional, but what works in today’s market and why? For years marketing professionals have turned their focus online to digital marketing as well as continuing traditional local and national media such as print or radio. The reason for this is the transition of where readers are finding information and the rise of eBooks. If you’re thinking of creating a strategy for your digital marketing, here are some tips on where to start and how to build long-term visibility.

A Professional Website

Author websites have been neglected for years due to the rise of free platforms such as social media and blogging channels. More authors are once again realising the importance of a central place to include their information statically, which is under their sole control and allows them to target their own reader with content and visual brand. Free platforms are equally important for other reasons, but you have little say over the way your content is shared, displayed or whether it remains visible.

Selective Social Media

Social media has long been considered a springboard for independent authors to make sales, interact and stay visible. It is however a long held debate as to whether it’s more beneficial to have an account on all major platforms or fewer. It is my professional opinion that it’s unrealistic for most authors to maintain more than several accounts effectively whilst living a life offline and making time for writing. It may be a quick process to post online, but social media offers so much more, and when researched in more depth, they can prove far more effective.

The demographic of each social media platform is very different and if your primary aim is to reach your readers, it is vital to consider which profiles they are more likely to be using and the genre of your work. Below is a simplified list to get your started.

• Twitter is a fast-paced platform for instant news and content sharing, which makes it ideal for browsing and connecting with users. Authors have maintained a fantastic network across Twitter for years, as have readers, book bloggers and the publishing industry. A typical user of Twitter is more internet savvy and below the age of fifty with an equal split of genders.

• Facebook has the benefit of a fairly even demographic of user, both in gender and age, attracting over eighty percent of eighteen to forty-nine year olds. It also has a wide location use, enabling authors to reach a worldwide audience with any number of genres.

• Instagram has a reputation for a younger audience and that is still true, though a rising number of over thirties have begun to influx the platform. There is a dominance of female users and combined with an increasing book community, it is ideal for genres targeting young adults and women.

• Linkedin’s identity lies typically with business professionals and as an author it’s ideal to have a profile and can be used effectively by writers in all areas. It is very simple to update your profile with new work and media attention to keep professionals in the industry up-to-date with your success.

• Pinterest has one of the largest gender splits of all social media, with a huge female base. Traditionally it followed a similar trend to other platforms, starting off with a younger demographic and has gradually built a more even platform across eighteen to sixty-nine year olds.

• Snapchat; the youngest of these platforms is a fast-paced, bite-sized way of sharing material and is highly popular among younger generations, with older users only just beginning to tag along. One advantage snapchat offers authors is its daily engagement rate, with many users spending time on the app multiple times a day.

• Goodreads is the major player in book orientated social media, offering direct engagement between writer and reader. This makes it ideal, if not vital for all authors to use. Its user is statistically more geared towards women, but does offer a demographic of users across a wide age range.

Book Bloggers

Reviews are key for both sales and pride as a writer and one way to gain increased exposure is to approach book bloggers either directly or through professional representation. Book bloggers are passionate individuals who provide honest reviews and share your work across their established platforms. Most have submission criteria and waiting lists, so it’s always worth the effort to research and remember that they offer this service for free. Having representation through your publicist or publisher is sometimes a quicker route to bloggers, as they will have built up a trust of providing quality books and arranging successful blog tours.

Interviews and Articles

Using the topics and angles of both your book/s and personal life can make ideal features for online magazines and media outlets relative to your audience. You may gain a better route to editors through a representative, but it is possible to submit ideas directly after some investigation into their guidelines. Building up a relationship with these organisations can also mean future material is published with ease. The type of media used can vary and provide an author with a wide range of material to use across their promotional platforms, including written articles and podcasts.


Much like Book Bloggers, Netgalley attracts serious readers; many of whom have a professional or high scope of influence to attract your future readers. Netgalley can be costly, so it needs careful consideration prior to using, but the rewards can be valuable. Netgalley may even be an option your publishing company or publicist can help with at a reduced rate, but it is worth checking prior success with titles in your genre as popularity varies greatly.

Engaging Your Audience.

It can be hard to resist the temptation to try and do as much as possible with online marketing, however it is more important to focus on where your community is collecting. Online media is a major part of marketing in today’s book industry, however ensuring it’s targeted to your audience is the best way to gain valuable engagement. Be consistent with creating buzz around your work as creating a quality following and building your online brand takes time. Becoming disheartened if something doesn’t work immediately can be a hasty mistake. Taking notice of your online analytics can also help you decide the best route to take in the future.

This article was originally published in Writing Magazine, May 2017.

By The Bookollective Team, Jul 10 2017 12:53PM

Bookollective are delighted to welcome two new members to the team; Harriet Martin as our first intern and Lauren Noding as a freelancer! We are thrilled to have Harriet, a languages graduate, join us for the summer to learn the publishing ropes and be an extra pair of hands and eyes as we edit and promote throughout July and August; preparing for the September window of new book launches, and Frankfurt Book Fair in the Autumn. Lauren will also be joining us throughout the summer to cover workload during Aimee's maternity leave, and we look forward to helping her find her footing in the industry as a freelancer.

Harriet regularly wrote and edited for University publications and has a passion for literature. She said: "I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the wonderful Bookollective team. I cannot wait to develop my editing skills, work with some exciting authors and learn more about every stage of the book publishing process."

Lauren was born and raised in London, but spent eight years living in the coastal county of Dorset. She has written for two online magazines, 'The Jupital Newspaper' and 'Writing Times'. Meanwhile, she runs her own blog 'A Writers Desires' to share her love of YA/Fantasy literature. Now working in the book industry, she relishes sharing great books with the world. She has work experience with two major publishing houses and an indie press and keeps herself well up to date with all the new social media trends.

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Favourite book:

To Kill A Mockingbird 

by Harper Lee


Best tip for authors:

Tell me your life story. It's the personal ups and downs and how you've overcome them that sometimes help us pitch you and the book.


Publishing career highlight:

My first byline in The Mirror and ghost writing a newspaper feature for a client that saw her get a phone call from the Defence Secretary saying how impressed he was.


Our aim for the Bookollective blog is to provide honest and informative articles to help everyone within the industry and book world. Our team will regularly contribute articles, but we will also invite guest bloggers. If you would like to guest blog for us, get in touch via the contact page.


You can also find out a little more about our team below!




Favourite book:

Pride and Prejudice 

by Jane Austen


Best tip for authors:

Good design is good business; it builds your brand and conveys professionalism. As an author, your book is your business; don't let your hard work down with poor presentation.


Publishing career highlight:

Getting my first award for cover design! It's always an amazing feeling when you're acknowledged for doing something you love.




Favourite book:

The Tiger Who Came

to Tea by Judith Kerr


Best tip for authors:

You are unique and so is your book, so create a unique publicity campaign that suits you. Most importantly, don’t quit - I always tell my authors that writing their book is actually the ‘easy’ bit, promotion takes patience and determination.


Publishing career highlight:

I was proud to be selected as a finalist in the Publisher’s Publicity Circle Awards for one of my paperback non-fiction campaigns, but my career highlight has to be winning the title of Young Business Person of the Year at the Inspire Business Awards.

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