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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, 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, Mar 20 2017 10:54AM

Bookollective enjoyed a successful London Book Fair this year, and an equally enjoyable after-party held at Waterstones on Tottenham Court Road. We heard talks from authors, professionals and all our guests had the chance to network among the bookshelves.

Join us for our next event in June 2017. A date will be confirmed and invites sent out very soon.

By The Bookollective Team, Jan 23 2017 01:48PM

Whether you need editing, design or PR support, this new one-stop agency for authors and publishers aims to buck the trend for 'impersonal' service providers.

Bookollective is a new one-stop agency for authors, publishers and book industry professionals supplying editing, cover design and publicity services.

"Once upon a time an editor, a designer and a publicist linked up to help the new wave of independent authors and imprints growing in the publishing industry..." says co-founder Esther Harris, the editor in the equation. "We asked ourselves… would this new wave like to work with a team of professionals in a more streamlined and cohesive way? We could provide them with all the quality and imaginative promotional and production services they want – but without the stress and overhead."

The team

Bookollective's three-woman team has a mix of experience from within and without the book world.

Harris has twenty years' experience as a journalist and publicist and regularly achieves editorial coverage for books and authors in places such as The Guardian,The Daily Mail, Huffington Post, BBC Radio 2, The Jeremy Vine Show and more.

Head of digital and design Aimee Coveney has run her own consultancy for years specialising in cover design, website creation and digital media. She is a regular cotributor to publishing sites including the ALLI Self-Publishing blog and in her spare time reviews ARCs for publishers including Harlequin.

On the media and PR side, Helen McCusker started her career in broadcast journalism for the likes of the BBC before launching her own specialist book publicity agency in 2008. She also runs the @TheAuthorHour Twitter community.

What's the gap in the market?

The Bookollective founders believe that their breadth of expertise that makes them unique. "All authors and publishers need design, PR and editing services and they need a quality, friendly team they can rely on and dip into using on an ‘as and when’ basis," Harris explains. "Not many firms offer our breadth and depth of experience within one team so we started Bookollective as a ‘one stop shop’."

Success so far?

Only launched in November, Bookollective is already drawing on its founders' client list to develop a range of proejcts. "Since launch response to our services from both authors and publishers has been extremely positive and it’s been our busiest Christmas in five years," Harris says. "Normally it can be a quiet time of year but not this time! 2017 is looking bright."

Biggest challenges?

Maintaining the culture which is a big part of Bookollective's appeal. "As we grow and take on new members of the team to meet clients’ needs, I think it will be a challenge to find new staff that share our passion," Harris admits. "Having said that, there is so much talent out there in the industry it is just a case of unearthing the gems who are the right fit for Bookollective and can work alongside us. So it’s a challenge to be relished."

Ultimate ambition?

Harris is evangelical about not just what work the team does, but how they do it - especially in an anonymous digital age. "We feel strongly that there are too many ‘impersonal’ service providers out there, and we hope our close knit, caring team offers a feeling of confidence and satisfaction for everyone we work with," she explains. "We’d also like to bring on board more freelancers, connect with the wider writing industry and build Bookollective into an even stronger, friendly book community. Writing is isolating and the industry can be tough to break into – so lets support each other."

Advice to other publishing entrepreneurs?

"'Stick to the knitting' as the saying goes. As long as you are pursuing something you care passionately about, where you can really make a difference, you won’t go too far wrong – but never forget what makes you special. When you are starting up, it’s easy to get swept up in growing a business, meeting new people, new service lines, and so on. So sttick to the knitting!"

By The Bookollective Team, Dec 6 2016 05:13PM

Waterstones Tottenham Court Road in London provided the perfect venue space for the launch of the new one-stop book creation and PR agency, Bookollective. Founded by publishing professionals Helen McCusker, Aimee Coveney and Esther Harris, Bookollective was born to address the growing need for publishers and authors to outsource their editing, design and promotion requirements.

Co-founder Helen McCusker explains: “More and more of our clients were stressing that they wanted their book production and marketing to be more streamlined. We want to provide a first-class service to publishers and self-published authors who are looking for quality without the overhead. We are bringing together literary expertise from all areas of publishing; uniting authors with book bloggers and publishers with bookshops. This is about creating a creative community who can help one another - one, big ‘book collective’ if you like."

Biteback Publishing author Azi Ahmed gave an inspirational speech at the event. Azi is working with the Bookollective team to promote her non-fiction memoir 'Worlds Apart: A Muslim Girl with the SAS’ and has been thrilled with the results; a fivefold increase in social media traffic, vast national media coverage and numerous speaking opportunities. She commented on what a "wonderful evening" it was, "full of interesting people”. Guests included publishers, printers, authors, bloggers, translators, designers, publicists and other industry experts.

Jack Spurway, Events Manager at Waterstones Tottenham Court Road, was delighted with the turn-out and hopes to work with Bookollective in 2017 to organise more useful events for the publishing community. The next event is scheduled to coincide with London Book Fair in March 2017 and full details will be announced nearer the time via www.bookollective.com

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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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