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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.


Netgalley

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 5 2017 08:24AM

Following a successful pitch Practical Inspiration Publishing has appointed Bookollective as its retained agency to publicise its full publishing list from July 2017.


After more than 20 years in traditional publishing working with companies such as Oxford University Press and Macmillan, Alison Jones launched the Practical Inspiration imprint as a pioneering new model in 2014: partnership publishing. Today she helps businesses and entrepreneurs write and publish content strategically aligned with their business goals. Commenting on her association with Bookollective, she said: "Practical Inspiration books mean business, with support for authors all the way from initial concept through business integration, content strategy, writing and publication to marketing. The business book market is a more exciting space than ever before and I'm delighted that this partnership with Bookollective will raise our authors' profiles and showcase their outstanding books to a wider audience."


Bookollective is an award-winning specialist book design and marketing agency, representing publishers and authors across the world. Launched just six 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: "Having successfully promoted two of Alison's most recent releases, Bookollective is delighted to now be working more closely with Practical Inspiration Publishing. We know just how important creative PR is for authors and publishing a book can be an effective way to grow a business and become a recognised authority. We look forward to supporting Practical Inspiration Publishing's backlist and forthcoming projects. These include 'Thriving Abroad', 'The Flourishing Student' and 'The Invisible Revolution' - which were all winners of Alison's 10-day Business Book Proposal Challenge. Using a mix of both traditional and digital marketing methods, we hope to bring these insightful business titles to a wider audience of engaged readers."


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


By The Bookollective Team, Jun 22 2017 02:08PM


The Notting Hill Bookshop in London played host to the launch of the debut novel from mummy blogger Isabella Davidson. The ultra-competitive world of Supermums - super-rich, super-beautiful and super-mean - is explored in her satirical novel, The Beta Mum: Adventures in Alpha Land, published by SilverWood Books.


The guest list saw yummy mummies and popular writers in attendance, including Davidson’s editor Donna Hillyer, acclaimed novelist Shelley Weiner, film producers and writers Natalie Beer and Eliza Schroeder, Instagram star Smart Fashionista, mummy blogger Karin Thyselius-Schumacher and Mama Life Magazine founder Mel Mehmet. It was a hot summer evening so people spilled out on to the streets of West London, sipping Champagne and nibbling on Chika’s nuts (made famous by the BBC television programme Dragon’s Den).


Davidson who tweets under the handle @NHYummyMummy said: “The response to my book has been incredible, both online and offline. There was a long queue for my book signing and sadly I didn’t have time to sign everyone’s book, but I want to thank my loyal fan base for their continued support. It was really overwhelming.”



By The Bookollective Team, Feb 20 2017 10:15AM


Written by Helen McCusker


I often share advice with authors on the best methods of book promotion, but it's also important to learn from the mistakes other authors have made – and continue to make. Do your best to avoid making them during your campaign!


Even though the majority of book publicity falls towards the end of your self-publishing journey, it's arguably the most important and longest-running part of the process. So, you don't want to commit one, let alone all, of these seven sins of PR.



Recognising your PR sins and either stopping them before they happen, or ensuring that they don't happen again, is crucial...



PR SIN #1. LUST

It's important that you believe in yourself and your book to make the campaign work, and building your author profile is essential.


However, there is a fine line between being proud and being egotistical. Authors can sometimes become so wrapped up in getting 'famous' that they forget the purpose of their campaign – to promote their book and instigate sales.


Enjoy the experience and make the most of it, but always stay focused and keep your priority at the forefront of your campaign – your book.


PR SIN #2. GLUTTONY

Wanting the best is a natural human desire. However, overlooking media opportunities on the basis that they aren't 'big enough' is foolish. Authors must avoid viewing smaller, more local opportunities as insignificant and unsatisfying.


I've had authors decline a local radio interview or refuse to write a column for a regional newspaper because they don't believe the audience will be big enough for them and their book.


You must be careful not to let your ego get in the way of a productive campaign. Every opportunity is worth having and so many times I've witnessed local opportunities being spotted by national journalists who then go on to feature the author and book in their own publication.


Don't overlook the smaller pieces of the PR puzzle – they will all link together to form a comprehensive book publicity campaign. Say 'yes' to as much as you can.


PR SIN #3. GREED

Publicity is addictive and the more you receive, the more you want. As your campaign gains momentum, you could be spending hours each week writing articles or being interviewed.


However, the amount of media coverage will probably start to dip after launch and as an author you must learn how to control your PR addiction. You may make the mistake of hiring an expensive agent or additional publicist just to fuel your desire for exposure.

This could eventually bankrupt your campaign, so carefully assess your results regularly and plan your next course of action wisely.


PR SIN #4. SLOTH

I always tell my authors that the more proactive they are, the better the results will be. Don't make the mistake of publishing your book, sitting back and waiting for the interviews to come to you; it's highly unlikely to work that way, as publicity doesn't just happen all on its own. You need to make it happen!


Get out there – be seen, be heard. Do book signings, interviews and speaking events at literary festivals – you need to invest your time and your energy if you want to make your campaign a success. Don't be a lazy author!


PR SIN #5. WRATH

Being an author involves opening yourself up for scrutiny. Assuming everyone will react positively to you and your book is unrealistic. How you control your frustration and anger towards a negative book review is important. I've had authors who refuse to have a bad word said about their writing and have proceeded to publicly attack the reviewer's criticism.


This is not the way to conduct yourself as an author and could harm your reputation and prevent further books of yours being reviewed by that particular journalist or publication.


If you or your book become the target for a hostile broadcast interview, take advantage of the opportunity. I actually encourage my authors to be controversial as it gets people talking and curious readers ultimately buy books.


Turn fired-up energy into something more positive and keep your cool at all times.


PR SIN #6. ENVY

I usually can spot an envious first-time author within seconds; those who compare their work to an A list author but insist that "it's even better"! This may be true, but success doesn't happen overnight.


Envious authors want to see their book reviewed in every national newspaper and secure a primetime television interview to boot.


I'm always honest and realistic when working with authors, explaining that securing a spot on The Richard and Judy Book Club would be very rare!


There are hundreds of thousands of books published each and every year, meaning the competition for column inches and airtime is fierce. As a first-time author, work your way up to those prestigious spots and avoid comparing yourself to other writers along the way.


You are unique and so is your book, so create a unique campaign that's right for you.


PR SIN #7. PRIDE

When you publish a book you put yourself out there and you have to be prepared to take the good with the bad. Not everyone will 'get' your style of writing so you may run into a negative book review – which can be devastating for a first-time author.


After all, this book is your baby and you've spent hours – perhaps years – writing it and bringing it to print. You need to develop a thick skin, bury your ego and not let a bad experience dent your pride.


Don't allow negative coverage or a bad media interview knock your determination; take on board the feedback and move on. Remember: all publicity is good publicity.



- This article was written by Helen McCusker for The Self Publishing Magazine.


By The Bookollective Team, Jan 13 2017 10:52AM


Written by Helen McCusker


Most authors do not have a fortune to invest in book publicity, but you’ll still want to ensure that your book launch is given the specialist attention it deserves. Bookollective publicist, Helen McCusker, shares her top ten tips on how to achieve maximum results with a minimum budget.


1. Author Website; Launch your website before your book is published to start generating interest and make sure that the homepage is linked to Amazon (or your preferred book store) to ensure that traffic leads to sales. Essential pages include; book page, author page, media page, contact page. On your media page allow journalists to download a Press Pack which will include your press release, cover image of the book and author images. Bookollective can help with all of your editing, design and promotion needs, just drop us an email for a free consultation: hello@bookollective.com


2. Social Media; I’m a massive fan of social media, because it’s powerful and FREE! Set up an author page on Facebook and get connected to Twitter so that you can start building a fan base before your book hits the shelves. However, only set up accounts if you intend to use them as there’s nothing worse than seeing a ‘Coming Soon’ holding page, or Twitter feeds which lay dormant for months. Produce content which is interesting and followers will want to comment on and share. Bookollective’s digital marketing guru Aimee Coveney has had great success building social media presence for authors. Get in touch via: aimee@bookollective.com


3. Guest Blog; If you’ve written a book then writing should be something you enjoy and are are good at. So make the most of that talent and offer your services to online blogs who are often hungry for fresh editorial from guest authors. If you have an idea for a book-related blog post that we could use on this website then email Esther Harris: esther@bookollective.com We might choose to publish it for you and you could be reaching our growing audience of book lovers. PR works… Guess what? I’m blogging right now and you’re reading it!


4. Free Chapters; Providing complimentary content from your books is a great way to get readers ‘hooked’ on reading the rest of the book. Or you may choose to sell your entire eBook at launch for 99p to ignite interest. The idea is to entice your audience and have them eagerly awaiting the next installment.


5. Book Signings; Give up some of your time for book signing events in your local area which are often organised, managed and advertised by the book store. Use these opportunities to invite local journalists along who can interview you for TV, Radio, Newspapers or Magazines. Also submit news of the book signing to industry publications such as The Bookseller and Book Brunch who are happy to report on recent author events if they have space. The Bookollective team can assist with event organisation if you need an extra pair of hands - just ask!


6. Speaking Events; Be a proactive author and get listed as a speaker in your area of your expertise. You may get the chance to speak at writers’ conventions, where you could gain valuable insights from seasoned authors who will give you effective marketing advice that may not be found elsewhere. Authors often have a media *wish list* full of TV programmes and national broadsheets, but quite often their most captive audience could be right on their doorstep at specialist clubs and organisations who may have editorial space available in their niche magazines and newsletters.


7. Amazon Presence; Make sure you take full advantage of author tools on Amazon, including having an author blog feed into your AmazonConnect feature on your book’s page. Also ensure reviewers of your book post their comments on your Amazon page too which will give your star rating a beneficial boost.


8. Get Reviewed; Ask book bloggers to review your book and perhaps run a competition or reader offer. Book giveaways on book blogs are major attention-grabbers for people who read, plus if the blogger enjoys your book then they’re often willing to post the review from their blog on Amazon, Goodreads, etc. My motto is; if you don’t ask, you don’t get!


9. Virtual Book Tour; You can tour the world from the comfort of your own living room and see your book featured on book blogs with either a review, an author interview or both. As is the case with approaching any media, ensure that you only target those bloggers who have an interest in your genre and writing style (do your research first!) Bookollective’s newly formed ‘B Team’ are an active community of literary reviewers and we can manage blog tours for all genres. Just email Aimee Coveney for more information: aimee@bookollective.com


10. Publicity Tips; There are lots of literary experts who share good advice online (including me!) Connect with them and take advantage of their complimentary support. You can find me on Twitter @helenmccusker and @Bookollective and Bookollective’s Facebook page is at www.facebook.com/bookollective Or if you have a publicity related question you’d love to ask me, send me an email: helen@bookollective.com



By The Bookollective Team, Nov 16 2016 03:33PM


ALLi Partner Member and Bookollective co-founder Aimee Coveney provides a useful overview of the impact of a self-published book’s cover not only on its sales success but also on an important long-term consideration: the establishment and promotion of your brand as an indie author. What she has to say also holds true for books published by trade publishing houses. Over to Aimee…


Over the years as a cover designer, I have often spoken with authors about their brand, and on occasions I have received very quizzical looks, but it is in fact something that should be included early in your career plan as a writer.


A strong brand helps an author in the same way it helps any organisation: it gives your name recognition and helps to sell your work.


The significance of visual marketing and design is forever stronger within all industries, but with online portfolios making artists more accessible, the standard of book covers in self-publishing has hit an all-time high and subsequently increased competition for authors too.


What is an Author Brand Anyway?

The concept of an author brand is sometimes misunderstood, and it is a large topic to cover:


It’s not just about the genres you write in, it’s about how you represent yourself to the entire industry and create a recognisable and trusted name.

A brand is about how you want your audience to perceive you as a person and a professional.

A brand can create an umbrella for all you do, whether that’s working in different fields, or writing in different genres.


Why Book Cover Branding is Important

For new readers, your book cover is more often than not the first introduction to your brand and your work as a whole.


The average customer spends eight seconds looking at the front cover of a book and fifteen on the back.


Customers buying online may spend even less time than this, so you can see why a high standard of cover is so vital.


It’s important to ensure that your book cover not only visually represents your writing and the story it envelops, but also your brand, so that new readers have an idea of what your work will be like and existing readers can recognise books as yours.


Strongly branded book covers can also have a huge, positive impact on your chance on gaining media attention or getting bookstores interested in stocking your books – not always easy for self-published authors. You must remember that the industry is inundated with books every day. Bookstore buyers may not necessarily be opposed to self-published books, but they know all too well that it’s the cover and brand that sells and if that’s weak, then stocking it wouldn’t make business sense. Unfortunately the use of unprofessional covers can harm the reputation of the self-publishing sector.


In a study of booksellers’ assessments of publisher marketing efforts, 75% of 300 surveyed said that of all the elements of the book itself, the look and design of the cover was the most important.


The cover of a book is thus prime real estate for promoting a book and your brand.


How Effective Cover Branding Helps Reach Your Previous Readers

It’s important as an author to reach previous readers, and one way this is easily achieved is through a recognisable, branded design. If an author has received a good response from their previous work, they may assume that their next book will do equally well, if not better. But what if your readers do not recognise your latest book? The right visual connection on the cover will ensure they do. That recognition factor is vital, and it is what sells books every day.


The same can be said for booksellers. If they can easily identify from your covers that you are an author whose previous books sold well, they’re more likely to stock your books again. If the cover is not strongly branded, they may not remember your earlier books’ popularity.


What About Cover Redesigns?

That’s not to say that a redesign isn’t a good idea. If your design and brand is not up to standard, a complete brand overhaul can be a great piece of PR. Also, cover designs date quickly. The big publishing houses frequently issue new covers even for books that have been selling well under the old covers, so don’t feel that you must stick with the cover under which your book was launched. Changing covers can change the fortunes of a book entirely. (For more on this topic, see the related post at the foot of this page.)


Top Tips for Your Cover Branding

Brand identity is now more important than ever for authors, but it doesn’t have to be complex to be effective. Here are the essentials:


> a strong, unique font for your author name and book title

> similar illustrations or image styles for each book

> consistent layout

> similar use of colour


Next time you are working on a cover design, remember to ask yourself and a qualified focus group how it’s representing your brand as well as the individual book.



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Esther

 

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.

bloggers

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!

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Aimee

 

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.

aimeecoveney_Fotor

Helen

 

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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