The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction – which, just over a month ago, made its longlist public for the first time – has unveiled the shortlist for its 2015 award. Those initial fifteen titles have been cut back to seven: The Zone of Interest by Martin Amis; The Lie by Helen Dunmore; Viper Wine by Hermione Eyre; In the Wolf’s Mouth by Adam Foulds; Arctic Summer by Damon Galgut; A God in Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie; and The Ten Thousand Things by John Spurling.
This is a guest interview with Katie Sadler. Katie is Senior Marketing Manager at Harper Collins and focuses on HarperVoyager (science fiction and fantasy) and HarperImpulse (romance) lists. Follow @katiemorwenna for more.
1. You have been at Harper Collins for over 3 years now. What’s been the biggest development you’ve seen in how you run digital marketing campaigns during that time?
I think when I started, there was a sense of “if you build it, they will come” – a lot of micro sites and games and videos. People were spending their budget creating incredible content, but there wasn’t any cohesive strategy of how to actually get people interacting with it, and converting people to buy the book. Today there is still amazing content being produced to support a book launch, but I think we try much harder to make sure that it isn’t just released into a vacuum.
It seems to be Awards season at the minute with the Independent Publishing Awards (IPA) just finished and the Bookseller Industry Awards just around the corner. We all know the acclaim that comes from winning an award but what about the process of applying for these awards?
1. Firstly, congratulations for being shortlisted for the IPA Newcomer of the Year Award! What was your initial reaction on receiving the news?
Thank you! Only one initial reaction – which was absolute delight.
This year’s Folio Prize has been awarded to Akhil Sharma for his novel Family Life. It’s a case of seconds for both prize and author – the second year that the Folio has run (following George Saunders’ inaugural victory in 2014 for his short story collection Tenth of December) and only Sharma’s second novel, one on which he worked for 13 years prior to publication.
This is a guest post from Sarah Blake. Sarah is a part-time librarian and current student on the Publishing Masters at City University.
Relating all the things I’ve learned on this course would take a long time, so for now I’ll elaborate on some of the most pertinent points that have cropped up over the year:
1. We don’t need no editorial! (Hear me out.)
This is guest blog from Norah Myers. Norah works for an independent publisher in Toronto. Her job blends editorial with marketing; she helps support an editorial team, evaluates manuscripts, acquires new authors, and manages crowd-funding campaigns. She trained at City University London.
1. Be organized
So much of your day will involve scheduling, managing, liaising, coordinating, and keeping on top of multiple ongoing projects. In Dr Meg Jay’s book The Defining Decade, she writes about understanding where you want to get to by outlining everything backwards. You figure out what the end-point is and then discern how you will get there by outlining the steps backwards. Then you can work forwards.
Penguin has revealed that, on 13 October, it will publish a memoir by Elvis Costello (through its Blue Rider Press imprint) with the very Costellonian title of Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink. So far those details are only up on the publisher’s American site, meaning there is still time to shift it to Penguin Classics for its UK release.
This is a guest post from Andy Maslen. Andy is a copywriter by trade and Managing Director of Sunfish, a writing agency. He is the best-selling author of Write to Sell and Persuasive Copywriting and founder of the Andy Maslen Copywriting Academy.
1. What is the main difference between digital marketing copy and digital content in general?
I think marketing copy is trying to change someone’s behaviour right now, whereas digital content is trying to change someone’s behaviour at some point in the future.
This is a guest post from Jasmin Kirkbride. Jasmin is a regular blogger for BookMachine and Editorial Assistant at Periscope Books (part of Garnet Publishing). She is also a published author and you can find her on Twitter @jasminkirkbride
Last year, it was all about ‘disruption’, this year it’s all about ‘pivoting’. Buzzwords are a given part of any industry, but when do they start to do more harm than good?
Buzzwords flag up concepts quickly and easily, alluding to an entire theory with just one word or phrase. Let’s take ‘disruption’ as an example. Each time somebody says ‘disruption’, they are referencing the act of innovating against the industry norm, implicitly in such a way as to scupper their competitors. It’s undeniably convenient to be able to sum all that up with one word.
Interested in finding out more about the Oxfordshire Publishing Group Summer Conference? We are – so in the run up to the event BookMachine is running a series of speaker interviews. First up is Eric Huang, Director of Made in Me. Eric will be discussing: ‘Is your brand as important as your product?
1. Interesting topic. What made you focus on this area?
I have always been interested in this. For me, publishing has always been about the brand, or the story, before the format. My first real job was at Disney, and naturally this was the focus there – it taught me that the format isn’t the end of all the hard work, but the beginning. If you’re a publisher you make a book, but it really doesn’t end there.