On Thursday 13 October, we were thrilled to celebrate the launch of our latest CAMPUS courses, surrounded by friends at the BookMachine headquarters in Greenwich. In today’s blog post, we are spreading a little love for our CAMPUS creators by sharing some reviews of their courses – and we would love to hear your thoughts on the CAMPUS modules you’ve taken, too!
What is CAMPUS?
Designed for our increasingly busy and online working lives, this series of pre-recorded video courses is flexible, incredibly industry-specific and provides the tools needed to hone key publishing skills.
From presenting in virtual meetings, to marketing on a limited budget and InDesign for editors, each short course is divided up into small, accessible segments packed with practical tips and resources to help you progress.
Since launching CAMPUS in 2021, we’ve been regularly adding new topics, ensuring that the course offerings are up to date and tailored to the BookMachine’s community’s needs. You can find out more about CAMPUS, and even try out a course for free, at our CAMPUS home page.
Joanne Boustead is the Editorial Co-Ordinator at The Publishing Post, and is currently studying towards an MA in publishing. She hopes to kickstart an editorial or marketing career in children’s publishing. Joanne tried out three CAMPUS courses: Metadata best practices for publishers, Making the most of your Amazon A+ page and How to run Amazon advertising. Here are some extracts from her reviews of these courses.
Metadata best practices for publishers
The online course is divided into 5 handy modules, and is led by the Director of Sales and Education at Firebrand Technologies, Joshua Tallent. Module 1 focuses on the importance of metadata in boosting sales. What I particularly liked about this module is how it compared Nielsen Book studies in the UK and US. It was interesting to see the subtle differences that metadata can make in each country, but also the similarities in how important complete metadata truly is in both.
I also found it useful to learn about the general best practices for metadata – including descriptions, keywords and subject categories. The information on Amazon was incredibly helpful, especially in relation to how keywords are a necessity in improving visibility for individual titles.
After publication, the final module details what you should be doing to effectively keep your title running, and suggests that you should frequently monitor titles to ensure you have fixed any issues and relayed any important information. I really appreciated the amount of detail this module went into, as I never realised just how important it was to regularly update metadata.
Making the most of your Amazon A+ page
This course is a step-by-step guide to creating a professional Amazon A+ page that will help you maximise sales. It’s run by Claire Morrison, who has 18 years of trade publishing experience (including Vintage and Headline).
The first module provides an in-depth look into planning and preparing an Amazon A+ page – particularly useful for someone new to creating these pages! The accompanying downloadable materials are a brilliant tool to help with the planning and preparation, and I would definitely recommend using them and tailoring them to your specific needs.
The keywords module in this course is so useful: it gives you plenty of online tools to search for and create relevant keywords that might just turn your campaign around. Watching how to build an A+ page has also been helpful, with Claire taking the process step-by-step.
How to run Amazon advertising
This course is run by Elke Desanghere, a digital marketing expert who has worked for Penguin Random House and Nosy Crow. It is brilliant for those new to advertising on Amazon, and breaks down the individual campaign types that are available to use on the platform.
Throughout the entire course, Elke encourages you to think like a consumer – not just a marketer. From this viewpoint, you are able to gain further insight into what the audience wants, and how best to market to them. This course is brilliant for marketing newcomers, and should be at the top of your list for BookMachine CAMPUS courses to complete. The knowledge it provides on Amazon is invaluable, and will really help marketers to hone their campaigns and increase visibility on the platform!
Jade McGrath is Marketing and Digital Content Manager at The Book Network. Jade is the face behind their social media channels and email campaigns. She also runs their blog tour service and makes sure everything runs smoothly between the reviewers, authors and publishers. In a review at The Book Network, Jade shared her feedback on Running a marketing campaign on a limited budget and Book publicity: how to get media coverage, and she has kindly allowed us to reproduce her reviews here.
Running a marketing campaign on a limited budget
Before taking this course, I found it hard to find training that would teach me about marketing on a lower budget. I have previously watched many of The Book Marketing Society’s masterclasses and although they were extremely insightful and helpful the majority of these courses were based off of larger publishers which in turn have higher budgets for their marketing campaigns.
I was particularly interested in this course because I also work for a small independent press, Neem Tree Press, where we run small-scale marketing campaigns for our book titles across adult fiction, adult non-fiction and middle grade titles. I found this course very helpful especially in terms of learning about the marketing timeline and really developing the specific audience for a book. Ellie [Pilcher] gave excellent advice that was understandable and actionable. The examples she used in terms of creating a specific audience were easily transferable. I would highly recommend this course to anybody working in the industry who wants to get an insight into marketing on a low budget.
Book publicity: how to get media coverage
I knew very little about book publicity before taking this course and wanted to build on my knowledge. I found this course very easy to learn from as Lyndsey [Mayhew] broke each 10-minute video into a separate module with step-by-step actions on how to set up a publicity campaign, and how to create a toolkit with specific folders for each book asset, I found this very organised and loved that she was teaching us how to be efficient.
I really enjoyed learning about how she communicates with journalists and builds on this relationship when doing publicity outreach for a book campaign. It was very helpful to learn about the overall publicist and journalist relationship and how not to overstep or ask too much from them. This course provided a valuable insight into a side of publishing that I didn’t really think much about before and Lyndsey was very positive and enthusiastic which made it easier to learn.
Eleanor Rose is a Marketing and Publicity Assistant at Bonnier Books UK in the children’s division. Prior to this, Eleanor worked as a Production Assistant at Bloomsbury Publishing for 2 years. Eleanor also manages a publishing YouTube channel, independently seeking gaps in publishing knowledge to plan, film and edit videos for viewers to learn. Her videos include interviews with publishing professionals, book reviews and general knowledge of the industry. Eleanor reviewed a selection of CAMPUS courses on her LinkedIn page, and we are sharing her thoughts here.
The website makes it clear what is available to learn from and has a good mix of departments; it doesn’t favour one which makes it accessible and useful to all. I like that there are courses on there that are about mental wellbeing too while in publishing, such as the course on confidence in the workplace. The courses are quite short which makes them more appealing to me personally.
Videos include subtitles that are accurate which is great. The introduction videos outline what to expect from the course and introduces the course leader. The courses contain talking elements, text bullet points as well as visuals such as tables and screenshots. I really liked that some modules had questions and answers at the end to test your knowledge. The course leaders were super clear and explained everything well, at the perfect pace.
I have so far completed:
- Introduction to Amazon Advertising
- Building confidence in the workplace
- Getting started on TikTok
- Making the most of your Amazon A+ page
I look forward to completing some more!
Jennifer Hill is Marketing Assistant at Ulverscroft Ltd, founder of the Aspiring Publishers Over 25 group, loves to watch videos of cats doing funny things. Jennifer reviewed our courses A marketer’s guide to using TikTok effectively, Facebook & Instagram marketing campaigns that drive results and Running a marketing campaign on a limited budget on her blog Oh My Word!, and we are sharing her thoughts here.
If you’ve never used Tik Tok before then the Marketer’s Guide to Using TikTok Effectively is a great one for learning all the ins and outs. Rachel Quin goes into why TikTok is very useful for someone looking to market a book, what it’s all about and what TikTok enables you to do. Even though I have used TikTok before, it’s filled with lots of helpful tips on how to get it right, how you could make it work for you and the kind of things you should look out for to get the best reach. A brilliant in-depth course, you can tell that Rachel really knows her stuff when it comes to TikTok!
With the Facebook and Instagram Marketing Campaigns that Drive Results, I learnt a lot in regards to paid advertising which I don’t really know much about. It was great to learn all about that side of social media. Rachel Quin runs this course and she goes into each category and recommends the objectives you could need as well as the different types of targeting in Instagram and Facebook. She also goes into detail in how you can tap into the book community, how you should be thinking outside the box, how to make campaigns run effectively and how to optimise both of the social media platforms to get results.
If you don’t have a budget to play with, then the How to Run a Marketing Campaign on a Limited Budget course is perfect on how to utilise social media without having to pay for a thing. Ellie Pilcher talks about how to use your creativity to market and sell a book, how you can use the book community and social media platforms to your advantage as well as how these platforms give you the opportunity to experiment and try new things. This one really made me think about how I could get a book noticed in a new and inventive way and how it’s a great way to build excitement and start a conversation. A brilliant course in how you can use what’s available to you across the internet to get your book to the world.
Our heartfelt thanks to all our CAMPUS reviewers, and we would love to know which courses you have taken and your feedback on them in the comments below!