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Archive for the ‘marketing’ Category

Hey All,

I assume most of the people reading this blog are interested in things literary. Why else would you be reading this? All I talk about is books! So let’s talk about books. And publishing. And graphic novels. And acquisitions. And agents. And young adult writing. And…..everything else? I can’t talk about everything and frankly you wouldn’t want me to! I’m not an expert, just a girl with a little obsession.

But there’s a conference next month where experts WILL be talking about these things. Write to Publish, or Oolicon, will be May 22-23. I will be there both days, to check out the local literary scene on Sunday, but mostly to learn from the experts on Saturday.

Here’s the workshops I find most interesting:

Young Adults Trends and Audience (Sara Ryan, two-time Oregon Book Award winner in the YA category): Young adult (YA) fiction is one of the most lively and profitable genres in publishing. Get an overview of current and upcoming trends and tips on writing for this diverse and voracious audience.

Graphic Novels: Publishing and Process (Brett Warnock, head publisher, Top Shelf Productions; Aaron Colter, marketing coordinator, Dark Horse Comics): Graphic novels are more popular now than ever before. The intricacies of the publishing process for this genre are varied and unique, and new technologies have created exciting possibilities for graphic novel writers and readers. This workshop will examine the opportunities and difficulties inherent in the creation of graphic novels. Learn the importance of design and marketing in this medium.

Writers, Conventions, and the Web: A Friendship (Bo Johnson, head publisher, Bowler Hat Comics): Learn about building your presence on the web and how conventions can help you get your foot in the door. This workshop will give you the tools you need to make your next convention visit more productive. Learn the many ways to network and promote yourself as an author.

So, everyone, buy your tickets for the workshops NOW!! Support Ooligan, of course, but really this is for writers –  to help authors learn about the industry from the experts. Be there or be square. Plus, Ursula K. LeGuin will be there – now there’s an author worth obsessing over.

Workshops: HERE.

Industry Mingle and Author Stage: HERE.

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I’m going to be honest – at some level, I’m using this blog as my own personal sounding board. I write about what I’m thinking about, what’s bothering me, and what I need to figure out for Ooligan Press, for The Grove Review, for Carol White Marketing, or for my job.

Right now, I’m trying to figure out how to market The Grove Review’s Issue 5.

Here’s my list so far, in no particular order:

  1. Press Release for Issue 5’s release and party
  2. Create new website, with blog, and get articles from past contributors
  3. Plan a release party
  4. Create a Facebook plan/Possibly also Twitter
  5. Schedule/register for local conferences
  6. Send a mailing to current and past subscribers and contributors
  7. Set up e-issues for online purchase
  8. Schedule/plan a reading for authors
  9. Get reviews (post on website and contributors’ websites)
    (Design ad/link for contributors’ websites)
  10. Create swag for conferences and release party (bookmarks)

And how does that sound? It seems to me like this plan should appeal to those who love online outlets while not leaving out those who still like getting old-fashioned pieces of mail. I’d love some feedback.

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The Grove Review is looking for a new distributor, and I’m having trouble finding one. I’ve sent out lots of emails to other literary journals and magazines in the Northwest, asking for recommendations, but many of the responses I’ve gotten are:

Yes, we have a distributor; We use  _______; And NO, we can’t recommend them.

Why can’t anyone recommend their distributor? Are all of these small presses just dissatisfied with their sales, and blame the distributor? Or, perhaps, are distributors just trying to take on too many books and therefore can’t really give each one the necessary amount of time? I wish I knew.

I would really like to use a smaller distributor, one that focuses on the Northwest and independent booksellers, but Baker & Taylor and Ingram seem to be taking over ALL distribution for books in the U.S. – which seems like a bad thing.

So, any suggestions for a distributor?

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As I mentioned before in an earlier post, I am now the Managing Editor of The Grove Review, a local literary journal, and I’m very excited about it. I started working with The Grove in October, as an intern, but it quickly became apparent to me that The Grove needed someone who was a little more willing to take charge and get things done – so I did.

But I was impressed right from the very beginning with the warmth and friendship at The Grove. Matt, the publisher, invited everyone who wasn’t going home for Thanksgiving to come to his house; Gregory, the fiction editor, invited me to a Doctor Who marathon, and our meetings are often sidetracked into fun and crazy subjects that Matt calls “entertaining, but not useful.” As busy as I am, I think I make time for this publication mostly because I like the people.

Sadly, several of our group are leaving us – one accepted a job in Eugene, one is going off to grad school at Columbia, and one is graduating and hoping to focus on her own writing projects. So we’re looking for new volunteers. And I’m hoping we can get a few great people to complement the already great group we have.

Here’s the official blurb about our volunteer recruiting:

The Grove Review, one of Portland’s finest literary journals, is looking for new volunteers and interns for the spring/summer seasons!

The Grove Review volunteer group creates a meaningful exchange, where volunteers work to print the journal and gain valuable publishing experience, while contributing their own new and innovative ideas. In return, participants are given the opportunity to interact with a wonderful group of professionals in the Pacific Northwest publishing industry and the larger community of Northwest writers.  Volunteers leave with valuable skills in a range of areas, and the knowledge that they have left a mark on the development and trajectory of a first-rate literary magazine.

Currently, the Grove is looking for several individuals with interests in marketing, social networking, poetry, and/or art. We publish art, fiction, and poetry and our latest issue will be out in June. To that end, we want to publicize the release, host a launch party, and generally let the Northwest literary community know more about our amazing journal. To do that, we need submission readers, marketers, and people interested in writing and publishing to come help us. We meet every two weeks or so.

While there is no monetary compensation available (The Grove Review is a non-profit publication), you will receive publishing experience and meet great new people. College credit is available for students. If you have any questions, contact Maureen@thegrovereview.org.

If you are interested in working with us, please submit your areas of interest with experience (and resume, if applicable) to matt@thegrovereview.org. Visit www.thegrovereview.org for more information about the journal.

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While I’m still skeptical about Twitter’s ability to sell any books for publishers, I can’t really deny that Twitter is supporting the “cult of personality” type following that authors now enjoy. It seems like an author’s book doesn’t matter as much as their online presence and persona. If publishers could make money every time someone read the Twitter or Facebook posts of their authors, perhaps they wouldn’t be so worried about financial problems.

But, since everyone’s following the authors anyway, here’s a list of the most popular:

50 Best Book People to Follow on Twitter

There are some great authors on this list, including Neil Gaiman, Eoin Colfer, and J.K Rowling, as well as some publishers, book reviewers, and publishing news sites.

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Hey All,

Sorry I didn’t post anything yesterday. I’ve been a little busy, but I hope to post something at leastTGR cover once a day in the future! As always, I’m happy to post things that are happening in the Portland literary community.

But, here’s some great personal news! First, this blog just got named a “Must Read Portland Book Blog” on Reading Local: Portland. That’s pretty flattering.

Second, I just accepted the position of Managing Editor of The Grove Review, and our newest issue will be available in June. This is an amazing publication, with a lot of extremely talented writers and artists, and our submission guidelines are on the site. We accept short stories, poetry, and art.

Well, hope you’re having a great day,

Maureen

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I have to admit I’ve been very reluctant to join Twitter. It seems silly to post about everything and anything, in short spurts. As this blog shows, I usually have more than a couple sentences worth of whatever to say. But apparently, I’m wrong to doubt the effectiveness of Twitter  – it’s a great way to network according to Publishing Trends’ article “Twitter isn’t Stupid – But Publishers Need to Be Smart About Using It. Here’s How.”

According to the article, publishers need to develop a very personal presence on Twitter. People don’t want to hear about books, they want to hear about people. That makes sense to me, since I would never want to check a site that just talks about how great their books are. Also, a lot of people who watch/read Twitter also read blogs or write their own blogs. So why don’t I?

But this use of Twitter actually corresponds to my earlier post about publisher branding. I think if publishers can use Twitter effectively, people will begin to follow the publisher and then recognize the publisher’s books and buy them! Plus, even just stimulating conversation about the books is a good thing. So, I guess maybe sometime soon I’ll bite the bullet and join Twitter.

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