The Regulars has gotten a Judd-Nelson-fist-pumping-at-the-end-of-Breakfast-Club level of amazing press. People, Redbook, Refinery 29, Cosmo, Bust and Harper’s Bazaar are just some of the awesome mags and sites that've said nice things about my book. I worked with BookSparks, a marketing and publicity company who (in addition with the Simon & Schuster team) were invaluable in helping make The Regulars the success that it is. I asked Crystal Patriarche, founder and CEO, and Kelly Bowen, Director of Publicity and Marketing, to dish the dirt on how to sell a million billion copies.
Q. Why do I need a freelance publicist?
Kelly: Publicists at major publishing houses face the daunting task of working on anywhere from 6-10 titles each month. The best freelance publicists work in tandem with your internal publishing team, enhancing their efforts while also generating creative concepts and marketing ideas to move your campaign to the next level. A freelance publicist lives, breathes, and eats popular media outlets, social channels, and other industries’ successes to bring the best possible ideas to your campaign.
Q. What's the secret to a great launch?
Crystal: Creating as many conversations as possible. Georgia came to BookSparks with a strong author platform, great connections, numerous content pieces, and a solid marketing campaign in place already for The Regulars. Working with her S+S publishing team, we sparked conversations with national media that turned into reviews and interviews, with bloggers and Instagrammers to share fun photos and rave reviews online, and locally within communities to support Georgia’s events. All of these conversations sparked more conversations, and the word quickly spread.
Q. How can an author (and I know we all hate this idea!) “build their brand”?
- Crystal: Connect you and your books: So many authors struggle to unite their personal brand with the content of their books. If you write fantasy fiction, but your website looks eerily similar to a divorce attorney’s webpage, you’ve already started down an unfortunate branding path. Be sure that the brand you show the world matches the books you write.
- Practice your voice: If you’re incorporating a lot of your personal life into your brand strategy, then your voice may just be your voice. For many though, there will need to be a deviation from the typical way you talk. You may need to be darker, or funnier, or bubblier. You may need to swear less (or more!). Just like your office personality may differ from your party personality, your author identity may not be a dead ringer for who you are at home. Practice your voice on Twitter.
- Choose your branding elements: Once you've firmly decided on your brand, think about the physical and digital elements that'll incorporate the look and feel you’ve established. Decide what elements are most important. Some you’ll be able to create on your own, others you may need to hire an expert for. You may not have a huge budget for branding, so start out by prioritizing these elements to get your brand off the ground