Online Marketing at Google’s #DigitalGarage

In March, I attended a couple of #DigitalGarage sessions ran by Google in Glasgow. These workshops are free to attend and are part of a larger project that Google is working on to get people feeling more confident about online marketing. While I’m aware that these sessions are not specific to publishing, I think it is really important for publishers to stay ahead of the curve with the latest strategies in digital marketing. I plan to use what I learned from these sessions with my own blog and in my current social media internship with Linen Press Books. In the meantime, I’ve summarised some of the key points from the #DigitalGarage below.

What is #DigitalGarage?

“Free tutorials from Google on everything from your website to online marketing and beyond. Choose the topics you want to learn, or complete the whole online course for a certification from Google and IAB Europe.”

I attended the live workshops but Google also offers free online training if there aren’t any workshops running near you. You can set goals, learn from experienced professionals, apply your knowledge, track your progress and stay motivated!

The sessions were a great springboard for me as I am really interested in online and digital marketing within publishing. They were comprehensive and there was lots of information and resources for me to take away. I learned about the importance of designing a good website, choosing a domain name and thinking about hosting.

“Nearly half of all visitors will leave a mobile site if the pages don’t load within 3 seconds.”

When it came to social media, they were armed with interesting and informative stats for us: 38 million active social media users and 1 hour 29 minutes average daily use of social media via any device (younger audience = significantly higher usage). I was surprised to learn that people formulate an impression within 50 milliseconds of visiting your social media profile so it’s important to think about your bio: keep it relevant, clear and consistent and show you personality – people like people. It made me ask the question: what message can I send out on my Twitter page within 50 milliseconds?

The #DigitalGarage sessions are a hidden gem. It is very rare to get comprehensive training like this for free so I was eager to jump on the chance. I look forward to seeing how my new found knowledge can help me with all things publishing.

Publishing Scotland Conference 2017: An Overview

It’s been 24 hours since the Publishing Scotland Conference left me equally overwhelmed and excited by my chosen career path so I hope this overview will give people who weren’t fortunate enough to attend a taste of what the day was like.

After a welcome from Publishing Scotland, the Booksellers Association and Jenny Brown of Jenny Brown Associates, the day started with a key note speech from Barry Cunningham . Not only do I hope to work in children’s/YA publishing one day, but I am a long-time fan of Chicken House. I was all ears on the necessity for fueling “book growth by providing a wider variety of book of all kinds” and how readers can discover these books. ‘Book huggers’ became an integral part of my vocabulary and Barry’s business card a coveted addition to my wallet.

Next came a statistical breakdown of 2015/16 retail market trends courtesy of Nielsen BookScan data, and while your eyes may have glazed over just reading that sentence, believe me it was one of the highlights of the day. Who would have thought there was a marriage to be made between David Bowie and bar charts? Steve Bohme for one (apparently it was Star Wars last year!)

Sam Eades, Editorial Director at Orion Books, shared her innovative ideas for creating debut novel buzz without the benefit of a big publicity and marketing budget. With materials even Blue Peter might struggle to craft together, she revealed the roles a dismembered mannequin and Portsmouth bus lane played in two successful campaigns. She also stressed the importance of spear-heading trends, from psychological thrillers to cosy crime; and of recognising the opportunity for partnerships – even if those opportunities come in the form of two ice sculptors. After all, “publicists are great blaggers.”

I gained a whole new appreciation of the art of the book cover from the Creative Director at Penguin Random House, Suzanne Dean, whose journey between the hardback and paperback editions of Paul Kalanithi’s, When Breath Becomes Air, was paved by 70 rejected covers. And I’ll never look at the negative space and allusions of Haruki Murakami’s covers the same way now that I know a little of the complicated effort masquerading as the effortlessly simple.

When it comes to working better with authors (and selling more books), Lucinda Byatt from the Society of Authors reminded us that, despite falling advances and royalties, “authors remain the only essential part in the creation of a book.” How must it make them feel to often earn less than their editor?

We heard from the front lines in sales and bookselling where the successful bookstores are the ones with “experiential content that’s not available on the internet”, Kevin Ramage, The Watermill: “booksellers that diversify … throw in a bit of coffee … offer as much as possible to the customers”, Sabrina Maguire, Bright Red Publishing.

For my elective breakout session I was glad to have chosen to learn from Eleanor Collins, Senior Commissioning Editor at Floris Books, about editing narrative openings (but sad to miss out on the three other workshops that sounded equally fascinating). With the “artifice of the narrative most evident in the beginning” and a tendency for authors to begin the story before the action, editors can choose to alter the structure, chronology and/or voice. In other words (Eleanor’s words): start with the Ballroom instead of the Country Walk; or reference it and the Conversation during the preparation for the ball.

One of the most inspiring parts of the day, however, was an introduction to OWN IT!, London from founder, Crystal Mahey-Morgan. Crystal’s goal is to tell stories using books, music, fashion and film, starting with the multimedia book, Don’t Be Alien. Above all I respected her recognition that we have to see the commercial viability of diverse authors instead of just the moral necessity.

With people and pioneers like these, I’m happy to say that the future of the book does not look as bleak as it is often believed to be. Many thanks to Publishing Scotland for making the MSc Publishing students of Edinburgh Napier Universirty so welcome.

In conclusion, prep your calendars for 2018 and place your bets on who/what Steve Bohme will use to front his market data next time.

 

By Kellie Jones

Publishers Inc 2015

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A new year sees a new team working on Edinburgh Napier’s MSc Publishing App. You can find out more about the app and the team, including exclusive behind-the-scenes articles here: http://publishersinc.co.uk

My Placement at Oh Really / Word of Mouth Publishers

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Image courtesy of Oh Really Creative Solutions

Contact:
http://www.ohreally.co.uk/contact/
https://www.facebook.com/LocalsGuidetoGlasgowhttps://twitter.com/LocalsGuidetoEd

When initially it came to choosing my placement company, my focus was a little different from the majority of my fellow publishing students. My experiences to date include a number of group projects I have been involved in at Edinburgh Napier, as well as my existing experience producing my own blogs. I have been exposed to many marketing opportunities, and interest in this area of publishing encouraged me to delve further into the sector to gain more experience.

Upon my discovery of Oh Really as a placement option I felt that it would be perfect. As it is a combination of companies – Oh Really Creative Solutions, a PR and Marketing company and Word of Mouth Travels Publishing – run solely by Mr Owen O’Leary, it represented the perfect environment to gain as much experience as possible, not only of the publishing industry but the extended creative industries. Word of Mouth Travels to date have produced two books The Locals Guide to Edinburgh and The Locals Guide to Glasgow. These travel guides have taken an entirely new approach to the traditional tour guide. They have also taken advantage of a niche in the travel market which has been in decline in recent years due to the growth of tablets and portable internet devices. … Continue reading “My Placement at Oh Really / Word of Mouth Publishers”

Meet the Maisie/Pushkin Team

Hello. We thought it was about time we introduced ourselves.

We’re students on the MSc Publishing studies programme at Edinburgh Napier University and we’ve recently started working on some exciting new projects for Merchiston Publishing, the University’s long established in-house publisher.

We are one of two groups working on four different projects for Merchiston Publishing this year. Our team are in charge of two of these projects – The Pushkin Prizes Anthology 2014 and Maisie and the Night Visitor. To find out more about both projects, visit our Live Projects pages for The Pushkin Prizes Anthology 2014 and Maisie and the Night Visitor. You can also follow the @EdNapierPublish twitter to keep up to date with all of our projects.

Project Managers

Georgia Walters and Eve Scott

Heading up the team are our enthusiastic, organised and committed Project Managers, Eve and Georgia. As the driving force behind our team, both Eve and Georgia have been instrumental in getting both projects going and we have every faith that their determination and passion will carry us through any challenges we may face. Georgia is taking the lead on The Pushkin Prizes Anthology 2014 and Eve, who has been a Maisie fan since she was young, is in charge of Maisie and the Night Visitor.

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Here’s what they had to say about the projects –

Georgia Walters (PM) The Pushkin Prizes Anthology 2014-

“I’m honoured to be part of the team publishing the latest Pushkin Prizes anthology. Fraser Ross Associates has generously allowed us free reign in showcasing 2014’s winners, and we hope to do justice to the 26-year history of the prizes whilst adding our own new design and ideas. As students ourselves it’s lovely to be helping to inspire the creativity of our younger counterparts.”

Eve Scott (PM) Maisie and the Night Visitor-

“When I learned that Merchiston Publishing focuses on Scottish authors, the Maisie series seemed like a perfect fit. I grew up with it so it’s really exciting to have the opportunity to add a title to such a fantastic series. We’re working closely with the author to add some special content to this tale and we’re looking forward to launching this special limited edition to celebrate 30 ‘amaising’ years!”

Editorial

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Team: Keara Donnachie (DM), Saskia van der Lingen, Chris Byrne and Annie King

Our super editorial team are ready to battle against poorly constructed sentences and excessive use of exclamation marks! They are involved in everything content-related, from the initial stages of adding content, right the way through to editing that content to make sure it is of the best possible quality. Armed with red pens and a sharp eye for detail, they are ready to catch any rogue commas that may threaten our projects.

Production

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Team: Gaby Barrios (DM), Alix Thomazi, Laura Will and Melissa LoParco

Our lovely production team are the artsy, creative types behind the projects. They’re in charge of making sure the projects look great. They think you should always judge a book by its cover, so they have one of the most important jobs. With their InDesign shortcuts memorised they are ready to go and they have already started work on some fantastic covers for both projects.

Finance/Rights

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Anastasia Gorgan (Rights DM), Harriet Leslie, Doug Sloan (Finance DM) and Xin Dong

Arguably the most important decision makers, these guys are there to make sure we are following all the rules and to stop marketing from spending all their money on a helicopter trip. They have the difficult task of budgeting, contacting printers and dealing with contracts. We’ll let you in on a secret: we’re not quite sure what they get up to, but we imagine that when they aren’t dealing with finances and rights they’re off fighting crime or something equally impressive . . .

Marketing

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Team: Becky Brown, Leanne Butchart, Michele Cheng, Jack Evans (DM) and Candice Sooknarine

Lastly, it’s us: the marketing team. Or as we like to be known, the five marketeers! You’ll hear a lot from us over the next few months as we promote our exciting new projects. Armed with nothing more than enthusiasm and an endless supply of cat puns, we hope to act as the mascots for our projects and can’t wait to show off the work done by the rest of our team members. We’ll be tweeting, posting, organising events, creating videos and just generally being enthusiastic about everything (especially that helicopter trip!).

That’s all for now.

Stay tuned for more updates about our projects soon!