As the Marketing Manager at The Policy Press I was very interested to read this recent article in the Times Higher about authors helping to market their books.
I was amused by the reaction of Dale Salwak’s contact who thought that if the book had merit it would somehow get noticed on its own! Would that that were true! Some of Salwak’s ideas may not work for all books – not many bookshop owners would thank authors for trying to meet with them to discuss their book as so much buying is done centrally now. And not all books are suitable for coverage in the local newspaper. But I think he makes some good points (or has been well-advised by his publisher!): he acknowledges that advertising does not always sell books, but a succession of small actions can help a lot in “spreading the word”. This is something we also believe at The Policy Press.
We treat all our books as individual titles and tailor our marketing activities for the best results. In addition we have always seen marketing of our books as a partnership between the authors and ourselves. This is because the author often has the best specialist knowledge of networks and associations in his or her subject area and as publishers we have built up a great deal of knowledge about the best routes to market, timings of marketing campaigns and the different markets we operate in.
That is why we ask our authors to complete a marketing questionnaire which forms the basis of the marketing plan for that book, which we then implement in liaison with the author. We appreciate our authors who are willing to help publicise their books and happy to support them with publicity materials as required. For example, if the author is willing to post notifications to specialist networks of which he/she is a member, we are happy to encourage that and in turn can concentrate on wider, more generic contacts.
We know that this does not come easily to everyone and are happy to take the lead where required. My hope is that we can work with our authors to achieve the best coverage and sales as appropriate for their book.
Kathryn King, Marketing Manager, The Policy Press