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  • Writer's pictureThe Publishing Post

Upskilling Dictionary: Marketing

By Meghan Capper, Sukhpreet Chana, Misha Manani and Joe Pilbrow

Marketing is about getting books out into the world and in the hands of readers. It involves creating content on social media, digital advertising and partnerships in the lead-up to publication. The department is tactical and logistical but also requires imagination – great for someone who is creative and good with figures. This is the third article in our dictionary series. We hope this helps you to understand the terminology used in the sector and builds your commercial awareness. You can use them in your interviews and applications, but don’t overdo them!

A+ content: A function on Amazon that provides space for marketing to display images, review quotes and text to promote books. It can also be used to compare other titles. Look at Monica Heisey’s Really Good Actually for a great example.

Analytics: The process of looking at the data returned by your marketing campaign (e.g. retweets, sign-ups, click-throughs), identifying the trends and developing actionable solutions to improve the campaign’s efficacy.

Campaigns: The implementation of steps to promote your ideas through different mediums such as print-outs and the media to increase outreach and engagement.

Cover reveal: A common form of social media marketing posted with the publication date to create anticipation. It is important to look at the engagement (below).

Customer Relationship Management (CRM): A software program that allows a publisher to keep track of their interactions with existing and potential customers, including email conversations, phone calls and social media activity.

Digital marketing: This is using online technology programmes and social media to create a buzz around the books and publishers.

Email marketing: It is important to build relationships with the public, so publishers email a weekly/monthly e-newsletter to subscribers created by marketing. This has the latest news, upcoming books and exciting deals.

Engagement: A useful metric in social media marketing which summarises the amount of interaction with a post or campaign. This can include likes, clicks and comments, which helps a publisher gauge its success.

Industry advertising: Publishing news platforms where you can advertise upcoming books. The Bookseller’s Buyers Guide – released for the summer and autumn seasons – lists thousands of upcoming titles, from seasonal highlights to bestseller predictions by industry experts. NetGalley allows publishers to promote digital review copies ahead of publication to book advocates and professionals.

Influencer outreach: These campaigns involve sending a proof or copy to a group of Bookstagrammers and BookTokers with the task to create an announcement video/post or a creative brief related to the book. This helps to spread the word.

Multi-channel campaign: Making use of several distribution and promotional methods to achieve a single campaign goal. For example, this approach could combine social media, print ads, emails and shop front displays in one campaign.

Out-of-Home advertising (OOH): Unlike social media advertising on phones, this refers to outdoor forms such as billboards and posters at train stations. Key examples include Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus in London and Times Square in New York City.

Partnerships: Marketers reach out to brands, charities and organisations to collaborate on campaigns, linking the book to social causes and aligning it with their partner’s ethos. This can maximise the reach and place the book in a wider society.

Pay Per Click (PPC): When a fee is paid each time the user clicks on an ad that has been used for marketing purposes.

Point of Sale (POS): Any tangible materials used to increase sales and immediately engage consumers to promote a book. This could be window clings, badges, postcards and bookmarks – all of which you might see on display at a bookshop!

Position meeting: After the book is acquired, this meeting is held to discuss how to best present it to readers.

Proofs: These are the preliminary versions of books that are printed before the full print run and used for final proofreading and editing. These are sent to reviewers and journalists to generate buzz before the publication date.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): Using keywords to increase the discoverability and traffic of content/books. Publishers write a list of words on a system connected to the title that attempts to understand what consumers type in the search engine.

Social media: A primary source for creating content, advertising books and launching campaigns that helps deliver and expand on the platform's awareness towards your audience. This includes Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and Facebook.

Super-lead: A publisher’s top marketing campaign for a book, which is predicted to gain the most interest, reviews and attention. For this reason, it will usually be the campaign with the highest level of investment.

Tagline/shoutline: A short and snappy line sometimes on the cover, used to pitch a book and grab the attention of consumers, booksellers and publishing professionals.

Thank you for reading Issue Seventy! Join us again for Issue Seventy-One, where we will cover Upskilling Tips: Publishing in Wales.



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