#WorkInPublishing 2020 | A Career in Marketing
For my last post for #WorkInPublishing week, I thought I would share some insight into the area of marketing in publishing.
I’ve worked as an Administrator and Social Media Coordinator, a Marketing and Publicity executive, a Campaigns Officer, and most recently as a Marketing Manager. Each of these roles involved marketing in some format.
What skills do you need to work in marketing?
To work in marketing in publishing, when you’re starting out, I would say you need a good understanding of social media. The rest of marketing, such as advertising and design you’ll learn on the job. But social media is where to start nowadays.
I’ve never worked in a time without social media, but I’d say that 75% of all marketing I do involves it somehow. From reaching out to bloggers, Instagrammers, and YouTubers to share our books or get involved in a reading or blog tour. To advertising via Facebook and Twitter. Not to mention the day-to-day posting on social about our latest releases and deals.
Social media is where to start when you’re looking to work in the marketing area of publishing.
How do you develop your skills in your current role?
As I said before, you learn a lot on the job when you’re working in marketing. My mentor in the marketing arena told me recently that she has never stopped learning how to market, whilst working in publishing. And she’s worked in publishing for over 10 years. Things are constantly changing and challenges arise – such as COVID – which marketers have to adapt to. Sometimes more than say, an editor.
I have learned how to reach out to potential partners for giveaways and sponsorship. I know how to advertise via Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter, and even via posters on the tube and in newspapers.
I’ve done stunts in the office, recorded my team and authors doing ridiculous things to promote a book and I’ve talked to thousands of people about the wonderful books I work on. And I still feel like I’m only at the beginning of my learning journey. You never stop learning and developing new skills in marketing and that’s part of the reason I love it. As I can’t sit still for long!
What tasks are most common in marketing?
Your everyday task is to reach readers, so talking to readers is paramount. Be it via organic social where you build communities via Book Clubs and commenting on posts and reviews. From brainstorming copy-lines like ‘The best thriller ever’ (but better and more creative than that!) and designing assets that stop people in their tracks as they’re scrolling through Twitter at 10 pm.
Everything is focused on that, and whenever I feel overwhelmed or in need of a good idea that’s what I go back to. And it’s the first thing you’ll learn when you enter the marketing world of publishing.
What’s your favourite part of marketing books?
Honestly, I love to share books. I get a buzz from introducing readers to a good read and hearing their responses. I’m a big reader myself and I know the feeling of being on the end of a good recommendation. It’s slightly addictive when you get into it.
The creative side of marketing is also amazing. Whereas publicity involves a lot of networking and talking to people, and editorial involves a lot of story work and finesse, marketing is like playing in the ball pit of a soft play area for work. The stuff we do is bonkers! From stunts where the staff dress up as Handmaids and walk around London with signs about patriarchy. From building a room or setting up a bookshop, to designing GIFs and animations that have to be shared. It’s so much fun. I come to work every day and play basically.
How can I get into marketing?
To summarise everything I’ve said above, get creative and get online to share it. I’m very vocal about the fact that my book blog is what got me my first three jobs in publishing (one internship and two jobs). The fact that I wanted to get books into readers’ hands in my own time was proof enough that I would make a good marketer for a company – because I’d have more to play with plus the incentive of a paycheque!
Create a blog, start an Instagram feed, a YouTube channel, a podcast, a Goodreads page, a book club, get involved in #WorkInPublishing week… anything. It’s all marketing. And you’ve got to #MarketYourMarketing, which basically means share it! Don’t hide in the shadows – tell everyone!
I hope that explains a bit more about Marketing in the book industry for anyone looking to #WorkInPublishing. As always, if you have any questions please let me know in the comments below or reach out via social or my email.
Happy #WorkInPublishing week! I hope you got all the information you needed to get started in your journey to enter the publishing world.