The Book Hook
Written by
Sarah Saffian
September 2009
Written by
Sarah Saffian
September 2009
I’m Kathryn Gordon, VP of Marketing and Author Services here at SHE WRITES, which is a long way of saying, I market books and authors—in other words, YOU. Among the things I do at SHE WRITES is sharing all my experience in marketing and promotion to help you DO IT YOURSELF! You can, you know. Please consider this post an introduction, and an offer of assistance to you as you discover new ways to market your books. I’m also compelled to shout out why I love my job, so I’ll get to that, too. A book-publishing veteran of almost 20 years, I’ve worked in Sales, Marketing, Editorial, and Online for most of the major houses as well as some lesser known big players in the publishing industry. I’ve worked with authors covering almost every genre from political satire to erotica (never a combination of those particular two, but I suppose there’s still time!). I’ve learned a lot and I continue to learn with every campaign I launch—a lot like many of you, I suspect, in how and what you write. So what am I doing here at SHE WRITES? Connecting you to author services and products, like easy-build author websites and professionally produced video book trailers (wicked cool), e-mail marketing, social media marketing tips, and other absolute essentials you MUST HAVE to establish a platform. I’ll weigh in on why these are vital vehicles (though I promise without the alliteration) and how they will help you achieve success. Now, if that isn’t enough of a lovefest, here’s a little more. I’m a mom of two girls, aged 5 and 3. They are my greatest pride and joy. I couldn’t imagine living without the flexibility to enjoy them in the middle of a day by popping into school and reading a book or participating in a cooking project (or in my case, a book-making project), or just a drive-by squeeze. I work with a team of super-smart fantastic women who want the same thing. That’s the beauty of a start-up: we get to make up the rules. Those rules include getting to pick my kids up from pre-school, having a conference call while waiting in the checkout at Whole Foods, and making dinner while attending a webinar. I have, while ever-multitasking, finally achieved my version of a work-life balance. I work in a place that supports my role as a wife and a mother and as such makes me a better marketer. Oh God help me, I’m happy! And best of all, I have scores of amazing women writers at SHE WRITES to learn from. (I also never end sentences in prepositions, by the way, I’m just being casual here! It’s a blog!) Meanwhile, I’m always looking for cutting-edge ways to promote, whether it’s via new technology—like Lauren Cerand’s “Innovative Publicity Now” webinar on September 22—or the tried and true, like direct mail but with a twist (whatever your twist may be). So if there’s something you’re doing that you think will set book promotion as we know it on its ear, let me know and I’ll turn it into something EVERYONE can use. If there’s some outlandish, completely off-the-wall strategy you’re considering but you need to be talked off or maybe onto the ledge, please enjoy the benefit of my wisdom (err, experience), and float it by me. In the meantime, I’m going to bring you some services that may change your writing life. One caveat: I’m not an oracle. I don’t know everything, so keep your expectations in check. I’m here for suggestions and advice and when I don’t know something, I’ll ask someone who does. I know A LOT of experts in the industry. The bottom line is that we here at SHE WRITES would like to make this your one-stop destination for all your basic writerly resources for marketing and promoting your book and yourself. Oh, and we’re not limited to marketing and book-promotion. There’s a whole section of SHE WRITES dedicated to resources called SHE NEEDS HELP. Looking to expand yourself professionally? Check out “Becoming a Writing Coach” on October 1. Explore personal writing? “Memoir Writing for Pleasure and Purpose” on October 15. So tell me, what do you need? Go to SHE NEEDS HELP right now and tell me what marketing services or products would you like to see at SHE WRITES to help you promote efficiently! I look forward to meeting all of you in the virtual world and hopefully, up close and personal. Until then, ask away.

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  • Julie Maloney

    Thank you, Kathryn! Wonderful post. You have my attention. As director of WOMEN READING ALOUD, a non-profit organization devoted to women writers, I love what you're doing. I look forward to reading more of your posts.
    Best to you. Join us on SHEWRITES. Julie Maloney, WRA

  • Rhonda Talbot

    Thanks Kathryn. What a helpful and encouraging post. As publishing gets tougher and marketing yet still, it's very welcoming to hear you comments. Best R