Book Marketing Case Study
With Nancy Kilpatrick, editor of Evolve: 23 Vampire Stories of the New Undead.
What’s your book about?
Evolve is an anthology of vampire stories, edited by me. One that differs from what readers have seen before.
My mandate was to have the authors who wrote the stories get a sense of the vampire in older literature to the present, and also familiarize themselves with what’s on TV and in movies right now.
Then to speculate, “What type of vampire will we see in the future?”
They more than met my vision. It’s an innovative book in the genre.
When did you start to market and promote your book?
We began about last January with a variety of interviews for print, internet, radio. Our aim was to launch the book at the World Horror Convention in Brighton, UK in March, 2010 so we targeted that event.
We also have done Canadian launches/signings in April in various cities, Toronto, Halifax, Calgary, and I think one is being set up for Vancouver.
It’s been a vigorous marketing campaign.
The book will be distributed in the US in Barnes & Noble stores in August, so we are gearing some promotion that way, with people doing signings, and a panel in August at Festival of Fear in Toronto, which draws a lot of US readers.
One of the most interesting aspects of the marketing has been one of the special editions. The publisher did 50 hardcover copies, signed by all contributors, wrapped in silk and packaged in a wooden coffin with a cross bookmark. There is also a nice faceplate on the front. It’s special and draws a lot of attention.
What online methods have you used to market your book?
We’ve done a website with a video–the video is also on Youtube. We set up a Facebook page and I joined FB with my personal wall to promote the book. We’ve done a lot of blog and interviews news interviews as well as podcasts. The publisher came up with some limited editions which are sold on the website (the regular trade paperback is only in stores).
Which online methods have you found to be the most effective?
It’s really hard to tell at this time, as it’s just April and we’ve just launched the book. Some people think that small blogs don’t make much sense and one should go for the major newspapers. But I tend to feel that every effort is worthwhile because one thing usually leads to another.
Which online methods have you found to be the least effective?
Same answer. We just don’t know. But I will say that the Youtube video isn’t identified correctly, which means it has a low viewership. That’s something we will correct for the next book.
What offline methods have you used to market your book?
Edge Publishing has a PR person who has a big list and she is the one who contacted a lot of the genre-specific publications and media, so it all came through her. Edge has provided a lot of books as give-aways in contests, and for interviewers.
At the World Horror Convention launch, we gave away little gift bags of candy which included a little bat. We also had door prizes: a (candy) blood bag; bottles of vampire wine contributed by the vintner, and a special edition in the coffin packaging. There was an invitation to the launch in the convention bags which had an enclosure of a one million dollar Vampire Money bill. None of this was expensive and it’s a lot of bang for your buck when it comes to attention.
Which offline methods have you found to be the most effective?
Again, we don’t quite know yet what’s effective. There have been reviews done and interviews over the phone for publications not online. We’ve got bookmarks that are lovely and terrific postcards–the larger size. It really remains to be seen what leads to what. The book has had nothing but praise so far, with reviews and from readers, and I think all the promotion is worthwhile.
What will you do differently when you market your next book?
I’d say we’ll take a similar approach; so far, this one is working well. But the publisher is always open to new ideas, as am I.
Buy Evolve Now!
You can pick-up your own copy of Evolve on the Evolve site. Or on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Chapters.
About the Editor/Author
Award-winning author Nancy Kilpatrick has published 18 novels, 1 non-fiction book, over 200 short stories, 5 collections of stories, and has edited 10 anthologies. Much of her body of work involves vampires. Nancy writes dark fantasy, horror, mysteries and erotic horror, under her own name, her nom de plume Amarantha Knight, and her newest pen name Desirée Knight (Amarantha’s younger sister!) Besides writing novels and short stories, and editing anthologies, she has scripted 4 issues of VampErotic comics. As well, she’s penned a couple of radio scripts, a stage play, and much non-fiction, including the book The goth Bible: A Compendium for the Darkly Inclined (St. Martin’s Press).
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