Hey Guys! I really hope you’ve been enjoying Fresh Start September so far! Don’t forget, if you want to go back and look at other posts, just click the graphic to the right *points* and it’ll take you to all the links! Today I am bringing you a lovely interview with the amazing, sweet and charming publicist Lauren Bennett who works for Random House Children’s Publicity in the UK. Enjoy!
The marketing for every single book is different but is there anything that is consistently used when it comes to the publicity for debut novels? It does depend on the book but I’d say for all YA debuts we look to the bloggers for feedback and support, it’s often about sending the right book to the right blogger but once you have a few key people on board the invaluable tool of word of mouth starts and works as a platform to launch the book, it also gives new authors experience in interviews, writing guest posts etc. One of the most successful series launched by bloggers was Lauren Kate’s Fallen series, I’d say they had a huge impact on the success of the series.
You deal with the online and offline publicity of books, what steps do you take when sorting publicity for debutnovels? I’d say my role was about 50/50 online / offline as digital makes up such a massive part of most campaigns now, however there are things we can do for debut novelists offline. One of the most important things I think is building an author’s relationship with their local community, if you have a sound base to work on you can build from there. I’d always encourage authors to make friends with their local bookshops, libraries, schools and media, this helps to build confidence, gain experience and gives the author a local support network.
In your opinion, how important are bloggers to the publicity of debut novels? As mentioned in my first answer I think they are vital! Most are well connected, they talk to each other as well as influence readers and they are genuinely passionate about books. Bloggers do not seem so concerned about authors who have a high profile or massive sales behind them and are willing to give any book a go, debuts can be tough to get coverage for in traditional media but bloggers seem to like adopting a new author or trend at an early stage, they like to be the first rather than follow the trends which is great for debut novelists.
How much time goes into the cover of novels? And has there ever been any covers you didn’t like after they’ve been approved? I don’t feel I have the authority to answer this one! However I know a HUGE amount of work and planning goes into designing the jacket, our design team are so creative and talented it is extremely rare for me to not like a jacket, in fact I can’t think of one I haven’t liked…
In your view, are negative reviews good or bad for debut novels? I think constructive reviews are good, I have no problem if someone doesn’t like a book but I do have a problem if they can’t explain why, bad reviews for the sake of bad reviews are frustrating as children’s / YA books get so little coverage it feels like a waste. I know some authors take on board constructive criticism For their next novel.
Do you decide which books you work with or are they given to you by the editors? Once we have the publishing schedule we sit down as a team to work out who works on what, if someone is really passionate about a book in the team we like to encourage them to work on the publicity as that seems to make sense!
I want to say a thank you to Lauren Bennett for interviewing with us for this event. I hope it was as interesting for you as it was for us! Don’t forget to enter our two giveaways running throughout this month!
As a bonus part of the event, we are giving everyone a chance to win some prizes donated by our wonderful participants and ourselves! The prizes include:
2 winners of Strange Chemistry ARC packs, each pack including a copy of Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings, The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke AND Katya’s World by Jonathan L Howard (courtesy of Strange Chemistry)
1 winner of an eBook of My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris (courtesy of Entangled Publishing)
3 winners of a book of your choice from any that has been featured in Fresh Start September (each courtesy of the hosts)
The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL and will run until the end of the event (30 September). Remember to follow the Twitter and Facebook pages of the prizes you want to win, for example, to be eligible to win the Strange Chemistry Prize, you must follow them on Twitter and Facebook. Good luck
But wait, there’s more! One lucky reader will win a hardcover copy of 34 Pieces of You which Carmen has so generously offered! This giveaway is limited to US only. All you have to do is leave a comment on Carmen’s interview here, saying anything you’d like. Then click the rafflecopter button, and you’re entered to win! The giveaway will run until September 30th The winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond to their notification email, or another winner will be chosen.