Marketing & Branding
The digital world has revolutionized the business of buying and selling books. Books are now available in both hard copy and digital formats. They can be found online as well as in your favourite local bookstore. They can be enjoyed on ereaders, tablets, and smart phones. Kindle, Kobo, and Nook are now part of the bookselling lexicon.
It’s a new world, and yet some things never change:
- the book must be a compelling read for the target audience;
- readers need to know about it; and
- readers have to be able to find it in the store.
At Barlow Books, our customized approach ensures that these two principles are built in to every go-to-market strategy. Here are some sophisticated tools we offer to help you plan and execute your marketing strategy. We will work with you to determine the services that are most useful for you. You can choose as many of these services as you like.
To help authors market their books, we start with the brand—your brand and your book’s brand. Together we work on developing and refining your positioning, your identity, and your message.
What is your brand right now? To answer this question, the Smak team will conduct a brand audit to:
- assess your current brand, including a review of your existing social media assets
- assess the global conversations taking place today on relevant topics—or lack thereof, which presents an opportunity all the same
- review the competitive landscape
In conjunction with Barlow, smak and their partners at PSD&G will work with you to crystallize your brand for the book and for you. You’ll work through the answers to seemingly simple questions, such as “What business are you in?” Together we will study your target audience and discover the brand DNA of you and your book. This powerful exercise will clarify and orient all the work you do on your book.
Book Market Strategy
Marketing strategy includes a competitive analysis of the market, key messages, and selling features for the target audience. It also includes a plan for marketing tactics, such as media relations, community outreach, speaking opportunities, advertising, partnerships, and special sales. Part of the strategy is to ensure that all parts of the marketing effort, including social media and website, reflect the brand of the book and author.
PR & Social Media Strategy
This integrated strategy, based on a deep understanding of your brand, covers conventional and social media. Our PR partners will plan a conventional PR strategy for the optimal radio, TV, and print opportunities for your book and give you media contact lists. They will give you recommendations for your social channels, and recommendations for finding new audiences and influencers. As part of this strategy, our PR partners will suggest new opportunities/channels for thought leadership in your area of expertise.
Our PR experts will develop tailored pitches, call media and influencers, develop interview preparation documents, as well as book, staff, and de-brief media interviews. We also provide goals and measurements for media outreach campaigns and a formal results/wrap report for media relations campaigns.
You will work with experienced journalists who will teach you how to deal with media questions in TV, radio, newspaper, and magazine formats. You’ll do mock interviews and watch yourself in action. You’ll get practical tips, such as what to wear, where to look, and how to react to uncomfortable questions or journalistic tricks like the silent treatment.
Social Media Correspondent
If managing social media seems like a daunting task, we can help. We will work with you to promote your messages across relevant social medial channels with engaging content and imagery. We can post, tweet, and respond to messages to help build your presence in a social media universe and add strategic hashtags to get you into conversations that count.
Marketing Campaign Management
A marketing manager will oversee the marketing campaign and activities, keep everyone on track, and ensure that messages are aligned with the brand. The manager will develop a critical path outlining activities and responsibilities, hold regular phone meetings with the team, and report on the progress and budget as the project develops.
At Barlow Books, we offer a calculated play for media and retail space, built to your specifications and delivered by media experts who know what it takes to build and grow an audience.