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Author/Editor Q&A - How to promote your book
Marcelline Block

 We asked Marcelline Block, editor of some volumes of Intellect's World Film Locations and Fan Phenomena series, for her recommendations on how to promote your book.

How have you utilized the marketing material sent to you by Intellct for your books? Have you found the postcards a useful marketing tool?

Yes, the postcards sent by Intellect are some of the best marketing tools - I always have several on hand with me. That way, no matter where I am, if/when my books come up in conversations (as they often do), I can show/give the postcards out. The postcard works wonders as a supplementary mechanism for enhancing any discussion of the books - the postcard is what really piques people's interest in the book since it is visually striking and beautifully designed, yet contains essential information including a written synopsis of the book in a bite-sized, introductory format. The postcard always makes a memorable imression and drums up interest in the books, as its design and printing is of the highest most professional quality, it is eye-catching and makes a positive impression. People really enjoy reading and holding on to the book's postcard - I think of it as functioning as a promtional souvenir for the book.

In what ways have you promoted your book digitally yourself (either through email or social media sites) and how successful do you feel this has been?

I've promoted the books digitally through facebook (my own page and as admin of the World Film Locations and Fan Phenomena Facebook pages) as well as on Twitter and through my Amazon author page. I am currently overhauling my personal blog, but have posted about my books there and know it has gotten the word out.

This has been very successful, particularly the Facebook pages (my own and the ones I administrate), as those pages really feel like a 'community' and generate a lot of support from the book's 'fans' (in terms of 'likes' and 'shares' on Facebooks and 'retweets' and 'favourites' on Twitter).

It also helps keep the books fresh and vital - for example, whenever I come accross something relevant about the cinematic culture of a city of one of my World Film Locations volumes (Paris, Prague, Marseille, Las Vegas, Boston), I post it to the Facebook site and this serves to generate a conversation and flow of dialogue/discourse that ultimately relates to the subject matter of my book. This way, it keeps the book current - if there is an intersting/newsworthy development in the city relating to its film/visual culture (or any other current event - i.e. the Red Sox winning the world series), then it goes on Facebook/Twitter, to help keep the book in the minds of the subscribers/readers for the pages, to encourage people to think about the book and why it might be of interest to them now.

In what ways have you found attending conferences has helped to promote your books?

Very helpful. I have been able to promote the book through speaking about it with colleagues at conferences, Giving conference presentations based on the research in my books has generated discourse and dialogue about them. I am also greatly looking forward to participating in a roundtable of Fan Phenomena editors at the forthcoming PCA/ACA (Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association) conference in Chicago, which will definitely promote the books. I've also posted pictures on Facebook and Twitter of the books when they are displayed at conference book exhibits (including Paris and Marseille), and this has been generated a lot of support and interest as well.

Have you given any presentations or talks at conferences about your book? In what ways was this successful?

Yes - I have presented at 92Y TriBeCa about "Paris Onscreen", followed by a book signing of my volume World Film Locations: Paris. This was a very successful, interactive, multimedia presentation given to a full house at one of NYC's premier cultural centres and it generated much interest in the book (and the series as a whole). 

Have you formed any relationships with organizations or institutions to help promote your book? Can your briefly outline how you did this?

The Czech Center in New York City has promoted World Film Locations: Pragueon its website.

As a member of the Harvard Club of new York city, I was selected to participate in the first Harvard Book Festival (October 2013), which generated sales as well as interest in the books.

I was also invited to display copies of World Film Locations: Marseilles in New York City at an outdoor fair in summer 2013 on Upper East Side of Manhattan called "A Sunday in Marseilles," which was sponsored by the French consulate in celebration of Marseilles as 2013 European Capital of Culture. World Film Locations: Marseilles was also displayed at the American Library in Paris Book Award. 

Most of these relationships are formed from my own personal experiences/affiliations as a harvard alum member of the HCNY and as a francophile living in New York City (and therefore I keep up the speed on French/francophone evens, particularly those related to film).

Do you have any other tips for promoting your book within your community?

I recently participated in a pre-holiday boutique on the Upper East Side of Manhattan (November 2013), and, as the only person there displaying/offering books or sale, it was a very unique experience and generated a great deal of positive interest in the books.

I would definitely recommend that other authors consider participating in this type of venue it all possible - i.e. a local fair/community based holiday boutique and really got the word out about the books (as in the case of an academic conference/book fair), it was still a great way to market the books to cater to and reach out to another dimension of audience/readership.

Posted by Jessica Pennock at 16:28 (0) comments
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