The marketing and publicity for Bailey Boat Cat – Adventures of a Feline Afloat was one of the most fun aspects of the whole Blog to Book process. Bloomsbury have offices in London, Sydney and New York and each team had people dedicated to marketing and publicising the book in their area. Bailey Boat Cat – Adventures of a Feline Afloat was the first Adlard Coles Nautical book that was also being marketed for the wider commercial Bloomsbury audience which also made it really enjoyable.
In America, since Bailey’s blog followers were (and still are) predominantly American, a dedicated independent book publicist was hired to get the book the maximum exposure. The publicist was fantastic and I really enjoyed working with him. He got interviews in magazines, on a pet radio station and he even put together a ‘pawesome’ press kit which he sent to the team at the Ellen show. Unfortunately, even though two of her team of staff got back to us, Ellen didn’t run with it in the end, but the buzz around the book was fantastic. The magazines that featured the book have huge readerships and Bailey’s popularity, in terms of statistics on his blog, skyrocketed as new people discovered him.
I was actually on a personal trip to Australia just before the book launch and I was invited to go into the Bloomsbury office in Sydney and meet the team. They were very welcoming and made a huge effort with a lovely afternoon tea! They put together nautical themed stands in bookstores and also spread the word about the book in local magazines. The Australian Writers’ Centre interviewed me and made me smile with their catchy title; Has your cat been published yet?
The U.K. team also pushed for Bailey to get maximum exposure and took the book to the Frankfurt Book Fair. Around the time of the launch there was an interactive map where people could upload photos of their cats reading Bailey’s book with a caption. It was a fun way to see how far the book travelled.
I also worked hard on marketing and publicity personally. I contacted WordPress and asked them if they would be interested in featuring the story of how a humble WordPress blog, about a sailing cat, was being published around the world. They decided to run a feature and included the story of some other blog to book success stories in a feature entitled, New Books by WordPress.com Authors.
I contacted some of Bailey’s loyal followers and asked them if they would review the book and sent them advance copies. I also ran several competitions both on the blog and on Bailey’s Facebook page in the lead up to the book launch. This encouraged people to like and share all of the posts about the book and extended Bailey’s social media reach even further. I also kept Bailey’s News and Reviews pages updated with all of his exciting mentions, interviews and reviews. I was most proud of the trailer that I made for the book which was my first attempt at editing a video!
The publicity and marketing for the book was a lengthy and time consuming endeavour. We started promoting the book in the September before the U.K. and Australian launch date of April and the American launch date of September 2014. So in total, the process lasted about a year. These days, in order to have a successful book launch, the author must wholeheartedly commit to promoting their book even if they have a traditional publisher and especially if they’re self-publishing.
Please join me next Wednesday for part 8 of this 10 part Blog to Book Series.
Wishing you powerful book promotions and, of course, Sandy Toes!