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Marketability eBulletin

Welcome to our latest fortnightly eBulletin, posted here on 11 July 2017. In this issue:

Wiley Exchanges: excellent advice for authors and fabulously well written

Wiley describes its Exchanges site as ‘an online community designed to offer advice, ideas, and collaboration opportunities for researchers, learners, and professionals’. This isn’t unique, of course, but it is a particularly impressive example, on three counts.
  1. The advice it gives (eg on SEO essentials for authors) is genuinely useful.
  2. If coaching authors in this way means the information they give and the efforts they make to promote their work are more effective, then that’s of real benefit to Wiley too (ROI).
  3. The copy is fabulous. It’s worth a read if only to remind yourself that you can write in a very direct, immediate and informal style to an academic community.

Take a look at this Wiley Exchanges post about SEO. You don’t have to be an author to find this content useful.

This topic is covered on our Copywriting Workshop, available as a public course and our most popular in-house training day. Our Mastering SEO for Marketing workshop is only available as an in-company course, built on your actual analytics and tailored very precisely to your company. Includes SEO guidance for authors. Full day and half day options available.


'What 15 years at Foyles taught me ...', recommended article by Sion Hamilton

I began my career in books at Foyles, though it was a VERY different company way back then. But it’s possibly the reason this article in The Bookseller caught my eye. And excellent reading it is too. Especially thought-provoking is the value consumers place on reading now. We ‘don’t have time to read’ but do for social media or box sets.

This isn’t about the shift from print to digital, but about the changes in the market over the last 15 years which means that books in all forms are competing in new and different ways.

‘People happily pay a premium for coffee and alcohol or food. An upmarket hamburger can cost more than the price of a paperback book, and will be consumed in minutes.  Cost is all down to a market educated perception, in the end.’

Hamilton’s article is another great reminder that it’s not enough for us to publicise our content. We need to look for opportunities to promote the value of the book as an entity, too. And that’s just as true for describing the merits of reading an eBook on a Kindle (as opposed to searching for free chunks of content on Wikipedia), as it is when we decide to produce a print book with gorgeous production values for its sheer collectability appeal.

There is room for all these options in our new fragmented, sophisticated, attention-lacking world, but we do need to be savvy about where our own products sit.

Read Sion Hamilton’s article on The Bookseller website

Copy within publishing has traditionally focused on describing content, but if we’re to compete for attention in 2017 it’s essential that we start with the customer and the context. If this has got you thinking, take a look at our Copywriting Workshop.


Not quite naming and shaming a UK car insurance company

My mother is 80 this month. She still drives a car (well), but only for very local journeys. The independence is important to her.

Each year her insurance policy leaps in price, relying on inertia in us to let it renew automatically. Each year a phone call to her insurer (let’s call them Company A) quickly brings the cost down again. But not enough this year. I didn’t consider a 30% increase much more acceptable than 40%, so it was time to turn to to find the cheapest policies out there. And guess what, there was Company A, top of the heap, at £50 less than I’d negotiated them down to on the phone.

When challenged, Company A should have capitulated but they persisted in defending the higher price, so of course I’ve simply bought the ‘new’ policy online. I’m looking forward to phoning them to tell them we don’t want the ‘old’ one renewed.

I love an introductory offer as much as the next person, but it should be transparent, and not at the expense of your existing client base. So balance out those new customer offers with ‘thank you offers’ for current clients. And when challenged, be generous with your customer service. It’ll cost you less in the end …

There are parallels here with our Impressive Marketing Plans on a Small Budget Workshop which discusses different marketing strategies for discrete customer segments. Takes place in London on 17 October.


Tip of the week: Get your own way by using the SPOT effect

Have you ever used that tactic of introducing your own idea to your boss in such a way that they think it’s theirs and therefore support it? Welcome to the SPOT effect, which recognises that we all have ‘spontaneous preferences for [our] own theories’. And very useful it is too.




Marketability (UK) Ltd

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