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Marketability eBulletin

Welcome to our latest fortnightly eBulletin, posted here on 29 May 2018. In this issue:

Debut author flyposts PRH offices, a great example of guerrilla marketing

Sam Conniff Allende is the author of Be More Pirate, a book which encourages readers to re-write rules and take risks. To prove a point, he fixed an 8m long fluorescent billboard promoting his book across the front of the Penguin Random House building in London. The cost of the poster was met by the fee that CEO Tom Weldon has promised to pay him for a forthcoming event. ‘I didn’t realise I was indirectly paying to flypost my own offices, and I won’t be doing that again ...’ said Weldon.

Many of us will have worked with authors who are either reluctant to get involved in marketing in any way, or who act as ‘loose cannons’, inadvertently confusing potential buyers with their own particular take on promotion. I will be cautiously citing this story as a good example of an author knowing exactly how to achieve maximum publicity.

Thank you to The Bookseller for this highly enjoyable article (which is free to read). Great photos too.

Read for yourself on The Bookseller website.

Working with authors is a big part of both our Introduction to Marketing and Impressive Marketing Plans workshops.


Return Path blog post on ‘legitimate interest’ under GDPR, recommended!

The ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) has recently published guidance on ‘legitimate interest’, under which it IS still acceptable to send marketing email without explicit permission, something we all need to understand.

Essentially this covers marketing to buyers of similar products, AND to potential buyers who have expressed interest in products but not yet bought any. The email marketing does need to be highly relevant to the products in question and ‘proportionate’ to their level of interest/interaction with you (good luck with tying that one down). If you are currently looking in dismay at a long list of contacts who have not replied to your GDPR emails then there may be hope that a percentage of them can still be mailed. This all comes with a caveat, though, which is that the definition of what is and isn’t ‘legitimate interest’ will doubtless evolve over the coming months. Explicit opt in should still be the goal.

Return Path recently ran a Q&A webinar on this topic during which they took numerous questions from participants. Some of those not covered at the time are now in this blog post, which makes great reading. The challenge generally is not in understanding the basic principles of GDPR, but in applying them to our own specific examples – which is what makes a Q&A format so useful.

This is also a post that will make you feel more optimistic that all is not lost. Always remember, though, that just because you are legally covered to email your contacts doesn’t mean that it’s the right thing to do. You only want to market to people who welcome hearing from you.

Read the Return Path post for yourself.

Our Email Marketing Workshop is the place to be for more like this.


The marketing telegram – first examples of spam?

Back in the late C19th some companies took to sending unsolicited telegrams to promote their services. Opening an urgent message to find an advert for the latest dentistry techniques understandably didn’t go down well. Angry letters to The Times (the Twitter of the age ...) led to companies deploying such dastardly techniques being named and shamed – which effectively gave them free publicity.

And you thought spam was a product of the digital age.

Thanks to Matthew Sweet on BBC Radio 3 just last week, who led me to a fabulously entertaining and thought-provoking article about etiquette and ‘new media’ that originally appeared in The Economist back in 2007.

Read the article in The Economist.

Our Email Marketing Workshop will help you design email content that safely differentiates you from the spammers.


Tip of the week: You can’t do it all, so back your winners

We all want to do the very best for every book we publish but the hard fact is that some books justify the investment of our time (and budget) more than others. The only way we can allocate appropriate resource to a title that needs it is to take it away from a title with less potential. We should never feel guilty about those books that only get ‘standard’ treatment (whether marketing or editorial/production); it’s the right commercial decision. Backing our winners makes more people sit up and take notice – and that benefits related titles too.

Our Impressive Marketing Plans and Profitable Commissioning workshops both cover this topic.





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