Dear YPG #1: Mired in Marketing and Trying to Trend

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Welcome to the first installment of our monthly Dear YPG series! If you have questions for our knowledgeable columnists, email them to–all questioners’ identities will be kept anonymous!


How is the approach for marketing an adult book different than marketing a children’s book?
–Mired in Marketing

Dear Mired in Marketing,

While marketing for children’s books and adult books share many of the same overall strategies and techniques, the largest difference is the target audience. This may seem obvious—of course, children’s books are for children and adult books are for adults—but for both children’s and adult trade publishing, there are secondary and tertiary audiences to be considered. For example, laws such as COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) limit the ways that companies can interact with and collect information from children under the age of thirteen online, and there are only so many other places to directly reach children that don’t read the newspaper or magazines, and don’t pay attention to public transit ads or billboards. Instead, children’s marketing has to focus on reaching the groups that hold and influence the buying power for children: parents, grandparents, teachers, and librarians. In fact, “Mommy bloggers” are a target audience that is growing quickly in influence for children’s publishing.

But the actual strategies used to reach those Mommy bloggers and other target audiences for children’s books are very similar to those used in adult marketing. The goal is the same for both children’s and adult publishers: to drive sales by increasing awareness of a book (or author, or series). More simply put: to get a book in front of as many eyeballs as possible. This may happen through review mailings, targeted blog outreach, publicity tours, print and online advertising, creative collaborations with third-party partners, online contests and giveaways, Goodreads and other user-generated reviews, and a consistent social media presence.

–Andrea DeWerd
Marketing Specialist, Simon & Schuster


What are some of the best online resources (blogs, sites, Tumblrs, etc.) for keeping up with the market–what do you read on a daily basis to keep up?
–Trying to Trend

Dear Trying,

It takes a while to build up a reliable group of resources that you enjoy reading. Find a few you like and use an aggregator (my favorite is Google Reader) so you don’t have to open a dozen different websites every morning.

Galleycat ( is a great starting place. They link to a wide variety of publishing sites and stories, and since it’s part of Mediabistro, it’s connected to a number of other fantastic resources, including a job board. However, the posts are short and they are rarely the first to break news. They used to have a spinoff called eBookNewser, but that has since become the more generic AppNewser with a smaller section for ebook news.

Publishers Lunch ( is what the industry reads. You’ll find news about deals, people switching jobs, and other major events. However, a subscription can be a bit pricy if your company doesn’t let you borrow theirs, and the blurbs in the free edition aren’t much more than headlines.

Bookjobs ( is another key resource. It has a fantastic aggregated job board that collects essentially every opening in the industry, and its databases and articles make it a great place to learn the details and responsibilities of each position. I promise you, there is an important difference between Editorial Assistant and Assistant Editor, and this is where you’ll find out what it is before the big interview.

The Digital Reader ( can be a bit harsh–I rarely agree with the blogger’s stronger opinions–but he does a great job of collecting and analyzing rumors and news across the ebook world. He also has a much broader focus than just Amazon and B&N. It’s the only place I can reliably find news on e-readers from Kobo, Sony, and others. I usually hear about new e-readers from him first.

Publishing Perspectives ( is another fantastic site for industry-specific news and opinion. They have a very wide range of subjects and content, so it’s hard to do a five-minute check, but it’s really worth your time to go through it when you can.

Book Boroughing ( has become my go-to website when I’m looking at an otherwise boring evening. It collects listed literary events from all over New York City and lists them in a clear, easy, and shareable calendar. There are usually 4-6 events every night, so it’s easy to find something fun (and technically job-related) to do.

The New York Times has its book review, of course, but they also publish a good deal of industry news. Julie Bosman is their beat writer for our industry, and she blogs at Media Decoder (

Jim Romenesko’s blog ( is a great place for media news and commentary, publishing included. He loves posting amusing errors, comparisons of how different outlets cover the same news, and journalists behaving badly. He broke the news of Jonah Lehrer republishing his own material a month before the Bob Dylan quotes came to light.

PaidContent ( is another broad resource that often discusses the publishing industry. Its focus is on developments in digital content, payment structures, and technology.

There are a few blogs that post a short list of book-related (or just random and interesting) links every day. My favorites are below, and they each come from fantastic book websites, even if they may be light on industry news.

As for Tumblr and Twitter, I follow every publisher I can find as an easy way to keep track of their upcoming releases, media coverage, and major news. Galleycat keeps fantastically comprehensive lists of people to follow, and your tastes may vary. Every time they post a new one, I sample them all, and usually keep 5-10. The most recent list I could find was Bookstores on Tumblr ( My favorite of that particular list was McNally Jackson’s, which is funny, interesting, and tips you off when signed editions are in stock.

Finally, relax. Keeping up is hard, time consuming, and stressful. Friends and colleagues will often beat you to breaking news (or at least, as close as publishing comes to breaking news). Gossip is one of the best ways to learn what’s going on, and soon you’ll return the favor.

–Eric Meyers
Editorial Assistant, Penguin USA (Portfolio/Sentinel/Current)

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