3 S.R. Johannes: Marvelous Marketer: Alice Pope (Author, Children's Writers & Illustrator's Market)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Marvelous Marketer: Alice Pope (Author, Children's Writers & Illustrator's Market)

Hi Alice, Thank you for joining us today.
Before I ask you to talk about your
marketing strategies, tell me a little about yourself.

I’m managing editor of Writer’s Digest (WD) Market Books and have been with Writer’s Digest Books for 17 years. I am also the long-time editor of the Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market (CWIM).

Do you/your agency/your house have a website/blog?
When did you start it and who manages it?

There are a number of blogs run by individual editors here at WD. My blog focuses on children’s publishing topics. I’ve been blogging since August of 2006. I kicked it off by reporting on the 2006 LA SCBWI conference. In fact, this summer, I am excited to be heading up a team of bloggers who will be blogging about the event.

In your opinion, how important is social networking such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc.

I think it’s extremely important for authors to use these networking tools. If they add in a blog and a website, even better. These social networking platforms don’t cost anything but time and they give authors more ways to connect with their audience and potential readers.

With the publishing climate today and the bad economy, publishers can only do a bare minimum in most cases when it comes to marketing and promotion. Authors would be foolish to not create Facebook page at the very least and be proactive with it (send friends requests, update status, comment on other people’s pages, send notices and event invitations, etc.)

Do you feel it is beneficial for authors to team up and promote books as a group? And if so, why?

I am all for strength-in-numbers marketing. The “Class of” collective marketing groups are a great examples (ie: the Class of 2k9) of how to pool resources and talents for a common goal—to promote their group of upcoming titles to booksellers, librarians and teachers.

ReaderGirlz is another great example but with a different approach. They are not a collective marketing group per se--they promote the work of many authors and promote reading. But at the same time they’re raising their own profiles and have a built-in platform for their own titles when appropriate.

It’s a win-win.

Do you have a formal marketing plan or is your marketing more random? What creative things have you done to promote your book?

In terms of CWIM and our nine other market books, they’ve been around for many years and do well year after year so our sales team can usually get them on display in the big chains. As a whole my company is now moving to more of an ecommerce focus--we do more email and online advertising these days than, say, sending out review copies.

Over the years I’ve taken a grass-roots approach. I send free books to many regional SCBWI conferences each year to be given away as door prizes. I think this is a great way to get the book in front of its audience and do something nice for these regions at the same time. I also send a free copy of CWIM to all the SCBWI Regional Advisors around the world each year after the book is published. I feel like it’s a nice perk for the RAs who are hard-working volunteers and in turn I hope they let their local members know that a new edition is available.

And I suppose my blog, my Facebook page, and my Twitter are part of this picture as well. CWIM comes out once a year (in August), but readers can check in with me anytime through these outlets where I can give them news, report from conferences, and get personal with them.

Hopefully they’ll like me and like my book!

Thank you for joining us today, Alice.

Thanks, Shelli!


Unknown said...

Wow- what a great author to interview :).

Anonymous said...

Another wonderful interview! I went to her blog and that seems overflowing with helpful articles too. Thanks for bringing us 'face-to-face' with such wonderful people in the pub world!

Diana Black said...

As a new children's author, this post from Alice Pope was most appreciated! Thanks to both of you...


Kimbra Kasch said...

Oh... I love the CWIM it's a great resource. Thanks for posting this interview.

Anonymous said...

Great interview! I follow her blog and it is very informative (and funny).

Suzanne Young said...

Alice has a great blog to follow! (and she's pretty awesome!)

Great interview, Shelli!

Casey Something said...

Great interview, Alice! It's great to hear your thoughts on social networking and group marketing.

C.R. Evers said...

This is another awesome interview! Thnx Shelli!

Sarah Campbell said...

She is so smart to target her freebies to SCBWI RAs; word-of-mouth recommendations are so important.

Anonymous said...

Her point about sending free books to SCIBWI is a good one. For my upcoming non-fiction book, I negotiated for a lot of extra books so I could do something similar for my readership markets.

Carrie Harris said...

Thanks to both of you! I think this growing focus on online promotion is a good thing, and it definitely works for me!

Unknown said...

I had the pleasure of hearing Ms. Pope speak at a conference once--she was very eloquent and knowledgable. Thanks for sharing!

Vodka Mom said...

That was a fantastic interview. I bet she was wearing a kick ass pair of heels.


Kelly H-Y said...

Wonderful interview! Alice always has such great information to share!

david mcmahon said...

G'day from an Australian novelist. It's always great to see people interviewed on good blogs.

I do a weekly `Sunday Roast' that has interviews with bloggers from all round the world.

Kristin Tubb said...

The CWIM is one of the greatest resources out there for children's writers. Thanks for all you do to build dreams, Alice! Great interview, Shelli!

Robyn Campbell said...

Another great interview! I never knew about her blog. Now I do, thanks so much for the time you take to help us all, Shelli. :)

King of my Throne said...

Alice Pope Writer's Digest book should be on everone's bookshelf.

PurpleClover said...

Wow, great interview! Thanks for the helpful info. Glad to hear there really is a good reason for a blog and facebook. ;)