http://www.lebenssalz.ch http://www.paulplaza.nl http://www.ostendsurfing.be http://www.qsneaker.nl http://www.wtcbentille.be http://www.thegooddeal.ch http://www.kantoorencreatief.nl

Scottish Book Trade Conference

Scottish Book Trade Conference: Launching a Debut on a Low Budget

March 23rd, 2017 by nicole_sweeney | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Scottish Book Trade Conference: Launching a Debut on a Low Budget
Tags: , ,

Next up at the Annual Scottish Book Trade Conference is Sam Eades, Editorial Director at Trapeze Books, an imprint of Orion. She tells us that to make a book sell, you don’t necessarily need a big budget or a large marketing department in order to get good sales. She lists there tips for launching a debut on a low budget:

1. Be Creative!

Eades suggests that one of the most important things, is to be creative as possible. Newspaper stories are a fantastic way to promote a book, and rejection stories sell far better than ‘author has a new title.’ Come up with a story surrounding the book such as ‘Cancer Survivor gets million pound book deal’ to ensure the paper will run the story.

2. Look For Trends!

Eades highlights the importance of watching the various creative industries and their on going trends – particularly in film and television. She also highlights how crucial it is to watch the market for what new titles are coming out, and see if you can spot any similarities, or trends. She tells us of one campaign for a psychological thriller, released around the time of the buzz surrounding the hugely popular The Girl on the Train. Eades gave her debut author a reading list of titles in the genre, and pitched an article on upcoming psychological thrillers to a newspaper, with the article being written by the debut author. This coverage helped to raise coverage for the author, and resulted in 15,000 copies sold.

3. Partnerships!Image result for the snow child ice sculptures

Partnerships are a great way to promote a title, and they don’t always have to be paid for. With The Snow Child,
Eades was given very little marketing budget, but persuaded two sculptors to provide ice sculptors for free, and they were installed in Waterstones to promote the book.

Eades tells the audience to contact tourist boards, restaurants and as many different places as possible. It’s amazing what you can get for free. Be creative and try your luck!

4. Try some Stunts!

Image result for neil gaiman renamed street‘PR the PR that you already do’ states Eades. She gives us two examples of stunts that she organised in order to promote a title. Firstly for Neil Gaiman’s Ocean At the End of the Lane she managed to get a street name changed to the title in his home town, creating newspaper stories and buzz in his local area.

Secondly for debut thriller Ragdoll, the Trapeze team bought a mannequin and dismembered it, hanging it from the
ceiling at a publicity party, creating a buzz and sense of mystery around the title. This helps to spread word of mouth, and creates excitement about the title.

Finally she highlights some top tips:Image result for ragdoll daniel cole

– Spy on the competition, know what others in your sector are doing.
– Be aware of the trends, help to create a new one.
– Collaborate with your authors, allow them to come up with ideas and stunts.
– Be opportunistic!

by Nicole Sweeney

Scottish Book Trade Conference: Barry Cunningham’s Keynote Speech

February 27th, 2017 by Stephan Pohlmann | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Scottish Book Trade Conference: Barry Cunningham’s Keynote Speech
Tags: , , , , , ,

For the book trade, or indeed, any trade conference in February 2017, there are certain topics that simply cannot be avoided – both in the light of recent developments and in the foreshadowing of events still in the making.

When this year’s Scottish Book Trade Conference began on 22nd February in Edinburgh’s Central Hall, shortly after 9.30 AM and what must have been the third coffee for several delegates (this being inferred from personal experience), one could hardly be surprised to hear statements more of a socio-political relevance than what would have been the norm. Literary agent Jenny Brown, in whom Publishing Scotland had found a remarkably passionate chair for the event, opened the conference by emphasising the cross-national power of the written word, and Publishing Scotland’s chief executive Marion Sinclair subsequently took a similar line, speaking of no less than the book trade’s adaption to a possible new world order, while also stressing the catalyst power of hope as an engine of the book trade.

The keynote speech of the day, however, was given by Barry Cunningham, managing director at Chicken House, and widely known in the industry as the editor who signed J.K. Rowling for Bloomsbury. A children’s publisher – an interesting choice in the preceding context, but one that was proven the absolutely right one. Capturing the essence of the conference, he began by stressing the overall success which the children’s sector is currently experiencing, and he explained how to encourage (and financially support) new authors. Cunningham also peppered the keynote with socio-cultural undertones: While stories were being read in many different ways around the world, it was always the villains who “make the most difference – whether it is a situation or Lord Voldemort.”

The speech did not fail to grasp long-term changes in a genre that was once highly educative, moralising, and always teaching children “about good deeds” – something Cunningham later contrasted with the “more real issues” in children’s books today – where, for example, adults are no longer patronising and infallible moral institutions, but instead appear as they really are: “interesting and flawed.”

Addressing successful formulas of the present and challenges of the future, Cunningham pointed to the growing significance of reader connection: the existential importance of browsability and discoverability as well as the rise of fan fiction. For the stories themselves he gave a slightly more concrete advice: the “enormously important way to secure an audience is the sense of humour.” (The speaker himself had absolutely won his audience at the moment he cited J.K. Rowling who, when asked why Cunningham had taken on a book that many others before him had turned down, allegedly described him as “the only publisher who was a giant costumed character himself.”)

Overall, Cunningham did not disappoint in the least, delivering a speech that was informative and trade-specific as well as inclusive of wider socio-cultural trends – perhaps no less important, it was entertaining and humorous enough to set the tone for what was to be a diverse and interesting conference up until the end. And if one was to reconstruct the chord in which the keynote was given, they may be reminded of how Cunningham quoted a young girl that, when asked in school about the reason for reading a book, replied: “We read so our own story does not have to end where it began.”

– Stephan Pohlmann

By Its Cover: Suzanne Dean on good cover design

February 27th, 2017 by caroline_obrien | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on By Its Cover: Suzanne Dean on good cover design
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Suzanne Dean, the creative director for Penguin Random House, took the stage at this year’s Scottish Book Trade Conference to tell us all that, against a childhood’s worth of well-intentioned advice, we should, in fact, judge a book By Its Cover. Although much of her advice will be familiar to most of us at Stirling University from our design classes like all good advice it doesn’t hurt being repeated, and there was also much which was new and just as helpful. She was also able to offer an insightful and oftentimes very funny first-hand account of the frustrating, nerve-wracking, but ultimately fulfilling world of book cover design.

Dean was the one responsible for the Vintage logo update and some of her cover designs may be familiar to many of us, especially the work she did for Haruki Murakami’s novel. The simple, yet eye-catching, black white and red circle designs quickly became quintessentially Murakami. But, as any good designer will tell you, break your own rules. Dean certainly did, in an exceptionally well thought out way, by adding colour to Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki.

With quite a hefty bit of experience under her belt Dean is more well-versed than most on what effective design must be. Namely eye-catching, engaging to a reader, and thought provoking. After all, as Dean reminded us, we only have a few seconds in which to catch a browser’s eye and encourage them to pick our book up over all the others. In today’s world where books are increasingly becoming commodities like any others, sold on shelves between groceries and cleaning products, good cover design is more important than ever.

Through her work with Vintage Classics Dean is very well aware of this. Not only are classic books subject to the same fight for attention that new ones are, but they have a further added problem. As Dean asked, how do you convince someone to buy a book that’s probably freely available online?

Dean’s answer was simple.

By making them beautiful and desirable collectable objects.

Dean also found that a cover which hints at the contents receives a better reception than one which spells them out too heavily. Remember, with classics, the potential buyer has probably already read it, or at least is aware of the general plot, and so are more prone to spot and appreciate any little subtleties in the cover which, with a new novel, might only be appreciated after being read.

Of course, even while the contents of these classic books are well-known and familiar to many it is as important, if not more so, to keep the covers fresh and new. With content that has so many past covers it’s important not to become too similar. With their new Vintage Future editions Dean has managed to avoid this very pitfall. Using only a sheet of acetate and some line based designs this set of nine futuristic classics feature animated covers. The bold colours and psychedelic shapes combined with the animated feature and juxtaposed against the classic, black bordered layout perfectly capture the essence of these texts which, although written in the past, were always looking far into the future.

This seems to be a key theme brought by Dean to all her covers. Whilst they vary widely, and are each intricately tailored to suit their contents, there appears to be an emphasis on keeping them relevant, not just to our times but to all times.

But to achieve such beautiful, evocative, and timeless designs there is first a long process which must be traversed. As Dean revealed, one of her covers went through over seventy redesigns before it was finally accepted. It can also be very difficult to read a manuscript with the expectation upon you that a beautifully designed cover will simply emerge fully formed from your head. You must ‘rely upon the spark to happen’ and to keep on happening the next time and the next and the next. You must experiment, and engage with all forms of media. As Dean put it, ‘go out and see things,’ as many things as possible. You never know where inspiration will next come from.

And, most importantly, practice. For designers ‘just like dancers’ must practice before they can create something beautiful.

By Caroline O’Brien