The Importance of Collateral in Book Publishing

Right from the start, I wanted to focus on marketing throughout the Book Publishing program because it was what I knew best from a previous internship. And lucky for me, on my first day I was assigned to a project group that was in the marketing stage. While I had experience with social media, blog posts, and other digital forms of marketing, I had never heard of the term “collateral” before and wasn’t aware of its significance in marketing. Collateral is a type of medium that is used to aid sales, and it provides several benefits to a book marketing campaign. It can come in digital and physical forms, but it specifically applies to the branding of the project. Collateral has an intentional audience and purpose for the book it aims to sell.

Seven Stitches, the book my project group has been marketing, is a young adult novel that not only provides a time-travelling, female-positive adventure but deals with a lot of heavy topics such as natural disasters, grief, loss, and slavery. With such important themes, it’s crucial to consider a book’s branding and how the design will contribute to this brand. To organize these ideas, a branding/design concept brief can be incredibly useful. The brief for Seven Stitches includes basic information such as the book’s title, author, trim size, and genre, along with a brief synopsis. It is important to consider key elements, clichés to avoid, technical considerations, themes, and motifs, just to name a few. All those aspects help you brainstorm what kinds of collateral you want to create for your book.

Most of the collateral I’ve created for Seven Stitches includes digital images meant for social media sites. For example, I created a Facebook banner using a Turkish tulip design, which references the prayer shawl in the book, and another group member designed images that were paired with quotes. However, we’ve also made physical collateral, like cucumber seed packets (referring to a character’s love of cucumbers) and bookmarks. Although we live in a digital age, it is important to branch out into other forms of collateral as well. Though some people prefer ebooks over physical books, you want to consider your audience when creating collateral; not everyone is active on social media, and some individuals prefer a tactile experience.

At the end of the day, it is important to consider as wide of an audience as possible to bring the most amount of attention to your book. Find ways to draw your audience in and give them a unique way to connect with the book prior to purchasing it. You want your audience to interact with your collateral in a way that makes them excited about the book you’ve worked so hard on publishing. There are numerous options for collateral ideas, so get out there and start brainstorming!

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