Sailing Forward

With three books ready to hit the market in the coming months, two teams are working hard on their Social Media Strategy Document, which covers everything from who they aim to reach with their social media campaign to when this campaign will be launched and—most importantly—how they plan to execute their ideas. The document is extensive, and for every platform they utilize (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, etc.), there is “paperwork” to be done. So, where do I come in? I help each team through the occasionally difficult process of filling out their strategy documents. I glance over their document nearly every day and will leave comments and suggestions when I feel they’re warranted.

First came Seven Stitches, whose project team is run by the wonderful Julie Swearingen. Their book pubbed on February 14, and I got their content in the queue to go online, and then it went out into the world. Next up is the twenty-fifth anniversary edition of Ricochet River, which will be published on April 1. Jacoba Lawson is their project manager, and her team has worked hard to make this social media campaign successful. I plan on assisting Team Rivers by brainstorming some strategies that we could use to push this book on Tumblr, where there is a large YA readership, such as choosing the right tags to use to improve the chances of posts getting seen by the right crowd. The third book on our horizon is At the Waterline that is also being worked on by Team Rivers. Having one team juggle two books is an uncommon practice at Ooligan, and this arrangement has created a lot of crossover between people working on the strategy documents for these books. Accordingly, I will have to pay close attention to the team’s plans to help them cater to the right audience; because these books are being worked on by the same team, it’s helpful to have an outside perspective when crafting marketing and social media initiatives. These are two separate books and deserve two separate marketing and social media plans, even though they have similar topics. For At the Waterline, we have to strike a delicate balance between building and promoting our author’s social media presence and pushing our title. We plan to accomplish this by encouraging the author’s activity on social media and then reblogging and reposting his content on our platforms: “Check out Ooligan’s new author. Book coming soon.”

But the most exciting aspect of winter 2017 is the installation of a new position at Ooligan Press: social media voyager (name pending). This person will act as an assistant of sorts to me; they will manage Ooligan’s Facebook and Twitter platforms part time. Ooligan will now have the ability to be far more effective and relevant in the online community; we can stay aware of hot topics and participate more actively in conversations. Not only will this boost our social media presence but it will give us more information and data to pull from when marketing our books online.

Winter 2017 is shaping up to be an exciting, busy time. We are striving for greater discussions with those in the book community, so check us out on social media and join in.