Marketing, That Intangible Beast

We’ve started the fall term at Ooligan, and although many of us worked on projects regarding Seven Stitches over the summer, we are back at full speed, hurtling towards publication date. Here’s a little recap of where we are: the manuscript has been through all necessary editing; the cover has been designed (several covers, actually); the interior is ready; and now it’s time for reviews, events, and all things marketing.

However, there is a funny phenomenon I’m noticing as we throw ourselves into this next phase: we are swimming without a net. This is not to say that we—both as a project team or as Ooligan in general—do not understand marketing. But marketing is that intangible beast that doesn’t have the same deadlines as editing, cover design, interior, and the like. We can contact bookstores about events and are told different deadlines for each. One will want six months notice, another four months, and some won’t even respond. We have lists of reviewers to reach out to, with the knowledge they may not respond either.

Because Ooligan is a small student-run press, we don’t often get the same response to a review request as other publishers. A layman might ask why we even try to have a major magazine, newspaper, or website review our book. The answer is two-fold: because we are a teaching press, so we have to use this book as an example of what we will need to do “out there”; and because any and all marketing we can secure for our book, our author, and our press is good.

And truthfully, marketing is fun. We have our launch secured for February 16! We are contacting bookstores across the Oregon Coast, Bainbridge Island, and Washington D.C.! We are utilizing social media, where hashtags like #choosekind, #weneeddiversebooks (#wndb), and #yalit will help readers identify Seven Stitches as a book they need to read. We are pushing for a massive Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter campaign, connecting it to themes from the book about social media and social welfare.

We are finally at the stage where we have a solid, tangible book, so let the intangible marketing smorgasbord commence!