Guest Post + Giveaway: Inside the Book Publishing Process Part 2 by Amy Green of Bethany House Publishers

We start this Tuesday continuing a little tidbit of the book publishing process from Amy Green of Bethany House Publishers. 


. . . continued from Part I

Meanwhile, the timeline over in marketing looks a little different. Our work usually starts at sales conference, when we present a future season of books to our sales team so they know how to pitch the books to buyers at stores and chains. If you never thought about the fact that people have to sell books to stores, you’re not alone. It’s a sneaky hidden step that most people don’t realize is there.

At the six-to-eight month mark before release, our fiction marketing manager, Noelle, is placing ads, working on overall marketing plans, setting up special campaigns like an appearance at a festival or a book club mailing, and otherwise planning how to spend the budget money for each book. 

Later on, she’ll submit those ads, attend events like the RT Booklovers Convention to help authors get in front of a new audience, and analyze stats and analytics to see what’s working. (Noelle is much better than I am at numbers and data, which is why she gets to manage actual money and I don’t.)
As the publicist, I’m a mediator between the author and everyone else to get out word about their book. I usually start once I have a galley/ARC (advance reader copy) to work with from editorial. At that point, I pitch the book to trade and consumer magazines. Sometimes, if the author has a unique angle, I might pitch guest posts or interviews to anyone who might be interested. And I’ve read at least one book from all of our authors, usually more.
(In case you’re feeling jealous, I rarely use actual work time for this unless it’s for a debut or new-to-us-author, so I don’t really get paid to read fiction.)

At the same time, I’m also working on projects that are about to release: helping authors plan launch events, setting up book signings, scheduling giveaways and blog tours, requesting graphics from our design team, and coding eblasts that will be sent out to readers.

And I’m working on currently releasing books—including them in our blog and newsletter, sending final copies to blogger reviewers and the authors’ local media, getting the word out on social media, and sometimes even going on book tours to stores and libraries. 


That sounds like a lot, and sometimes it is, but it’s mostly many tiny, scattered deadlines and tasks.

At the end of the day, I’m always excited to spread the word about our books…because they’re just that good. Seriously, I’m amazed by the talent of our writers, and they’ve also been a joy to work with—very gracious and willing to work hard to partner with our marketing team.

In reality, the life of a book doesn’t start on release day—it begins, as readers pick it up, get to know the characters, and fall in love with new plots and places. But then, you know that part of the story!

Any questions for me about the world of publishing? (I won’t be as helpful on editorial questions, but you can try anyway to see if I know.)

- Amy

About Amy

Amy Green is the fiction publicist at Bethany House. Her typical day might involve planning book tours, handling media requests, interacting with reviewers, answering author questions about marketing, and other tasks designed to introduce readers to great books. Outside of work, you can find her playing board games, baking bread, and bravely weathering Minnesota winters. She blogs every Thursday at bethanyfiction.com—feel free to stop by and comment anytime!

TO CONNECT WITH AMY:  Blogfacebook


Stay tune for "A Publicist's Dream" Part 1 on July 6th & Part 2 on July 7th. 



Welcome to the "Summer Giveaways" on Just Commonly. There will be multiple prizes and will run through the month of July.  For full list of prizes, head to announcement post. (Click on the image above.)  For this post, leave a comment for Amy, and be sure to enter the entry on the rafflecopter.

One commentator from all of Amy's guest posts will also be randomly chosen to receive a choice of a book from my stash.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
                                                                                                                                           




CONVERSATION

37 comments:

  1. wow it does seem like a lot of work. but then when you love what you do it does not seem like work
    quilting dash lady at Comcast dot net

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  2. Amy you sound busy, but it sounds so interesting. Blessings

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  3. The book publishing process has always fascinated me. Thanks for sharing your expertise!

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  4. The marketing part always seems daunting to me and this is a reason I'd shy away from self-publishing my book. I'd need the help getting the word out. I know I always find my next book to read on book blogs.

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  5. Thank you for the in-depth look 'behind the scenes'....I had no idea it was so complex!!!

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  6. Makes me tired just reading this but it also has to be very rewarding.

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  7. Thanks for an interesting inside look at what it takes to get a book into the hands of readers.

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  8. Amy, thank you for sharing ALL the hard work that is done to get a book published!

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  9. All those tiny scattered deadlines sound overwhelming! How do you keep track of everything?

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    2. Let's try this again! :) I sometimes create a spreadsheet for complex tasks, organized by book or by process. Other times...I use a scad of sticky notes with checkboxes.

      Amy Green
      BHP Fiction Publicist

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  10. I'm really liking this book process blog post series. It's so fascinating and I can't wait to learn/read more.

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  11. It sounds like you have a very interesting job, Amy. What is the one thing you like most about the work you do?

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    1. I love connecting with authors and readers, Pam! We have such a great group of them at Bethany House.

      Amy Green
      BHP Fiction Publicist

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  12. Thank you for all you do to get us these great books. What will be your next move career wise? Is being an author in your plan?

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    1. I imagine I'll always be involved in publishing or writing in some way, Sonnetta! Yes, I've considered writing novels, although I should say that not everyone in publishing does want to write a book. They're always good for a book recommendation, though, in a variety of genres.

      Amy Green
      BHP Fiction Publicist

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  13. Another awesome post! I'm curious - how much of a say do author's get in what their book's final cover looks like, and what the title is? I've always wondered about that :D.

    ~ Savannah | Scattered Scribblings

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    1. Great question, Savannah! Authors suggest a list of titles, and sometimes their title is chosen, other times a team of editorial and marketing people make a change. It's almost always a back-and-forth process, and while you will get the occasional author who doesn't care for the title, most love them. As for the cover, it's a similar (though longer) process. The author submits descriptions and images of characters and places in the book and suggests possible scenes to show. The marketing/editorial team talks through sketches, then several mock covers, then critiques more final covers. The author sometimes has leeway to ask for changes at this point, but it's more in the control of the publisher and what we think will work well in the market.

      Amy Green
      BHP Fiction Publicist

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  14. This was SO informative! Thank you SO much for taking the time to share some of this process with us! Now I want to know even more!!! =D

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  15. So interesting! I used to think Elaine on Seinfeld had the best job when she worked at a publishing firm....it sounds like that was glamourized a lot! Amy, my question is --- do you think bloggers are an effective method of getting the word out on books? I review books for Bethany House, and always hope that my posts might make a tiny difference for authors but I just don't always know.
    Dianna

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    1. Hi Dianna,

      Love it! I see blogs as another way of selling books by word of mouth--not a HUGE driver of sales for any one book (unless the blog has a large following), but still the #1 way people hear about books. Think of it as a recommendation for anyone to see. That said, if you want readers to hear your recommendation, make sure you're sharing it on social media and any other channels you have. Besides sales, which are a factor, authors are also encouraged to read reviews. At Bethany House, we collect the reviews from our program and send them on to the authors...they love them! So thanks for making a difference.

      Amy Green
      BHP Fiction Publicist

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  16. Your job encompasses so much! What do you do when you inevitably come across a book you just don't like enough to finish?

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    1. Unlike editorial, I don't really "have" to read any of our books. I do when I have time (especially on plane rides) because I at least want to be familiar with the style of our authors before marketing them, but if there's a book that's just not for me, I don't finish it. Usually, though, it's just a genre/theme preference...we have a team of great writers!

      Amy Green
      BHP Fiction Publicist

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  17. Amy, it amazes me of all your job entails as a publicist! So thankful for you, the authors, and all the people who make it possible for we readers to enjoy hours of reading pleasure. Thank you!!!

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  18. I don't think I'd be good at being a publicist!

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  19. Thanks for all the work you do! I love getting to hear behind-the-scenes aspects of both the publishing industry and the books themselves (I always read the Author Q&A's on Bethany's website--I wish more publishers did those!)

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    1. So glad you enjoy them, Rachael! We use them for media, and figure we ought to keep them there for readers to see too. :)

      Amy Green
      BHP Fiction Publicist

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  20. I didn't realize you had to sell the books to the stores! After reading these posts I know why it takes so long for the next book to come out.

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  21. Amazing that you go to so much work and write a GREAT book and then it's in others hands to get it out there. You really have to have faith in others to have you best interest at heart.

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  22. I really enjoyed these two posts.

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  23. Fabulous info. Thanks for the peek behind the scenes.

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  24. I'm sure you don't love every book you read. Is it hard to market a book that isn't your favorite?

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  25. I have reviewed books before, so it is interesting to see how this whole process works.

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  26. It's been so helpful to learn more about the publishing process. So much goes on we don't really think about. Great job!

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  27. Amy, your job sounds both cool and quite daunting! Haha Do you have to travel much for work? The idea of it sounded great when I was younger, but now that I have a family, I'm much more of a homebody!

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