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Swoon Reads Behind the Scenes: Advertising and Promotion

You know your book is the next big thing, we know your book is the next big thing, but how do we make a splash to let the rest of the industry and the entire book-buying world know just how big it is? That’s my job! I work here at Swoon HQ to handle the advertising and promotion for many of our Swoon titles, as well as the entire Swoon brand and all of the titles and brands across the rest of MCPG’s imprints.

On the advertising side, we work to get our brands and titles in front of the audiences who would be most interested in them. We spend a lot of time thinking about who is most likely to be interested in a book and what those people are up to—from where they live to what their interests are and what they're doing (what TV they're watching, magazines they're reading, movies they're seeing, etc.) to what times and days they're most likely to be doing those things. Of course, since we’re publishing hundreds of titles every year, we can't possibly have an advertising budget for every one. But when a book does have an ad budget, my team is responsible for using those interests we brainstormed to decide where ads are best placed. Then, we work with contacts at those platforms to book advertising space, work with a team of designers to create the ads, and, when the campaign is over, analyze the results to gauge the campaign's performance and determine whether our money was well spent. Our campaigns target the book industry as well as consumers both before and after the book goes on sale, and the ads come in all shapes and sizes—print, online, and even outdoor (think: billboard) advertising. As you can imagine, with so many titles to keep track of, our advertising schedule is pretty hefty, but nothing is more satisfying than seeing an ad you worked on pop up on your Twitter feed, in a magazine at the supermarket, or on a billboard in Times Square! 

On the promotional items side of things, we’re the group that produces any of the branded items associated with our books and brands. From bookmarks and postcards to tote bags and even the branded displays you see in bookstores, we coordinate the design and timely production of promotional items to ensure that the rest of the teams involved in selling and marketing our product have what they need to succeed. Between Swoon and all of our other imprints, we produce a LOT of promo, so it can be a bit crazy at times, but this can also be one of the parts of my job where I get to be the most creative. Who else can say they got to work on a "Pin the Shirt on the Hottie" activity or branded cupcake liners during their work day? I love being tasked with creating fun and unique promo items to promote our brand.

That’s a brief overview of how advertising and promotion works, at least here at Swoon! We’re constantly brainstorming and doing our best to stay on top of what’s new and trendy because we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to get our books in front of our target audiences. No two campaigns or items are ever quite the same, so my job is a little different every day. It's never boring, and it's always full of new bookish projects to tackle—just the way I like it.

Want to learn more about the publishing process? Check out the other entries in our Swoon Reads Behind the Scenes series:

– Managing Editorial


– Trade Marketing

– Digital Marketing

– Social Media

– School & Library Marketing

Every weekday in November, we’ll be including a super special writing prompt at the end of all our blog posts! Check out today’s:

Prompt 11.10

Author spotlight

Kelly M.

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