Lessons on Marketing Bestsellers with Bookouture’s Kathryn Taussig

Takeaways from London Writers Salon’s interview with Kathryn Taussig, Publishing Director at Bookouture.

This week, Parul and Matt from London Writers Salon interviewed Kathryn Taussig, the Publishing Director at the digital imprint, Bookouture. Taussig has been in the industry for over a decade and joined Bookouture in 2017. During her time with the imprint, she has published everything from romance to psychological thrillers and has worked with bestselling authors such as Lucy Dawson, Jill Childs, Judith Murdoch, Linda Green and Tracy Rees.

Taussig gave us a behind the scenes peek into Bookouture, their unique relationship with authors and the ways they use market research to find the right audiences. She also gave us insight into the ways self-publishing authors can promote their book and engage readers.

Here are my favorite takeaways!

What is Bookouture?

Bookouture is a digital-first imprint founded in 2012 by Oliver Rhodes. From the start, they used social media and digital marketing to increase reader engagement and to promote and sell their books. They also develop unique relationships with their authors by offering higher than average royalty rates, tailoring marketing plans to each author and having a customer engagement plan that invests in the long-term grown of an author’s brand.

How is social media and digital marketing useful for selling books?

Social media platforms provide a wealth of information regarding user engagement. Bookouture uses this feedback to better understand how social media users are engaging with their posts. With this information, they tailor their marketing to ensure sure their books are reaching the right audiences. As Taussig puts it,

“If we know who [those people ] are, we can find them and get the book in front of their eyes.”

While Facebook has been a primary way to engage readers, marketing trends are moving towards Tik Tok as well.

Is social media really necessary for authors?

Not everyone loves social media, and that’s understandable! Worrying about posting or feeling like you are engaging in an inauthentic way can be enough to make someone totally disengage with the platform. According to Taussig, it doesn’t have to be that difficult. Authors can do a few simple things to maintain a social media presence and stay connected with their readers.

“It’s useful to have a social media account, usually Twitter, and it’s good to reply to people who are nice to you about your book…Engage with people who talk to you, talk to other writers you know, talk to readers who are talking about books…Anything you can do to engage with readers and make them feel like they’re having a kind of special experience by interacting with you around the book always helps.”

Back to marketing — still not sure where to begin?

That’s okay! For self-publishing authors, there are plenty of resources out there to guide you along the way. Authors such as Joanna Penn and Mark Dawson are invested in helping other writers navigate these waters. Another great resource is Amazon Publishing. They provide a lot of information such as incorporating key words and increasing the searchability of your work. According to Taussig, those are great places to turn if you don’t know where to start!

Think about your audience.

For authors who are self-publishing, it is important to know the type of person who is buying your book. Often times our readers are completely different from who we expect them to be, so it is important to know who they are when marketing to them!

“When you are publishing, think about who the readers of your book are, and they may not necessarily be [like ] you…Think about who your actual readership might be and how they might be different from you or from what you’re led to expect. I think that can lead to who you are targeting in your marketing and who you are trying to reach.”

Use reviews to increase sales.

Like any product, we’re more likely to try it if many others have tried it and left a review. It doesn’t matter if it’s a good review or a bad review, people are more likely to buy a product when they see others have tried it first. As Taussig explains —

“It’s the same for books. If you see a book that has tons and tons of good reviews versus one that doesn’t have any reviews, you are reassured by the reviews on the page…[Get your] friends, family everybody to review your book online because that does make a huge difference especially in the very beginning.”

Notice the trends.

When asked what makes a good title. Taussig shared this great piece of advice — look at what bestselling books are doing.

“Look at the bestsellers Across the board for pitch writing, blurb writing and anything else, look at the bestsellers in the genre that you are writing in. See what they are doing. I guarantee there will be some things that they all are doing…Really deconstruct those best-selling blurbs because it will tell you what it is that people care about. Same thing for the title. Sometimes, they can be derivative, but they’re derivative is because there is something about those titles that are hooking readers to make them buy.”

If you are interested in submitting to Bookouture, check out their submission guidelines or submit your book here!

✍️ Each week London Writers’ Salon interviews a writer on the craft of writing and the art of building a writing career. Join the next one.

PS: LWS Members get free access to all past and future London Writers’ Salon interviews.

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