News room: 5 Questions for Ben Cameron - Publicity and Marketing

5 Questions for Ben Cameron - Publicity and Marketing by Jessica Barrah

At CompletelyNovel our authors are in charge of all aspects of their publishing journey. However, that doesn’t mean to say that you need to go it alone. You might want professionals to help make your book as successful as it can be – from editing to cover design and publicity. We chat to Ben Cameron to find out about the services for authors his publicity and marketing company can offer.

1) How many books can an author expect to sell if they run a media publicity campaign with you?

That is the question that I am asked most and the one that is impossible to answer! I will always be open and say that there is no clear answer. It depends on a lot of things, not just what happens in the course of the campaign but also how people respond to the cover, how many people recommend it to others and how easily readers can buy the book among others.

While it is the one question that I cannot answer I am always pleased when an author asks it. It means that they are thinking about their book as a business. It is only natural to compare income to expenditure to figure out if an activity is worthwhile and for many marketing activities you can do just that. If you run a price promotion or use an email marketing list, for example, you can easily compare the results to the actions. But media publicity isn’t directly about sales – it is about the opportunity to achieve sales and other opportunities.

2) What have other authors you have worked with gone on to achieve besides sales?

A few examples: We have worked with authors who have been asked back onto BBC Breakfast repeatedly as an expert commentator, acquired an agent or a publisher because a publicity campaign has proven that their writing is commercial and have obtained a monthly radio slot on a local BBC radio station because their interview was so good. Also authors are occasionally paid by media outlets for articles that we have sold on their behalf and some have made more back from this than alone than the cost of their campaign. All of these activities build recognition for authors and books and lead ultimately to sales at some point – usually at a much greater level than can be achieved otherwise.

3) How can an author tell if a media campaign is something for them?

Media doesn’t work for every book and every author, so an author needs to make sure that they have something that is really of interest before they leap. Authors should talk it through with a publisher or publicist but make their own decision. Ultimately the more an author is able to step back and honestly asses what makes their book interesting and to whom, the better they will do.

4) What can authors do alongside their media campaign?

Media is just one tool that an author has to promote their book so they should also consider other marketing and promotional opportunities including paid advertising on Facebook and other social media, a website is a must, mailing lists, price promotions, launches and evets etc.

5) What’s your key bit of marketing advice for authors self-publishing in print?

Don’t be stingy sending out books to reviewers. The cost is very little compared to the possible reward and a book landing on an editor’s desk with a thump is much more difficult to ignore than an email.

Ben Cameron is the Founder and Managing Director of Cameron Publicity and Marketing, dedicated promoters of authors and books. Ben has over 20 years of experience in book publishing, promotion and sales with both traditional publishers and self-published authors. In 2006 he created Cameron Publicity and Marketing to offer the same marketing services that large publishers benefit from to everyone.

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Written by
Jessica Barrah
Published on
Books, Publishing, Self-publishing, Marketing, Publicity, and Authors