Authors Brandon Christopher and Aida Zilelian | New Publisher Launch
What We Did:
Public & Media Relations, Marketing Strategy, Digital & Print Advertising, Brand Architecture, Social Media & Marketing, Photography & Videography, Reviewer & Testimonial Outreach, National & Regional Book Tours, Website Development, Special Event Planning & Promotions, Reputation Building, Integrated Marketing, Digital Media, Graphic Design
Bleeding Heart Publications – a new publishing house based in Thailand and run by a small, dedicated group of British and American ex-patriots – turned to The Busby Group to plan and execute a comprehensive national launch of their new literary press in 2014, then to follow that with national PR campaigns for their first two authors/titles in 2015. One of the most challenging aspects of this branding process was getting the messaging and positioning right for a new publisher that viewed the U.S.-based publishing industry as ripe for “disruption” and wanted to “rock the boat” with a full-page ad in the New York Times Book Review aggressively seeking new literary “voices” and calling for an open submissions policy for fiction and creative non-fiction.
“Scott Busby and his team of professionals at The Busby Group have been invaluable to me. They have supported me – a first-time author – personally and professionally in every way during a very exciting and challenging time in my writing career. Their sense of foresight, attention to detail and overall approach to marketing and publicity has been the driving force behind the success of my novel.”
Equally challenging was designing the PR campaigns that followed to promote BHP’s first two writers – whose books, backgrounds and personalities could not have been more different. The Job Pirate by Brandon Christopher, set mostly in Los Angeles, is a funny, irreverent, first-person account of the author’s rebellious journey through the American job market and some of the 82 “crappy” jobs he has held over 20 years. Aida Zilelian’s powerful debut novel, The Legacy of Lost Things, traces three generations of a family of Armenian immigrants living in Queens, New York, as they struggle with one another, community expectations, and a history of violence and betrayal.
BHP directors wanted everything for their first two authors – reviews and media coverage, social media and marketing campaigns, print and digital advertising, book tours and promotions – and that is what we delivered.
For BHP, The Busby Group created a series of press releases and a media kit that defined and captured the “brand promise” of the new publishing house, differentiating it from its competitors. All of this essential messaging was reiterated on a grand scale in the full-page New York Times Book Review print ad. We blanketed the national publishing and arts & entertainment media with the launch announcement, saturated social media with BHP news and ran digital ads on top industry platforms and on Google to reach prospective writers and agents. The Busby Group also arranged meetings for the BHP directors with established book-to-film and book-to-publisher agents in Los Angeles and New York City. In addition, we orchestrated two launch parties – one in LA and one in NYC – for each of BHP’s new authors.
For the authors – working many months ahead of their publications dates – we distributed advanced copies of their books to hundreds of print, broadcast and online reviewers and sent out press announcements and customized pitches to all relevant media. The Busby Group produced professional videos of the authors in Los Angeles and New York, and created numerous short teasers for our social media/marketing campaign. We also developed author websites and significantly built up each author’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram followers with frequent postings, boosts and page promotions.
Critical to branding and book sales, we also organized and executed multi-city book tours for both authors. For Brandon and The Job Pirate, we scheduled “read & signs” and literary events (with other writers and musicians) at major independent bookstores and famous literary venues in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Seattle and Portland. We dubbed it The Job Pirate’s “Work Is Hell” Summer Book Tour. We also booked media interviews in several tour cities to promote the events and book.
For Aida and The Legacy of Lost Things, we took advantage of Aida’s Armenian heritage and her vast, extended family in the New York area and in Glendale, CA, which is home to one of the largest Armenian populations outside of Armenia. We earned solid general media coverage for her and particularly engaged the Armenian print and broadcast media nationwide. We set up numerous “read & signs” at Barnes & Nobles in Queens, Manhattan and Los Angeles, then coordinated an East Coast Summer Tour for Aida, securing numerous author events in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Philadelphia, New York City and Washington DC.
The Busby Group supported the book tours with substantial print and digital advertising campaigns in the New York Times, Village Voice, NewsDay, Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly, San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Tribune and Kirkus Reviews.
“I cannot speak highly enough of The Busby Group. As a new author, I was unknown in the literary world, but Scott Busby and his creative team changed that in a hurry. They wrote superb press releases and produced some amazing videos, got my book reviewed by more than a dozen quality reviewers, super-charged my social media presence, set up key TV and radio appearances, arranged interviews for me with top-tier publications and newspapers, and put together an awesome and successful six-city West Coast Book Tour. These guys are your secret weapon in the literary world of today.”
The total impact of The Busby Group’s PR, advertising and marketing campaigns for Bleeding Heart Publications and its first two authors exceeded 34 million impressions over a 10-month period. This encompasses dozens of print and digital ads in major dailies and weeklies (and other online platforms) primarily in two of the largest media markets in the world; readership, listenership and viewership of more than 20 articles, interviews and reviews across all media nationwide; plus hundreds of social media posts, boosts, promotions and You Tube views.
Critical to the launch of the new publishing house, we secured key interviews for BHP directors with Publisher’s Weekly, Publishing Perspectives and Poets & Writers, three of the most influential trades in the publishing world. Our outreach targeting “undiscovered” and previously published writers looking for new and better options extended into social media and marketing, including digital ads in Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus Reviews as well as Google ads. Those efforts, combined with introducing BHP directors to New York and Los Angeles literary agents, generated a steady flow of new manuscripts and material to BHP.
For the authors, quality reviews and articles in everything from the Huffington Post to LA Weekly to MidWest Book Review to California Bookwatch to multiple radio shows and local network TV affiliates, ensured The Job Pirate and The Legacy of the Lost Things a place on many bookshelves around the country. It also was satisfying to know that our efforts helped launch two promising literary careers.