Peirene is a high maintenance young lady, she is ambitious and intelligent too. And she has understood one vital ingredient of aiming for success. Promotion.
I recently went to an evening of women writers and publishers. The topic of discussion was Self-Promotion. I was delighted to be invited and thought the topic interesting. Peirene on the other hand was unhappy from the start. “Why do we sit here and talk about Self-Promotion?” she hissed into my ear. “Men would never talk about Self-Promotion. They would talk about promotion, constructive promotion of a concrete commodity.” I told her to be quiet and sit still.
A few days later, however, she came to me with a great beam of a smile all over her face. “I’ve found us a Marketing Director,” she announced. “You’ve done what?” She responded with some well targeted comments: “Well, you have to admit, you haven’t really succeeded in expanding the 24 hour day to a 30 hour day, have you?” I shook my head. “So, I guess there is a limit to what you alone can achieve for me?” I nodded. The nymph knew by then that she had me around her little finger. “Why don’t you meet Maddy Pickard for a coffee, “ she cooed. “She worked for the Arts Council and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.”
And so it came that Peirene acquired her first ever Marketing Director. My nymph is over the moon. Maddy has already ensured that we are totally up-to-date with the relevant prize entries and is currently introducing us to all the lit festivals. I am thrilled too because for two days a week I have now someone with whom I can discuss publishing strategy. And jointly we are taking the twitter world by storm.
Ok, perhaps not by storm. But definitely in a steady lady-like pace. Which can’t be said of another publisher, Quercus, who decided to appear on the twitter scene the same day Maddy and I made a bit to step up our presence. Quercus shot passed us like a comet, acquiring over 600 followers within a couple of hours. It took me a day to understand who was behind it – Mark Thwaite from ReadySteadyBook. He has just taken on the position of Digital Manager.
I am trying to hide this insider information from my nymph though. In case she gets wild ideas of wooing Mark away from Quercus to join Maddy and myself. I hate to tell her that we really would need to sell first a few more books in order to afford him. But, having said that, now with Maddy on board and a no-nonsense plan of promotion in place, Quercus should watch out.