Friday, May 30, 2008

On the eve of BEA

It's 7:32 AM on day one and I'm gearing up for the madness of BEA--appointments, old friends, free books, sore feet, parties, $10 sandwiches and other trade show accessories.

Yesterday, after our flight landed on time(!), I headed over to the convention center to attend a panel discussion I had been looking forward to. Titled "Strategies for New Publicity Opportunities in an Expanding Media Universe," this discussion featured a panel that included John Pitts (VP & Marketing Dir., Doubleday), Ron Hogan (Founder, Beatrice & lead writer, GalleyCat), Matt Baldacci (Dir. of Marketing, St. Martin's Press), Ami Greko (Marketing Director, Folio Literary Management) and Cindy Dach (General Manager, Changing Hands Bookstore).

It was a lively panel, with Pitts discussing his house's marketing efforts for Chuck Palahniuk's new release, Snuff. Not only did Doubleday start a MySpace page for the porn star protagonist, but they actually created trailers for three of her supposed movies. We were treated to one of them to open the panel. Brilliant idea for reaching the target market for the book (135K views on YouTube in the first week) but I'm not sure the footage itself was right for everyone in attendance. I mean, it was a trailer for a fake porn movie after all.

It was also interesting to hear from Ami Greko, who heads up Folio's internal marketing department. I am seeing this more and more from literary agencies--bringing PR and marketing folks in-house to assist publishers, publicists and authors in the promotion of all of their books. I think it's very smart.

Finally, Ron Hogan had some insightful thoughts on what book trailers should and shouldn't do. I thought his best line was "trailers shouldn't tell me about a story--they should tell me a story." That is what we have been shooting to do with the trailers we have just produced--and I hope we've accomplished it.

Ok, off to the convention center for what should be a very interesting day. More soon.

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