A wonderful evening at Waterstone’s Tottenham Court Road for the Bookollective Summer Party – an eclectic mix of publishers, publicity people, authors and other book folk: great to see so many old friends and meet new ones. Someone I’ve known of but never really spoken to before was West Camel, editor at Orenda Books, who taught me more about crime fiction in an evening than I’ve learned in a lifetime so far: did you know that Sunshine Noir was a Thing? Domestic Noir too, which apparently is increasingly popular ‘because we can all imagine ourselves in that situation at home’.
One phrase he used has really stuck with me: he described the way that Orenda have managed to secure such good coverage in the traditional media as’the new normal’. Instead of reaching out directly to these traditional gatekeepers, asking for reviews or pitching press releases, the Orenda marketing machine builds traction first through word of mouth, with loyal fans and particularly with book bloggers. Once there’s a buzz, suddenly the traditional media takes notice.
It’s hard work, it never ends, it’s based on long-term relationships and treating fans as partners. It’s the new normal.