Marketing Advice from Evolved Publishing

Typing AngryEvolved Publishing cares for authors, because the company was founded by authors. Today, the team discusses marketing, book sales and much more.

Let’s once again meet the management team at Evolved Publishing:

Lane Diamond – Co-Founder, Managing Publisher/Editor, Author

D.T. Conklin – Co-Founder, IT Manager, Editor, Author

Emlyn Chand – Marketing Director, Author

Eric Pinder – Executive Editor, Author

Evolved Publishing Info:

RK: Authors struggle with marketing. What advice do you have?

Answered by Emlyn Chand: First and foremost, be yourself. Be fun, engaging, and consistent both with your brand and who you are as a person. I often tell authors they aren’t selling their book, but rather themselves. Connect with readers, listen, thank them for their support, and you won’t sell just a single book—you’ll sell your whole body of work. They, in turn, will be more likely to tell others about the awesome book and author that simply must be checked out, pronto!

Other marketing techniques like blog tours and ad space are helpful in the short run, but ultimately nothing will serve you better than building a relationship with your readers. I’m actually writing a marketing guide about just this topic—to be released in late 2013 from my favorite publishing house. 🙂

RK: How does an author separate from the millions of books that really should not be published?

Answered by Lane Diamond: Quality Catalog: it’s really that simple. Each author must do this individually, as part of her personal brand-building effort, and we must do this collectively as a publisher – as a team. Marketing efforts provide short-term bumps, but they only lead to long-term success if we build that quality catalog. Quality matters first. Volume matters second.

RK: Which books seem to sell the best?

Answered by Lane Diamond: This is driven by three factors: the book itself; how far along the brand-building path the author has traveled; and how far down that path we as a publisher have traveled. These things take time. It goes back to the previous point about building a quality catalog.

RK: Which genre have you seen the most success as a publisher that is willing to consider just about fiction story?

Answered by Lane Diamond: Thus far, our biggest sellers have been in Romance and Young Adult, though we’re making some real headway in Historical and Literary. We’ve had some bumps across our entire catalog during promotional events, and every time an author releases another book, and further builds his brand, the more his sales improve. As a publisher, we’re dedicated to providing more genre options, and more author options within each genre, thus enabling us to take advantage of all cross-promotional opportunities. It’s common for readers of one of our authors to find their way to our other authors within that genre.

Thus, when we have only one author in a genre (I.e. me in Thrillers), it’s a tougher challenge than in the genres where we have multiple authors, such as YA. Still, in many cases, readers do gravitate to some of our authors in other genres. This is where the EP brand comes into play.

RK: Do you scout for talented authors? If so, what is your number one resource?

Answered by D.T. Conklin: Yes and no. I’ve got a few self-published friends on Facebook and other Social Media outlets for whom I’ve sent little notes explaining what Evolved Publishing is, and why I like their work, but we don’t scour the interwebs looking for the next great thing.

RK: What do you look for in an editor and what are their duties at EP?

Answered by Eric Pinder: We try to pair each of our authors up with the editor who’s the best fit for them: someone who’s enthusiastic about their work and who has a good feel for the author’s voice. The editor’s job is to help make the author’s unique style and creative vision as vivid as possible. This includes looking at both the “big picture” (narrative arc, consistent characterization, distinctive dialogue, smooth transitions between scenes) and the little stuff, such as typos, punctuation and minor continuity errors. Sometimes a tiny change—adding or deleting a single word—can add extra oomph to a scene. Editors spot those errors and suggest those changes, so they need a keen eye for detail.

Sometimes there’s a sentence or paragraph that’s beautifully written, but it bogs down the story and has to be moved or deleted. The editor’s job is to explain why and coax the reluctant writer into making that painful cut—to “kill their darlings.” And then to comfort and reassure them when they do.

RK: You also support artists. Why is that important and what role do the artists play at EP?

Answered by D.T. Conklin: Let’s just be honest—a book is often judged by its cover. If a prospective reader, who knows nothing at all about a book, is to believe that piece is worth reading, that it’s professional quality, then the process must start with the cover. If we fail to deliver that assurance with the cover, then we’ve probably lost them as a reader.
Thus, artists are incredibly important. They not only play the role of artist—drawing the lines, shading them in, etc—but they also often play the role of advisor. Our authors have a lot of power in the creation of their cover, as we believe they should have a book they’re proud of, but they themselves aren’t designers or artists, and so sometimes the artist needs to coax them along to make sure the image on the page is—or close to—the image in the authors head. So far, we couldn’t be happier with our covers, and I know our authors and artists are thrilled to know their opinions are respected and acted upon.

RK: How does EP attract readers?

Answered by Emlyn Chand: We attract readers in two ways. The first is simply by publishing the highest quality books we can. Great cover art draws the reader in, and fabulous attention to editing keeps her coming back for more.

The second way we attract readers is through the team dynamic I discussed earlier. Look up any of our books on Amazon and then scroll down to the “Also Bought” section. Is it any wonder that consumers who buy one of our books have often bought several others? We work together in promotional and relationship-building events, refer fans of one author to another, and listen to what the readers want. So far, it has worked beautifully.

RK: Talk about some of the books you published.

Answered by Emlyn Chand: It’s a tall order to pick just a few to highlight, especially since Evolved publishes so many different genres! I’d also like to add that many of our books are award-winners, and some of them multiply so. Let me highlight some titles in our more popular categories.

We’ve built a nice following with YA readers, because of books like Wanted: Dead or Undead by Angela Scott, The Silver Sphere by Michael Dadich, and Farsighted by yours truly.

Our romance category sizzles because of the sweet and spicy books written by Ms. Amelia James, including Tell Me You Want Me, Her Twisted Pleasures, The Devil Made Me Do It, and more.

Our literary fiction category has some of Evolved’s highest quality offerings such as Hannah’s Voice by Robb Grindstaff and Jellicle Girl by Stevie Mikayne. Both of these books made me weep—they were just so beautiful, relatable, and tragic.

Our children’s book category has just exploded as of late. We have picture books for younger readers like my Bird Brain Book series and Eric Pinder’s I’d Rather Be Riding My Bike. Books for slightly older readers include Falcon Storm’s Tales from Upon A. Time and Kimberly Kinrade’s Three Lost Kids series, and we have two new middle grade series contracted to arrive later this fall.

Of course, we also have psychological thrillers, gumshoe detective stories, epic fantasy, historical fiction, new adult, and so, so much more, with an eye to growing our catalog even further in the year to come.

Look for Part V of this interview in our next blog….

Ron Knight

Have you submitted your fiction book to the UP Authors Fiction Challenge? There are over $2,500 in prizes!

Ron Knight

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