Debut author organises own £200k marketing campaign

Debut author organises own £200k marketing campaign

A debut author has arranged a marketing and publicity campaign she estimates is worth £200,000 to support the release of her book, and which her agent said “must be unique for a first-time author”.

Janet Kelly’s Dear Beneficiary, about an older woman who has a relationship with a Nigerian man and then gets scammed by an email she thinks has come from him, was released yesterday (19th March) by independent publisher Cutting Edge Press.

Kelly, who has spent 30 years working in the media industry, leveraged her contacts using a combination of bartering and partnerships to arrange full-page adverts in regional magazines and newspapers, competitions in Take a Break, the Daily Express and the Daily Star among others, and posters outside supermarkets.

“I knew I could help [with marketing],” Kelly told The Bookseller. “Reading about how publishers haven’t got budgets, I thought I was in a strong position for marketing. I always knew I had an edge.”

Kelly estimates she has spent much of her working time in the last three months arranging promotion for her book, but said: “I wouldn’t want to be doing this for every book if I progressed my career, I just want to write.”

David Headley of DHH Literary Agency said: “The extensive marketing activity will hopefully help sales and will put the title in front of millions of people in a short space of time. This must be unique for a first time author.”

Paul Swallow, publisher at Cutting Edge Press, said: “I loved Dear Beneficiary when I first read it and wanted to take Janet on as an author. I had no idea she was also capable of supporting the marketing to this extent, so we are thrilled to have her on board and believe this level of publicity will create just the buzz the book deserves. It stands well on its own but this support is bound to propel it forward and into the bestseller lists.”