Big news today! We finally received confirmation from the Canada Book Fund that I will, in fact, continue my paid internship until March 31, 2011. I have a big two-four of Heineken in my trunk as a special thank-you to the Inksters for agreeing to put up with me with another year. This is especially exciting for me considering this is a grant on top of the OMDC grant we found out about last week, which allows me to work on PQL’s digital marketing.
Speaking of digital marketing, I just revamped PQL’s fabulous Facebook fanpage — so fabulous it deserves alliteration, obviously — and you can check it out, subscribe to it or just plain ‘like’ it by clicking here. Feel free to post your own comments, ideas, wants, needs, hatreds, etc. I’ll do my best to respond to all of it in good time and good cheer! (That last part depends entirely on whether I’ve inserted my coffee IV in the morning.)
I’m already starting to plan out the upcoming year so that I’ll be ready when my grant-supported internship begins on September 1. The tasks outlined for the Canada Book Fund application are, for the most part, straight-forward and familiar (writing tip sheets and catalogue copy; preparing bibliographic information for the LPG sales conference; etc.) — but the OMDC’s digital marketing objectives are a little trickier, and to be honest, CBF won’t be a piece of cake either. For one thing, I need to up my blog viewing rate to 100 unique visitors per month! For the OMDC, I need to figure out how to add a comments feature to this blog; create reading and recommendation lists to draw more attention to our (fabulous [PQL word of the day, apparently]) backlist; organize author interviews and other bonus features to draw more readers to our site; and optimize our search feature for searches by topic/genre. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot of big projects here, and keep in mind that I’ll also be working on these while living in France and teaching at a local high school.
Of course, there’s no need to worry. I wouldn’t be me if I weren’t frantically scribbling a to-do list, so this is all pretty typical for my lifestyle.
This to-do list brings me to my topic of the week: social media. It’s a buzzword, and I hate buzzwords (although I do love adjectives, as evidenced by this post). However, being right in the middle of this generation of young digital addicts, I can truly say that social media is one of the best ways to learn, to reach customers, and yes, even to achieve the challenging results demanded by these grants.
That Facebook page? It’s a great way to connect with fans and tell them about exciting news and events — and also to hear about their exciting news, events, and most importantly their feedback on how I’m doing. Facebook is also how I’ll primarily keep in touch with my publishing colleagues that I met through Simon Fraser University — some of whom have experience in digital marketing and publicity and whose brains I will, hopefully, be able to pick.
Twitter is an even better way for a budding young publisher (possibly like you?) to learn about the industry and to pick up tips for her own job. Although PQL as a company doesn’t have a Twitter account (Twitter tends to suck up massive amounts of time if you let it …), my own bio on Twitter is ‘Spunky intern at the Porcupine’s Quill’ and I often tweet about PQL books, blogs, events, and daily goings-on at the shop. (If you want to find me, my handle is @caleighminshall). I use Twitter to learn about jobs and career paths I might want to pursue someday and to connect with people in the publishing industry I’d never meet otherwise. It’s a great way to pick up ideas on how to reach out to folks online and I’d say it’s a must-have for anyone thinking of entering the book world (although, future PQL interns, by the time you read this, Twitter will probably be ubiquitous and my raving will seem unnecessary!)
If you’d like to share your own digital marketing and branding strategies, or talk about grants and publishing and life, as always you are welcome to email me. And at some point next year, before March 31, I hope to be able to say: ‘You are welcome to comment!’
P.S. I just had to share this hilarious pic: The 2010 Map of Social Networking. Enjoy!