Committed as a Teaching Press: Press Releases, Publicity Campaigns, & Marketing Budgets

The University Press of North Georgia is proud to be a teaching press and is committed to providing NGCSU college students with real-life instructions and internship experience in a variety of different arenas of publishing.  One of the ways this is accomplished is through the “Intro to Publishing” class offered by the English Department and taught by Dr. Bonnie Robinson, UPNG Director.

This week, two students share their experiences with Press Releases, Publicity Campaigns, and Marketing Budgets, all necessary components of a successful publishing house.

Kaitlin Sain Peterson shares the following:

This week in our Introduction to Publishing, we submitted the press releases we have been working on since last Thursday. The goal of a press release is to expose the book to different media outlets in such a way that the media will want to promote the book to the public. Therefore, the press release must be interesting and engaging. A press release includes quotations from the author’s book, quotations from other publications raving about the book, and a synopsis of the book itself. The press release also lists details about the book, such as whether it will be hardback or paperback, how much it will cost, and the release date. In addition, during Tuesday’s class, we discussed Publicity Campaigns, in which we talked about how to spend money to promote the book (advertising, promotion materials, etc.). In class, we also had the opportunity to learn about three different genres of publishing, including magazine publishing, children’s book publishing, and scholarly journal publishing, via student presentations.

Thursday will be our last class meeting. On Thursday, we will submit a research essay on one of the following topics: library trends, self-publishing, open access, trends in a specific genre, graphic novel publishing, or aspects of publishing in a country other than the United States. In addition, we will discuss how to search for jobs. Last, a student will present her research on the National Center for the Book.

This week, we have learned valuable information about a variety of topics related to publishing. From learning how to write a successful press release, we have discovered one of the first steps to making a book successful, which is a vital skill for people who want to work in the publishing industry. Knowing about Publicity Campaigns will also be particularly useful in a job setting because we will already be familiar with how to promote the book to make it sell. Overall, possessing all this knowledge out of college will undoubtedly help us find a job in the publishing industry. In addition, it will help us once inside the publishing industry because we will already be familiar with so many of the tools of the trade.

Jillian Shrum continues:

Our focus for this last official week of school is on the process of
creating a budget for marketing. Our assignment is to compose a fairly detailed marketing budget for the manuscript we have been working with all semester. We’ve been given a hypothetical budget of $50,000, and with that money we must try to create a smart and efficient marketing campaign. Everything from books reviews by famous journals to postcards and t-shirts must be considered, and we have to focus on who our target audience is and then decide exactly which methods would reach them best.

Understanding how to plan a marketing strategy that both reaches our audience and stays within our budget will be useful for our future careers within the publishing industry. It’s important to have money management abilities and to use money in an efficient and ultimately profitable way. Also learning small details, such as the prices for booklets or shelftalkers, can aid us when we are faced with these decisions in the future. Overall, this assignment provides us with perspective on how budgets are created, all while providing us with skills we can utilize in the future.