Back in August, the Ballast Books team welcomed Lindsey Dunn as our new marketing and PR manager. Lindsey brings to the team a successful track record of marketing authors and their books and jumped at the opportunity to add her personal touch to our marketing strategy. Joining us from Georgetown, Texas, where she shares her home with husband, Niels, and two dogs, Boo and Kona, Lindsey sheds some light on her side of the publishing world.
You have several years of marketing experience outside of the publishing world. When did you decide you wanted to combine your love of books with your marketing career?
It was honestly a bit of a happy accident. I had been in the beauty and skin care industry for such a long time. Then, the 2020 pandemic hit, and like so many others out there, I was laid off from my job. At the time, I was devastated, but it turned out to be a good thing for me because I was able to take my career in a different direction (into the publishing industry) that still aligned with my interests but would challenge me in new and exciting ways.
What makes marketing authors and their books unique?
My answer is twofold:
Books are wildly different from any other product I’ve marketed before. Most marketers need to find creative ways to inject emotion into advertising their product. However, books are inherently more emotional, so I have to think about it from the other end.
I also think that authors play a huge role in what makes marketing them and their book so unique. I’ve worked with dozens of authors, and I can truly say that no two authors’ books have been the same. Every author brings unique experiences and viewpoints to the table, and that makes every project so fun and exciting!
As one of Ballast’s newest team members, what is something our authors should know about why you’re here?
Anyone you meet in the publishing industry (especially in the hybrid publishing world) is here because they want to be. They care about authors and seeing them succeed in an industry that has historically been inaccessible to a lot of talented writers. I’m extremely lucky to be in this industry and to be a part of such a talented, well-rounded team!
We know you have a wealth of information to share with authors on marketing and promoting their books, but if you had to give a first-time author one piece of advice, what would it be?
Always, always, always tell people you’re an author! So many authors get shy about talking about their book. My advice is to “wear it out.” I want you to talk about your book so much that you get sick of it!
**Who are your favorite authors to work with? **
My favorite authors to work with are the ones who have a clear vision of what activities they want to be doing as a published author. When it comes to marketing, we can do all the things, but I want to focus on the promotional opportunities that will mean the most to you and do the most for you.
After about a month on the team, if you weren’t wearing the marketing and PR hat, what is another area of book publishing you could see yourself working in?
Hmm, probably a production role because I love project management and being of service to people. Or a copy editor because catching and correcting mistakes is so satisfying!
You talk about books all day long. When the workday is over, what do you enjoy reading? Or is there another way you prefer to disconnect?
I really enjoy sci-fi and fantasy novels/series, fiction novels, and self-improvement/psychology books. I also love a good audiobook, so I’ll usually listen in the evenings when I’m cooking/baking or working on a puzzle. After a long day, when my brain has really had enough, I binge the newest drama or comedy on Netflix.
It’s officially fall! What does a perfect fall weekend look like to you?
I’d start the day with a visit to a local coffee shop to grab a latte (with seasonal flavors only, of course). Then, some kind of outdoor activity like a hike or a scenic drive to see some changing leaves. After that, a late lunch/early dinner near a big library or bookstore, which we’d visit after eating. Finally, I’d end the day with a bonfire and some s’mores. And ideally the weather would be cold enough that I could wear sweaters all day. (All of this is unlikely to happen in Texas, but a girl can dream.)