In preparation for her keynote appearance at the Dublin Book Festival’s Trade Day, Niamh Murray offers some information regarding marketing strategy and branding. Stay tuned for more insights leading up to Trade Day!
Serpent’s Tail prides itself on publishing “risk-taking” literature. What are some of the challenges involved in marketing literature of this type?
Publishing fiction generally is a high-risk game, as fewer books break even, financially, than is the case with non-fiction. Once in every few years you might get lucky and publish one novel that sells enough to support your activity around those that don’t. Our list is known for being edgy and slightly left of centre and we’ve taken that and run with it – embracing the unconventional and the difficult themes in the novels – readers are smarter than we give them credit for. Meeting the unconventional head-on allows us to go out bold and unapologetic with books like I Love Dick, I Hate the Internet or, going back a decade, We Need to Talk About Kevin, and instead of apologising for the fact that our novels can be hard-hitting, we turn that into an asset where appropriate and make it part of the marketing campaign. I’ll elaborate on this a bit more at the Trade Day.