Ellen Wright, Senior Publicist for Orbit Books
Our guest this episode is Ellen Wright. She is the senior publicist at Orbit Books, which is the science fiction and fantasy imprint of Hachette Book Group.
The US branch of Orbit Books was launched in 2007. They publish action-packed urban fantasy, widescreen space opera, sweeping epic adventures, and near-future thrillers. Orbit’s authors include Joe Abercrombie, James S.A. Corey, Karen Miller, Lilith Saintcrow and Brent Weeks. They publish approximately 60 titles each year from both established and debut authors.
Ellen has been at Orbit Books for about five years, but she’s been in the publishing industry for over a decade, working on both nonfiction and fiction. As a passionate genre fiction fan working at Orbit, her job is spread the word about exciting new sci-fi and fantasy releases and their authors. In our conversation, we explore exactly what that entails, from office communication to social media connections, fan outreach at conventions to building personal relationships with both authors and notable reviewers.
Ellen’s current non-work preoccupation is the first Brooklyn Bookstore Crawl, which she’s organizing in her New York City borough.
If you’re interested in getting into the world of publishing, you’ll definitely benefit from what Ellen has to share. But authors and other creators should take note, too, because her methods for marketing and publicizing Orbit’s books may be very useful for you as well.
Follow Ellen Wright & Orbit Books
- Follow Ellen on Twitter: @ellenbwright
- Visit the Orbit Books website
- Follow Orbit on Twitter: @orbitbooks
- Like Orbit on Facebook
Quotes & Takeaways
- You can build a relationship with someone entirely over the internet but it makes a huge difference to sit down next to them and say, “we’ve been working together all this time, here’s what I actually look like, here’s how I speak.”
- One of the frustrating things about both publicity and publishing generally is we don’t get a lot of really good data on where people are finding books and buying books. So we know consumer reviews are really important and people look at them but we can’t say “10 positive reviews of a book make someone this much more likely to buy”. And that’s really difficult because it makes it hard to target our efforts.
- I can’t put a number on what kind of effects that (consumer review site promotions) have, but definitely books that have a lot of consumer reviews sell better, whether it’s the cause or the result.
- For readers who want to help an author one of the most valuable things you can do is leave a positive review of one of their books on (a consumer review site, like GoodReads or Amazon).
- People don’t always consider, when they’re thinking about going into a career working with something that they really love, that they might stop loving it once it becomes work.