BookMachine event Starring: Sam Missingham

Really enjoyable event from BookMachine featuring an engaging, honest and thought provoking talk from Sam Missingham, Head of Events at HarperCollins – and at a venue I hadn’t been to (@AdamStreetClub) so that was doubly exciting.

Sam gave us the lowdown on the recent virtual romance festival, an inspired idea for a publisher agnostic event organised by a publisher.  It was great to hear of the achievement of getting the idea up and running from nothing and with no budget.  It became a successful global social media 2 day event with 122 authors involved including lots of big names (as well as giving a forum for lesser known authors).

Interestingly Sam’s much loved twitter emerged as the less effective medium and Facebook allowed a much more structured format for questions and answers.  Also Google Hangout worked well for several people globally to be involved in Q&A sessions (we love Google Hangout here at Atwood Tate for our multi office meetings in London, Oxford and Plymouth!).  Saying that there were still 4599 tweets using #Romance14 with a potential reach of 17.9 million users – most impressive!

There were some interesting insights in the summing up from Sam:

  • It’s vital to have a strong email list to market to about the event and afterwards
  • WordPress struggles with too much content on and too many visitors
  • The virtual festival is a great template to roll out for other genres (although it’ll be interesting to see if some of the bigger egos in crime writing will be quite so generous with their time and sharing air space!)

Thanks Sam and best of luck with the next one…


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