— SKILLS EMPLOYED —
Creative Direction ・ Content Strategy ・ Copywriting ・ On-Camera & Voice Talent
Blurb pioneered the self-publishing revolution. We democratized the process so anyone could create and print their own high-quality printed books, whether they wanted 1,000 copies or only one.
After years establishing ourselves as a premier source for photo and art books, in 2014 Blurb made a major push into “trade” books for authors—novels, memoirs, and nonfiction. We launched lower-cost formats optimized for text, rolled out a network of professional service vendors to help authors polish their work, and introduced new ways to sell those books on Amazon or through major distributors.
Our big news called for a bold new campaign. As an aspiring author myself, I had the inspiration that we should meet our new audience where half a million of them were already gathering.
We partnered with the beloved nonprofit initiative National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) to launch the Coffee & Quill Society, a content program designed to help writers complete NaNoWriMo’s annual challenge of writing a novel in just 30 days.
Coffee & Quill provided friendly support through online guides, video, podcasts, and swag. And we put our product where our mouth was. Those who successfully completed the challenge could get a free copy of their finished book, created with Blurb’s design & layout software.
I gave the campaign a face and voice, writing most of the copy myself. I also conducted live webinars with NaNoWriMo’s leaders, and produced a series of podcasts covering all stages of the publishing process.
I also teamed up with cartoonist Tyler Page to create a series of comic strips for social media. Tyler’s comics followed the emotional roller-coaster of NaNoWriMo, from initial exhilaration to the inevitable crash into writer’s block, and finally powering through to achieve a “bucket list” goal.
The campaign received tremendous press coverage, spreading the word of our new product offerings and gaining the attention of a previously untapped author market.
Forrest Bryant, John Parsons
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