I remember first thinking about this topic when Steph of Cuddlebuggery Book Blog mentioned that publishers consistently asked her at BEA what they could do better. So I thought, well, here are some things that I've really enjoyed and others that I could do without, and why not see what y'all think?
1. Pre-order campaigns
I love pre-order campaigns. I understand the motivation behind them - it's easier to get a title on the NYT Bestsellers List in its first week, more pre-orders means more awareness on book selling pages, etc. etc. - and when it comes to it, the people who benefit are the hardcore fans of that series. It feels like a great way of publishers interacting with the people who are already supporting them. Sometimes it's a signed poster of the cover, sometimes it's lipstick and nail polish, but every time I see one, I pass along the news.
2. Promotional campaigns
This ties in with #1, but is slightly different. When I got a CD for This Song Will Save Your Life, I immediately listened to the tracks. And then immediately wanted to read my ARC, but it's still out on a tour. But you can bet that you've got my attention and that very title is no longer one of the review books that I'm feeling "meh" about or leaving off to the side. I love additional little things that so clearly tie into the book and can manage to make you excited without feeling overly pushy. Ads feel that way to me, even if they do charming things like quote fellow Goodreads users.
3. Publicists who reach out to you
Ksenia Winnicki is the fan favorite publicist of Macmillan Kids because she's actually a publicist who will reach out to you bloggers. She manages the blog tours and twitter accounts for its campaigns (MacKidsBooks and FierceReads, I believe)... and after participating in the Crewel and The Shadow Society blog tours, I can't tell you how much I celebrated when I got an email about the MacMillan catalogs from her. I never know when other publishers release their catalogs nor do I actually feel like I'm interacting with them. Ksenia added a personal note talking about her favorites, and that makes it all the more awesome. (Not to mention how friendly she sounded in general--and I am all about the friendliness.)
4. Epic Reads videos
Have you ever participated in an Epic Reads Tea Time or ARCParty? I participated in my first ever ARCParty maybe two weeks ago, and watching two people (energetic! and excited! and with Snarfles? I think that's the little dude's name) talk about the upcoming books for Harper and watching my own tweets alongside those of others participating was overwhelming but... so much fun. And so good about raising my awareness of their upcoming titles, some of which I would have never heard of had I not watched those videos. Of course, this also means that you can't log into twitter when they're happening without getting a barrage of tweets--but hey, maybe you should participate too :).
Things I don't like:
-When e-novellas or prequels will change your impression of the story greatly, like inside jokes within the story. I like when they add additional backstory and depth to the world, as Leigh Bardugo's Grisha novellas and Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles novellas do, but when they become integral to the actual story, it feels like another way of breaking the bank of book bloggers/lovers (because really, who else hears about these promotional items? Well, unless they compile the novellas into one book). I have read some prequels and enjoyed their incorporation into the next novel but have also been dismayed: if I hadn't read them, would I have loved that novel as much as I did?
-Book trailers. Okay, so a long time ago, I wrote a post on when book trailers do and don't work for me (and hey, someone did take my advice and post the videos to the book pages on Goodreads), but lately I've felt kind of "meh" about most of them. I understand that they're another channel to raise awareness of a book (and potentially interact with all those book reviewin' vloggers out there), but I'm not feeling them. Especially the ones that are just showing the cover unravel. They don't make me feel all that excited when sometimes they're just a rehash of things I already know about the book.
-Any sort of widget that makes sound. There are a few countdown widgets out there that have seagulls or random beach noises, and every time I hear something like that come up, I immediately exit the page. Sorry, fellow bloggers! I just can't deal with them.
What do publishers do that you do or don't like? How do you think they could improve in their interactions with bloggers?