Today we’d like to introduce you to Allison Pottern Hoch.
Allison, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I have a background in writing and marketing, as well as a perpetual love of books. Out of college, I worked at a university press in their publicity and promotions departments. I learned a ton about the publishing process but had little opportunity to work with authors directly.
That all changed when I went to work at an independent bookstore as an event coordinator. I met so many incredible writers and learned so much about how marketing on the publisher’s side translates to the sales side at a bookstore. But many authors — mostly new authors —had questions: How does one get people to come to events? How do books get on the shelves? How can a writer prepare for their book launch? I realized when I left the store to pursue my own writing that I also had all of this marketing knowledge that I could share with writers at any stage of the publishing process. So I began doing marketing coaching, both through one-on-one sessions and group workshops.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Not always. I’ve had workshops that didn’t fill, clients that ghosted me. Marketing can seem both daunting and frivolous, but it doesn’t have to be. I try to build confidence and be really targeted in the guidance I give my clients so that they have actionable steps they can take right now to start building an audience for their work.
Author Event Coaching with Allison Pottern Hoch – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My specialty is helping published (or soon-to-be-published) authors plan events and marketing strategies for their books. I’ve worked with a lot of children’s and young adult authors, just due to word of mouth, but I’ve also worked with authors of books for adults, non-fiction authors, self-published authors, even illustrators.
But I also firmly believe that marketing should start even before a writer has a book contract, that in fact it can *help* you get a book contract. So I also work with writers who are “pre-published,” teaching them the language of marketing and how they can begin engaging with their prospective audiences online and in their community.
In my one-on-one sessions and my workshops, I help writers examine their own work from a marketing stand-point. What are their marketing goals? Who are their target audiences? How can they reach those markets? How can they incorporate marketing into their busy schedule? We build actionable event and marketing plans together so my clients walk away with something they can work on immediately or use as a guide going forward.
There aren’t many folks doing precisely what I do, with the insider knowledge of publishers and bookstores. I’m not a replacement for a publicity department or an author’s own marketing efforts. I’m here to empower writers and give them the tools, information, and strategies so they can embark on their own marketing success.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
My favorite moments are attending my clients’ book events. It’s so rewarding to see the ideas we discussed and all their learning and planning coming to fruition. Especially when it’s a packed house.
- Website: http://events.pottern.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Twitter: @apottern
Collage photo courtesy of Annie Cardi