WBOOK book publicity arm announced by Watterson Marketing Communications

WBOOK has launched as the new book publicity arm of established firm Watterson Marketing Communications, based in North Sydney. They will be providing book publicity services to authors and publishers in Australia. WBOOK is being headed by internationally published Sydney  author Jonathan Englert, originally from New York, who has experience writing novels, non-fiction books, screenplays and articles for major news outlets such as the New York Times.

The following details have been released by WBOOK:

Watterson launches WBOOK to promote books and authors

Focussed book communications arm to drive book sales, revitalise backlists and support rights sales

Watterson Marketing Communications, the North Sydney‐based communications consultancy, is launching a book publicity arm focussed exclusively on providing Australian authors and publishers with a powerful book communications engine capable of delivering targeted campaigns, revitalising backlists and supporting global profile and rights sales.

WBOOK is being guided by Jonathan Englert, a senior consultant at Watterson and an internationally‐published author recently arrived from New York. Englert said WBOOK represents the marriage of his many years as an author with frontline knowledge of book publicity in the United States and internationally, with Watterson’s seasoned team of communication strategists and the consultancy’s extensive media and industry contacts.

“Books live or die by word of mouth,” Englert said. “The biggest hurdle for any author is sparking a critical mass of conversations that will drive this word of mouth. What’s important is having communicators and strategists who can discover what is essential about a book, what makes it stand out and then get this message out to every single avenue possible.”

Englert said WBOOK will work with individual authors who seek to gain visibility for their books as well as publishers who might require communications support either on a project‐by‐project basis or to tap WBOOK as their outsourced publicity department.

“Book publicity can make or break a book and all too often it’s simply not done that well. WBOOK is a great concept. WBOOK clients receive customised guidance for their current books and their career arcs – the writer and what he or she needs is always at the centre of the Watterson equation,” said Michael White, an Australian‐based author of 34 books whose latest novel will be published by Random House UK in June 2012.

Englert said the Australian book market, while one of the most vibrant in the world, did not offer the kind of single‐minded, purpose‐driven publicity engine that WBOOK will provide.

“What sets Watterson apart is our personal approach to each author and the program we develop to ensure the author’s work stands out in an increasingly complex and crowded book marketplace,” said Hannah Watterson, Watterson’s principal. “We bring the same level of strategic thinking and planning to launching a book or invigorating an author’s career as we do to our most demanding corporate clients –and on top of it all, at Watterson we simply love books.”

Watterson said communications is critical for authors given the sheer volume of books published each year. She said the latest figures equate to an average of 22 new books being published every day in Australia (i). Coupled with the epochal shifts in book reading and selling habits, including the rise of the e‐book and the globalisation of audiences, Watterson said any book communications campaign must remain “fleet‐footed, adaptable and able to seize media opportunities”.

“One of the things that WBOOK will offer Australian authors is a sophisticated answer to the opportunity presented by what is basically the dissolving of our national cultural borders,” Watterson said. “Even though a book might be published in Australia that book, in terms of the future sale of TV, movie and translation rights, here and abroad, has a potential value that a strategic communications campaign can help to unlock.”

Englert said WBOOK also intends to work with international agencies and authors to represent foreign titles in Australia, as well as supporting author tours and visits to Australia.

A wide‐range of authors could benefit from the right book communications campaign, Englert said, especially: authors who are busy with other activities (e.g., business owners, politicians, athletes, and celebrities) but want their books to achieve maximum coverage and tap their full potential; authors who want to be actively involved in the book publicity process but need critical guidance; and, finally, authors who want someone to manage the process for them while they focus on their writing work.

Englert, who also teaches writing in Australia, said WBOOK has inside knowledge when it comes to the writing life and the author’s sensibilities. He said WBOOK aims to overcome some of the resistance many authors seem to have about actively publicising their work by underscoring its importance to them and how it can fit into their life and work.

“Serious writers and artists have always been concerned with communicating to their public and getting the word out about their books. Ezra Pound, the poet, knew exactly how to use the media to support the careers of Eliot and Joyce, writers he championed. Another vivid example: Salvador Dali flying over 1930s Manhattan in a biplane throwing leaflets down to the streets below announcing one of his art openings. That’s not passive communication… and the ‘stunt’ was both artistic and effective –after all, it wasn’t the flyers that mattered but all the press Dali got for barnstorming Manhattan.”

Key Facts

 The equivalent of more than 22 new books are published every day, seven days a week in Australia

 WBOOK will work with individual authors to use communication campaigns to support their books, help launch or revitalise their writing careers

 WBOOK will work with Australian publishers either on a project‐by‐project basis or as an outsourced communications department

 WBOOK represents the marriage of Jonathan Englert’s many years as an author with frontline knowledge of book publicity in the United States and internationally, with Watterson’s seasoned team of communication strategists

 WBOOK will work with international agencies, publishers and authors to represent foreign titles in Australia

 WBOOK will work with international agencies, publishers and authors to support author visits to Australia

About Watterson

Watterson Marketing Communications develops effective communication programs that enable clients to raise the profile of their companies, products, and services among target markets.

With proven expertise in business and consumer industries, Watterson is able to devise multifaceted public relations campaigns that are complemented by a range of marketing, advertising, event and web‐based initiatives.

Watterson’s clients include consumer and business organisations such as TravelSIM, BIS Shrapnel, GE Capital, Motorola Solutions and Riverbed Technology. For more information, visit www.watterson.com.au

Media Contacts:

Hannah Watterson
Watterson Marketing Communications
Tel 02 9929 7533 or Mobile 0419 531 332

Jonathan Englert
Watterson Marketing Communications
(02) 9929 7533

(i) Australian Bureau of Statistics ‐ “1363.0 – Book Publishers, Australia 2003‐4”

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