Thea James

Thea James - Marketer

New York, NY, USA

Hugo Award-nominated creator & digital marketing professional with 10+ years of experience. Sci-Fi/Fantasy, YA & MG, Lifestyle

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Overview

Reviews (2)
I am a digital publishing and marketing professional with over ten years of experience connecting books with readers.

I am the co-creator and co-editor of the award-winning speculative fiction and young adult book review blog, The Book Smugglers. Since creating the site in 2008, I have grown the business from a small blogspot hobby site to a Hugo Award-nominated destination for all things SFF. Beyond my work as a Book Smuggler, I am also a regular weekly columnist for Kirkus’s Science Fiction & Fantasy blog, a contributor to Tor, and have been published by io9.

In addition to my passion for all things SFF, I also am a professional in the book publishing business. In my years at Rodale and Workman Publishing, I worked on all facets of digital content creation, strategy, and marketing for practical nonfiction genres (including health and wellness, cooking, crafting and DIY, travel, and kids nonfiction) to raise awareness of our key authors and brands (including Brain Quest, 1000 Places to See Before You Die, and Barbecue Bible). I collaborated with authors to build up their social media accounts, implement SEO-friendly metadata to enhance discoverability, ran preorder campaigns, crafted email newsletters, and targeted audiences and platforms for digital advertusing.

Currently, I work at Penguin Random House, with a focus on metadata and digital product distribution.

I am eager to help you and your book find your audience with the creation of a custom marketing strategy.
Services
Metadata & Blurb Optimization
Fiction
Children's - Middle Grade
Dystopian
Fantasy
Horror
Science Fiction
Young Adult & Teen
Non-Fiction
Cooking & Food Wine & Spirits
Health & wellbeing
Works with
ExpressionEngine
Shopify
Squarespace
WordPress

Certifications

  • NYU M.S. in Digital Publishing
  • UCLA B.A. in Economics
  • UCLA B.A. in History

Awards

  • Winner, Best Art & Film Blog, Vuelio (2015)
  • Finalist, Best Semiprozine, Hugo Awards (2017, 2018)
  • Finalist, Best Fanzine, Hugo Awards (2014)

Work experience

Director, Digital Customer Operations

Penguin Random House
January, 2017 – Present (over 2 years)

Director, Digital Marketing & Strategy

Workman Publishing
March, 2016 – January, 2017 (10 months)

Responsible for developing, defining, and executing digital consumer marketing strategy for Workman Publishing. Generate big ideas, make data-driven strategic decisions, evaluate new technologies and processes, and drive audience growth and engagement for Workman’s titles, brands and products across digital platforms. Relaunch corporate website.

Director, Publisher Operations & Digital Product Development

Workman Publishing
November, 2014 – March, 2016 (over 1 year)

Oversee publisher operations for Workman Publishing Company. Implement and deploy cloud-based title management system, customize digital asset warehousing and ONIX and file distribution. Collaborate with Editorial, Marketing/Publicity, Sales and IT to evaluate and customize digital systems, products, and tools. Create and implement new workflows and best practices across all imprints to create efficiencies and boost sales.

Science Fiction & Fantasy Columnist

Kirkus Media
May, 2012 – Present (about 7 years)

Weekly contributor to Kirkus's Science Fiction & Fantasy blog.

Manager, Ebook Sales & Marketing

Workman Publishing
October, 2011 – November, 2014 (about 3 years)

Manage daily relationships and sales for all of Workman Publishing Company’s digital accounts. Create and execute strategic digital marketing promotions for accounts and consumers, including creation of content verticals and online communities. Pursue new digital business opportunities.

Digital Books Coordinator

Rodale
March, 2011 – October, 2011 (7 months)

Oversee, execute, and distribute ebook conversions. Coordinate digital projects between Editorial, Subsidiary Rights, and Marketing departments.

Contributor

Tor.com (Macmillan)
November, 2009 – Present (over 9 years)

Contributor to the website, specializing in reviews of science fiction, fantasy and SFF genre related features.

Reviewer

Sacramento Book Review
February, 2009 – June, 2010 (over 1 year)

Monthly SFF & YA Reviewer (print and digital, syndicated).

Co-founder, Editor, Reviewer

Self-employed
January, 2008 – Present (over 11 years)

Co-creator of Hugo Award-nominated speculative fiction book review blog. Form contacts with major and independent publishers, authors, bloggers, and readers in U.S. and U.K. Design and format website. Oversee advertising network and buys. Editor and chief designer for Book Smugglers Publishing, a digital-first publisher of short fiction, novellas, novels, and genre-focused nonfiction.

Projects

Cake Magic

Organized and executed digital advertising campaign to promote Cake Magic cookbook by Carolyn Wright, including ad creation, targeting key audiences, blog tour organization, and writing of article/blog post content (e.g. "What's Your Inner Cake?" quiz).

Touchstone Trilogy by Andrea K Host

Repackaged and created paperback editions of Andrea K Host's Touchstone Trilogy, driving series awareness and book sales prior to release of new novella in the series.

Big Fat Notebooks

Created four month campaign for middle grade nonfiction Big Fat Notebooks series, including 25 influencer brand ambassador blog tour, social media advertising, and search advertising to create brand awareness for the series.

The Extrahuman Union Series by Susan Jane Bigelow

Repackaging, marketing, and editing the Extrahuman Union Series of science fiction superhero novels by Susan Jane Bigelow. Created digital assets, cross platform marketing and advertising campaign, and ebook price promotions for the series.

Portfolio (5 selected works)

Superior

Jessica Lack

A superhero's intern falls in love with a supervillain's apprentice in this star-crossed LGBT YA story from The Book Smugglers.Here's the thing about being a superhero intern: there's a lot less crime fighting than you think there will be, what with the whole liability issue and the administrative headache of constantly monitoring the Heroic Help Hotline. The most action that Jamie sees happen... read more

A superhero's intern falls in love with a supervillain's apprentice in this star-crossed LGBT YA story from The Book Smugglers.Here's the thing about being a superhero intern: there's a lot less crime fighting than you think there will be, what with the whole liability issue and the administrative headache of constantly monitoring the Heroic Help Hotline. The most action that Jamie sees happen... read more

Broken (The Extrahuman Union) (Volume 1)

Susan Jane Bigelow

In a post-war, future world, where first contact has been made with intelligent life and humans are colonizing the stars, the nations of Earth have been united under a central government. Extrahumans, those possessing supernatural abilities such as flight and strength, are required by this government to belong to the Union, where they can be trained, monitored, and weaponized. Michael Forward ... read more

In a post-war, future world, where first contact has been made with intelligent life and humans are colonizing the stars, the nations of Earth have been united under a central government. Extrahumans, those possessing supernatural abilities such as flight and strength, are required by this government to belong to the Union, where they can be trained, monitored, and weaponized. Michael Forward ... read more

A Glimmer Of Silver

Juliet Kemp

Jennery is floating on xyr back when Ocean speaks for the first time. Just three days away from freedom, all Jennery has ever wanted to do was become a musician—because if you reach sixteen and Ocean hasn't spoken to you once, then you can pursue a different life instead of becoming a Communicator. But Ocean speaks to Jennery—only to Jennery. And Ocean is angry. And when Ocean is angry, bad th... read more

Jennery is floating on xyr back when Ocean speaks for the first time. Just three days away from freedom, all Jennery has ever wanted to do was become a musician—because if you reach sixteen and Ocean hasn't spoken to you once, then you can pursue a different life instead of becoming a Communicator. But Ocean speaks to Jennery—only to Jennery. And Ocean is angry. And when Ocean is angry, bad th... read more

Awakenings

The Book Smugglers, Sara Fox, Michele Tracy Berger, Y.M. Pang, Itoro Udofia, Reiko Scott, Leah Cypess

An unlikely volunteer in a magical war. A young African American girl who "wins" a competition to host an extraterrestrial. A girl with ice in her heart, and another with an ancestor on her back. A cybernetic detective, and an Empress facing the first Choice of her life.Awakenings collects six short stories of different revelations, including:“When the Letter Comes” by Sara Fox"Nussia" by Mich... read more

An unlikely volunteer in a magical war. A young African American girl who "wins" a competition to host an extraterrestrial. A girl with ice in her heart, and another with an ancestor on her back. A cybernetic detective, and an Empress facing the first Choice of her life.Awakenings collects six short stories of different revelations, including:“When the Letter Comes” by Sara Fox"Nussia" by Mich... read more

The Book Smugglers' Quarterly Almanac: Volume 4

The Book Smugglers

A quarterly collection of awesome, selected and edited by The Book Smugglers Collecting original short fiction, essays, reviews, and reprints from diverse and powerful voices in speculative fiction, THE BOOK SMUGGLERS’ QUARTERLY ALMANAC is essential for any SFF fan. IN THIS VOLUME (JUNE 2017): A.E. ASH, FOZ MEADOWS, OCTAVIA CADE, GABRIEL SQUAILIA, BÁRBARA MORAIS, YUKIMI OGAWA, BOGI TAKÁCS, YOS... read more

A quarterly collection of awesome, selected and edited by The Book Smugglers Collecting original short fiction, essays, reviews, and reprints from diverse and powerful voices in speculative fiction, THE BOOK SMUGGLERS’ QUARTERLY ALMANAC is essential for any SFF fan. IN THIS VOLUME (JUNE 2017): A.E. ASH, FOZ MEADOWS, OCTAVIA CADE, GABRIEL SQUAILIA, BÁRBARA MORAIS, YUKIMI OGAWA, BOGI TAKÁCS, YOS... read more

Thea has 2 reviews

Professionalism
Quality
Value
Communication

Ken Floro
Thea was EXACTLY what I was looking for. She provided expertise and insight I could never have found on my own, and crafted a rich and detailed marketing plan. I would absolutely recommend her services, and I look forward to working with her again in the future!

Ken Floro, May 2019


Aurora Thornton
I loved working with Thea! She was very thurough and made sure to tailor everything to my specific books for marketing, building a plan that still left me plenty of my own choices to make. The combination of professional knowledge and flexibility was great!

Aurora Thornton, April 2019

Thea James
Thank you so much, Aurora! It was a pleasure working with you on your stellar books--I cannot wait to see what things you do next!

Reply from Thea James

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