I help authors and publishers of all stripes on a freelance basis. Current and previous clients include Anthem Press, BBC Active, Blackwell, Bloomsbury, Cambridge University Press, Capstone, Clairview Books, Continuum, Coptic Publishing, DisInformation Company, Duncan Baird Publishers, Gibson Square, Imprint Academic, Infinite Ideas, Kogan Page, Miles Kelly, Myrdle Court Press, Palgrave Macmillan, Pearson Education, Policy Press, Portfolio Penguin, Prentice Hall Life, Profile Books, Routledge, Solis Press, Wiley, Work Place Law, as well as my first client, Simon & Schuster
Why You? 101 Interview Questions You’ll Never Fear Again
Portfolio Penguin (published January 5 2015)
Shortlisted for Publishers Publicity Circle Non-Fiction (Paperback Original) Campaign of the Year 2016
My competition analysis with bookshops, publishers and the recruitment quickly established that there was little or no need for another job interview book. The market is well served (read: over published), has entrenched market leaders, there is a high failure rate. Worse still, the need to be contemporary and of the moment means that pretty well every book is on an annual or bi-annual revision cycle (or gets a regular update).
Luckily Why You? 101 Interview Questions You’ll Never Fear Again had a number of virtues: not least its publisher and an author (James Reed) who writes well/engagingly but also that it took a unique approach to succeeding at interviews – learn how to prepare for and then be able to respond to the people/questions on the day that allows you to also really be yourself in a job interview situation (rather than pretend to be something other than you are or repeat practiced perfect answers). The book also benefitted from having crowdsourced the latest most contemporary and/or difficult questions from over 1500 consultants at the UK’s biggest/best recruitment agency. The main aim of my PR campaign (I was hired by the author) was to drive his book to #1 in all the relevant interview book categories on UK Amazon (“careers>interviews” “careers>job hunting”, “human resources>interviewing & recruitment”) & to also get a “#1 best seller” Amazon (orange) flash. These achievements along with the publicity coverage could then really validate the importance/integrity/utility of the book as well as be leveraged by Reed Recruitment throughout the year in their various print, broadcast & online campaigns. Since the first week of January is the job search equivalent of Xmas & Black Friday sales rolled into one, timing my coverage to anticipate or build upon possible strands was extremely important. We mailed c100 advance review copies & I individually pitched the key media people, whether specialist or general. As usual, I read the book twice in order to create my own reading and template of the book. From these readings and with the help of the author I generated, a variety (nine) of new/original/creative pitches that I sent to my carefully selected specialist lists that I’ve curated over the past decade or so.
From working with James previously, I knew he was a gifted interviewee keen to make himself available and also able to write elegantly to order in swift fashion. These are handy attributes in an author. In addition to the pitches I leveraged previous coverage. My work was organised to maximise coverage during January (the month of publication), especially the first week of January (the week of publication).
Though I pitched ideas, talking points and content from the book during both November and December with longer lead and prestigious media (and had good take up as well as promises of interest for January) that usually really moves the sales dials, in retrospect the most important pitch was that on the first week of January – it became my breakout pitch - which used humour (biggest blunders of 2014 to avoid in 2015) & material mostly NOT available in the book (but from the Reed website from the summer that I’d deliberately saved to use then) to halo the ideas and content of the book. This started a media conversation about difficult questions asked, what they’re really asking & how to answer them. It led to a live five minute booking for the author on Channel 4, while the sales afterwards again confirmed the brute power of carefully selected broadcast (& took the book to number 16 in the total Top 100 on UK Amazon & also #1 in all Business books). The pitch also confirmed/clarified the review intentions of the Press Association & The Sun; the extract plans of the Sunday Times; garnered various op-ed, article & interview requests as well as a request (after C4) for James to appear on BBC National Radio 2 on the Simon Mayo programme (this took the book to #34 in Top 100). Why You? became the fastest selling new interview book of all time (in UK)! The publisher has sold translation rights into 10 countries using the publicity coverage gained.
Joel Rickett, Publisher at Viking & Portfolio at Penguin Random House commented at the time, “The competitive nature of the ‘job interview’ books space and the fact that it has dominated by a couple of long time bestsellers makes the task of any new entrant difficult. As if that weren’t hard enough, in addition Jeff had been tasked by the author James Reed with making his book #1 in three different Amazon categories. Using the traditional jobs application rush to our advantage (having done careful targeted outreach in the two months prior to publication), Jeff came up with a variety of different/creative pitches to secure a broad range of print, broadcast, online and social media coverage (both nationally & regionally). He also worked extremely well with the author and Portfolio Penguin. Sunday Brunch on Channel 4 was the stand out breakout interview he secured – this turbo charged the book on Amazon.co.uk to number 16 in ALL book sales [two places behind - for example - Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn]. Another broadcast media booking Jeff secured boosted interest yet again with another live interview this time on BBC Radio 2 with Simon Mayo. The wide circulation of a Press Association review was also significant regionally. The book has performed beyond expectations – it spent a lot of time in the Top 50 & Top 100 on Amazon, total sales are high five figures & climbing, foreign rights sales have been robust and Amazon customer reviews stand over 100+. It is now considered by the ‘go to’ job interview book. Jeff has shown how creative thoughtful publicity can drive sales & attention, and can successfully launch a market entrant into an established business publishing space.”
NATIONAL PRESS COVERAGE
Sunday Times (18th January) – extract
Economia (12th January) – interview
Press Association (14th January) – syndicated review
The Sun (23rd January) - review
Articles written by the author:
Daily Mail (15th January) – advice article (not online)
City A.M. (29th January) – advice article
City A.M. (18th February) – Office Politics article
Management Today (September) – My Top Three Reads column
NATIONAL RADIO AND TV COVERAGE
Sunday Brunch, Channel 4 (11th January) – interview
BBC Radio 2, Simon Mayo Drivetime (23rd January) – live interview
CNBC – interview (26th January) – live interview
REGIONAL PRESS. RADIO & TV COVERAGE
Working Mums (31st December) – review
BBC Radio Surrey & Sussex (5th January) – interview
Yorkshire Post (1st January) – interview
Sunday Post – interview (11th January)
Sunday Post (25th January) - review
Sunday Guardian India (31st January) – review
FEATURES & ONLINE
Daily Express (2nd January) – tips article
Daily Star (4th January) – job interview blunders
Daily Express (4th January) – job interview disasters
Daily Star (4th January) – tips article
Bookbag (5th January) – review
Scotcampus (6th January) – competition
GoThinkBig (13th January) – interview
Tyson Report (7th February) - podcast
NOT formally part of my remit! However:
Irish Times (7th January) – interview
RTE (24th January) – interview
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Freelance copywriter & PR consultant with ten years of independent, in-house, & agency experience, specialising in education.
A seasoned publicist and editor with nearly 20 years experience working in the UK book trade, and an established literary event programmer.