Kristen O'Connell

Kristen O'Connell – Marketer

20 year veteran of Big 5 pub dedicated to helping authors with publishing strategy, platform, & creative campaigns. Fall Projects Only!


Building on twenty years of experience in digital marketing, social marketing, content strategy, book marketing, and publicity, I'm passionate about building meaningful connections between authors with audiences who love--and buy--great books! ​I spent my career in positions at Penguin Random House, Penguin USA, Simon & Schuster, and DK Publishing where I created and managed innovative marketing initiatives, oversaw email communications to millions of readers monthly, developed engaging acquisition campaigns to help grow author and program platforms, booked author tours of all sizes, and launched web and social properties for fiction, nonfiction, self-help and children's books. ​

As an independent marketer and agency owner, I'm devoted to connecting books, authors, and readers to stories that matter. My process always kicks off with a complete reading of your book. In order to o accurately target your audience and find unique, creative, opportunities it's critical to get to know your writing and have a deep understanding of your work. We'll start our collaboration with an in-depth conversation during which I can hear from you about the work you've done, discuss your goals, and understand your strengths as an author/marketer. I love collaborating with writers and am available for questions, calls or video meetings throughout our collaboration.

My strengths are in commercial fiction, literary fiction, women's fiction, memoir, self-help, contemporary romance, romantic comedy, young adult, picture books, and middle grade. I work with a mix of traditionally published, hybrid, and indie authors and can offer any of the following to help with your project:

Market research and competitive title research for careful positioning

Price analysis

Book blurb

Author bio

Categories and keywords

Author platform building

Email marketing

Social media marketing

Social advertising

Low price campaigns

Website content and SEO

Influencer marketing campaigns

Press release, media kit, and pitch creation

I'm ready to put my skills to work for you. I believe that marketing a book is a marriage of science and heart--and I'm uniquely positioned to use my experience creating marketing moments led by data and insights to create a compelling strategy for your book.

Biographies & Memoirs Parenting & Families Political Science & Current Affairs Self-Help & Self-Improvement
Children's Contemporary Romance Literary Fiction Mystery & Crime
  • Member of the Women's Media Group

Work experience


Feb, 2021 — Present

In 2021 I launched a full-service author and book marketing shop designed to help authors build their platform, connect with readers, and sell books. Specializing in web, email, and social media strategy and campaign management, I'm available to help you meet your readers where they are and create meaningful, lasting connections.

Penguin Random House

Jan, 2018 — Feb, 2021 (about 3 years)

Penguin Random House

Jan, 2016 — Jan, 2018 (about 2 years)


Sep, 2008 — Mar, 2013 (over 4 years)


Mother of All Fights

Metadata analysis and suggestions on this terrific memoir has positioned the book as the #1 new release in category on Amazon 6 weeks prior to publication.

Read To Sleep 2020

In January of 2020, I worked with the team at Penguin Random House to launch a campaign with luxury home textile company Parachute to drive subscriber acquisition, build positive brand sentiment, and promote reading as wellness. Encouraging readers to swap their phones for a book at bedtime, the team created a campaign landing page, sweepstakes, and 5 part email series featuring bedtime routines and author reading recommendations. The campaign included bestsellers The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Fleischman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson, Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, and Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano.

Campaign coverage included the New York Post and The Drum.

Book the Vote

Timed with the 2020 election this multi-author campaign for Penguin Random House featured bestsellers Deepak Chopra, Khaled Hosseini, Jasmine Guillory, and Jeff Tweedy, and partners PEN America, When We All Vote, and Out of Print. Weekly author videos were featured on-site as well as in email campaigns.

Penguin Random House Books Connect Us

In 2020, at the start of the pandemic, I led my team in the launch of the Books Connect Us campaign to help readers find solace and connection in books during a time of separation. This campaign featured multi-channel communications across web, email, and social channels and reached millions of readers throughout spring and summer 2020.

Coverage for this campaign included articles in Esquire and Publisher's Weekly

Kristen has 49 reviews





Lynda A.

Lynda A.

Jun, 2023

I loved working with Kristen! She is professional, kind, knowledgeable, and funny! It was a pleasure working with her on a plan for my upcoming novel.
Simone W.

Simone W.

Jun, 2023

Kristen really knows her stuff! What she doesn't know about getting a book to market and building a sustainable reader community probably isn't worth knowing ;) I was impressed with how quickly she delivered my marketing plan, book description, metadata and social media marketing campaign guide. She clearly put a lot of time and effort into ensuring that I have everything I need to become a suc...
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David J.

David J.

May, 2023

Kristen if fabulous! A wealth of knowledge and she tailors the sessions to where you are at with your books and your knowledge (or lack of knowledge) of social media. Social media was a big thing for me, and she also gave me some great ideas for outreach, Amazon ads, FB. She even gave me a tour in Canva which I found super helpful. Would absolutely work with her again.
Allison M.

Allison M.

May, 2023

I loved working with Kristen! As a first-time author, I found tackling marketing and advertising a bit overwhelming. In addition to her wealth of publishing industry expertise, Kristen's warmth, support, and encouragement made me feel better prepared for my book launch. In the sea of potential marketing activities, she readily identified which things were the best fit for my book and genre, a...
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Brendan B.

Brendan B.

May, 2023

It was really great working with Kristen. As a small, independent press, we really valued the level of expertise and experience she brought to our project.

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