Kristen O'Connell

Kristen O'Connell - Marketer

Jersey City, NJ, USA

Former Big Five marketing and communications strategist specializing in content development, platform-building, email, and social media.

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Building on twenty years of experience in digital marketing, content strategy, book marketing, and publicity, I'm passionate about building meaningful connections between authors with audiences who matter and convert. ​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. ​

During my tenure at PRH, I spent the last two years leading content marketing strategy for the flagship site and,, a content vertical for parents and educators to foster a love of reading in children. Building upon my years of title marketing experience, this was an amazing opportunity to work across the full scope of fiction, nonfiction, and children's titles to create compelling inbound marketing content, grow traffic from search, and craft best-in-class, personalized email marketing journeys and campaigns.

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
Contemporary Fiction
Contemporary Romance
Mystery & Crime

Work experience


February, 2021 – Present (3 months)

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.

Sr. Director Content Marketing and Strategy

Penguin Random House
January, 2018 – February, 2021 (about 3 years)

Sr. Director Consumer Engagement

Penguin Random House
January, 2016 – January, 2018 (about 2 years)

Director of Online Marketing

September, 2008 – March, 2013 (over 4 years)


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

Portfolio (10 selected works)

Dead or Alive (A Jack Ryan Novel)

Clancy, Tom, Blackwood, Grant

Joy of Cooking: 2019 Edition Fully Revised and Updated

Rombauer, Irma S., Becker, Marion Rombauer, Becker, Ethan, Becker, John, Scott, Megan

Ken Follett The Kingsbridge Novels Stories Collection 3 Books Set (The Pillars of the Earth, World Without End, A Column of Fire)

Ken Follett, The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, 978-0451222138, 045122213X, 9780451222138, World Without End by Ken Follett, 978-0451224996, 045122499X, 9780451224996, A Column of Fire by Ken Follett, 978-0451477996, 0451477995, 9780451477996

Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story

Chuck Klosterman, Patrick Lawlor, Tantor Audio

Kristen has 2 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Mel Langston
Kristen did an amazing job. She is very professional, and the deliverables were thorough and well-researched. She provided outstanding help to us, the clients. Kristen is very personable, informative, and overall helpful to those who are not familiar with her area of expertise. We are very grateful that she agreed to take our project! Thank you, Kristen!

Mel Langston, April 2021

Kerry Igo
Kristen did a great job and delivered on time! I highly recommend her.

Kerry Igo, March 2021

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