Last month, I was very fortunate to have a beautiful book preview party thrown for me by Serena & Lily at their gorgeous flagship store in The Hamptons. As I signed bookplates for my new novel, You Knew Me When, which people were pre-ordering, one woman sat down next to me and said, “I’ve always wanted to be an author. It seems like such a relaxing career.” I was surprised to hear this, as I’ve never experienced that particular feeling about my job, nor has anyone ever remarked similarly. Still, I was curious as to her rationale. “What makes you think that?” I asked.
She went on to explain that the idea of staying in bed all day with her laptop and making up characters and plots is such an appealing idea, as opposed to going to an office and sitting in a cubicle from 9-5. Um, okay. I’m pretty sure I’ve never written a word from the comfort of my bed, nor have I ever worked 9-5. In turn, I told her that there’s way more to being an author than writing, and she was quite intrigued by all that can go into it.
For one, publicity is just as important as writing. Sure, you have to have a good “product” to sell. But, and this is big but, if no one knows about your phenomenal book, then no one will buy it, and your career as an author will be over pretty damn fast.
With this knowledge in hand, I decided to get creative with my marketing plan for You Knew Me When. After all, you can’t rely on your publicist to do everything—they have other books to promote too.
Since You Knew Me When is based around the cosmetics industry and the characters are all stylish in their own ways, my first idea was to approach nail polish companies to see if they’d be willing to partner to create a polish named after the book. I reached out to at least a dozen different brands and ended up joining forces with my top choice, Zoya. Through the brainstorming process, their brilliant team came up with an even better concept: to manufacture the “You Knew Me When” collection of polishes—three stunning shades named after the three main female characters in the novel—Katherine Hill, Laney Marten, and Luella Hancock.
Once this brainchild was on its way to inception, I met the fabulously talented clothing designer, Alessandra Meskita, and we knew we had to work together. I told her about the nail polish set and, immediately, she said, “I have to do a ‘You Knew Me When’ dress collection named for the characters.” I mean, seriously, who am I to deny her that? And here I am a few months later with three amazing dresses: “Katherine,” “Laney,” and “Luella,” which will be sold in stores nationwide and in Alessandra’s brand new Meskita boutique which opens in Beverly Hills in October! Did I mention that she also made “Emily” and “Brooke” dresses (Brooke is my middle name).
So, now I had nail polish and clothing. What else? Why stop there? How about jewelry? Enter Dodo by Pomellato and their spectacular 18kt gold charms, each with a special message. I had the unique opportunity to select the charms that best reflect the personalities of my novel’s characters: the butterfly with the message “I love my freedom” for high powered cosmetics executive Katherine Hill who does everything on her own and never takes no for an answer; the starfish “Handle with care” for the spirited and ever loyal Laney Marten who always says what’s on her mind whether you like it or not; and the angelfish whose message “You work miracles” echoes the relentlessly generous but also painstakingly private personality of Luella Hancock.
I’m well aware that this may not be every author’s approach to marketing their book, but it’s been working wonders for me! And I don’t plan to stop with this novel. Stay tuned for brand new collections to complement my next release: The Love That Lies Ahead, which comes out in September 2014!