Yesterday I was gob smacked, for lack of a better word, to discover that I had received the most votes for the Fahrenheit Book Blogger Of The Week Award. Having seen some other superb book bloggers already receiving it, I was totally overwhelmed to follow in their footsteps. Huge shout out to everyone who voted for me as it really is appreciated and still can’t quite believe it 🙂
I think the award is a fantastic idea and as I was shown lots of bookish love, I wanted to repay the love and share it with others, so, I thought I would contact Fahrenheit Press asking them to tell us a bit more about themselves as well as the idea behind the Book Blogger Of The Week Award so that people can nominate their favourite book blogs or basically just check this fab company out.
When we started Fahrenheit Press we knew we wanted to do things differently.
I’ve been in the publishing business for more than 25 years and for most of them I’ve found myself running against the grain of the industry so it came as a surprise to absolutely no-one that we’ve done things our own way.
Over the years I’ve spoken at many publishing conferences and written extensively about the industry – you can read some of my thoughts here (http://451words.tumblr.com/). With Fahrenheit we’re trying to embed a lot of these ideas of marketing and visibility into the DNA of our business model so that we can create a sustainable and profitable business for us and for our authors.
So far it’s all going great guns so we’re pretty pleased. We’ve published 28 books in our first 8 months and will have around 60 books on our list by the end of 2016.
We think that the unique relationship we’ve created with our authors has been key to our success so far. We only take on authors who understand what we’re trying to do and who share our outlook. They’re a mixture of veteran authors who have had major publishing deals and debut authors who are just learning the ropes. Fahrenheit is more like a gang than a publishing company and we’ve often turned away authors with big sales histories under their belts because we thought they wouldn’t fit in with our gang mentality.
We’re also trying to be different in the way we deal with our readers. It’s always driven me nuts that publishers have sometimes tended to treat readers with only slightly veiled contempt. Lots of publishers pay lip service to their readers in public but often that’s as far as it goes. I’ve sat in those meetings in the big publishing corporations and more often than not the general mood has been that the business of publishing would run much more smoothly without all those inconvenient authors and readers sticking their noses in.
We decided very early on to put readers and the bloggers who support the reading community right at the very heart of our business. We took a pretty full on approach to social media right at the very beginning (8 months ago) and engaged directly with the people who we wanted to buy our books in ways that we think are unique in the publishing industry.
We’re up-front with people, we tell them what we’re going to do and what we want to achieve. When it works we shout loudly and when it doesn’t we hold our hands up – we’ve made it a point to be as open about our failures as we are about our successes.
We treat our readers like adults, we ask their opinions and crucially we act on those suggestions. It’s quite common to see our covers changing or our marketing approach being altered as a result of direct reader contact. A great example of this was with Derek Farrell’s debut “Death Of A Diva” – you can read our public apology here http://www.fahrenheit-press.com/news-too-fabulous.html
Our subscription service The Fahrenheit Press Book Club is a direct result of readers asking us for a cheaper way to get their hands on our books as so many of them were reading every book we published. We set up FPBC in January and for a flat fee of £48 readers get every single book we publish in 2016 delivered to them a few days before general publication. Initially that was going to be 24 books for the year, it’s already at 28 and will be 60+ by the end of the year – we think it’s the best deal in publishing and hundreds of our readers agree.
I think the difference between us and other publishers when it comes to our relationship with our readers is best summed up by the party we hosted at this year’s London Book Fair. Every other publisher did what they always do – they hid themselves away in tightly controlled and exclusive parties where only insiders and the very privileged are allowed to attend – even most of their authors aren’t invited.
The Fahrenheit party was a very different affair – we invited everyone – our authors and our readers mixed, had some drinks and got to know each other – one of our readers came all the way from Spain – it was a helluva night and one that we fully intend to repeat very soon.
As a result of all this engagement our readers have formed their own club – The Fahrenhistas – they did that themselves, we didn’t engineer anything. They meet in real life, they have drinks together and friendships have been forged – we reckon it’s only a matter of time before we have our first Fahrenhista wedding.
And all of that brings us to the latest example of our partnership with our readers…
The Fahrenheit Press Book Blogger Of The Week Award
Lot’s of our readers started emailing us with suggestions of blogs that we should send our books to get them reviewed. Some of the emails were so smothered in praise for their favourite book bloggers that it started us thinking.
Book Bloggers are the unsung heroes of the publishing industry – they provide an invaluable service for publishers, for authors and crucially for readers. They give so much of their time and their energy and to be frank they get very little reward.
We decided to try and change that and the Fahrenheit Book Blogger Of The Week Award is the result. Every week we invite our readers to tell us about their favourite book bloggers, we add up the votes and announce the most popular blog from all the votes cast.
We then spend the next week loudly blowing the winning blogger’s trumpet for them – we’re also planning on having a party later in the year where all the weekly winners will be the guests of honour and where Fahrenheit authors & readers can thank them properly for all the hard work they put in supporting the reading community.
There are no rules, we don’t like rules.
So there you have it guys and gals, to keep up to date with Fahrenheit’s books and news as well as to nominate your favourite book bloggers, make sure you follow them on TWITTER. To nominate your favourite book bloggers just tag Fahrenheit and use #BookBlogger and tag the people you want to nominate, simples!