Shop Talk with Tracey Suppo, CEO and Founder of Book+Main (part 2)

Hello and welcome to Shop Talk, an interview series featuring Marketing and Publicity experts talking the very best ways they know to market books. Whether it’s the tried and true methods, brand new concepts, or even cutting edge ways to sell, this series examines the current publishing market and the in-depth know-how of industry professionals who are part of it. 

This interview originally published April 2018. 


For those of you who don’t know it, Book+Main is a web-based platform which allows authors to post snippets or longer pieces from current works, works in progress, or even writing ideas in the very beginning stages. Readers can search these excerpts using a variety of keywords and discover new authors, new books, and a brand new community of like-minded readers. It’s a fantastic platform that is easy to use, visually appealing, helps you locate brand new reads by current faves or new to you authors, and best of all, contains no ads!

A Novel Take: Welcome back, Tracey! I wanted to dive back into where we were two weeks ago and that is, discussing your newest venture, Book+Main! What sort of value does Book+Main bring to the publishing industry, specifically Romance publishing?

Tracey: We pride ourselves on a few things: transparency, being forward-thinking and nimble. And, getting feedback from our users is a priority for us. We want to create the premier community for the romance book world with a ‘by us, for us’ mentality. We have decades of experience as readers and marketers, and, of course, more recently as bloggers within this community. We are engaged here as individuals each and every day. We’re not on the outside trying to capture this market. We ARE this market. We are a part of this community with relationships to all user types {authors, readers, bloggers, and more}, so we not only hear what’s wanted and needed, but we experience it ourselves.

A Novel Take: What are 3 easy tips/tricks that you personally think would help the average author sell books?

Tracey: Engage with other authors, bloggers and readers. Build your following. Be consistent.

A Novel Take: So can you tell us who your current favorite authors are and some tricks they use that you find compelling marketing or sales techniques?

Tracey: Oh, gosh. That’s like trying to pick a favorite child, but since you brought up marketing and sales, the top of my list is Kate Canterbary. Not only am I obsessed with everything that she writes, but she’s incredibly intelligent {and an all-around amazing person} and understands, beyond her talent, that this is a business. She’s got this great concept about her “marketing toolbox” and that each platform {Book+Main, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.} has its place and that she uses them each in a different way to maximize the effectiveness of each one. So for instance, if she’s promoting a yet-to-come new release, she’ll exclusively put Bites up on B+M, because we do a few things particularly well when it comes to content—we give her greater exposure to new readers that might find her Bites when searching {something that doesn’t happen on any other platform} and it develops an expectation with her readers that that’s where they go for her content. That helps develop that consistency I mentioned above. So when she posts a Bite and those Push Notifications go out, her reader is excited to see what she’s got. If she were to post the same content everywhere, her B+M engagement would suffer AND the content doesn’t do her any favors anywhere else. Beyond it simply not being served up because of paid vs. organic reach, on other platforms, those posts are simply buried within 48 hours, never to be seen again. Plus, exclusively putting content there, it helps her to bring her core readers over to B+M, where they can then share her Bites for even more exposure—that word of mouth component.

Beyond Kate, I think that Penny Reid is a brilliant newsletter creator and knows how to use that to its full potential. {Side note: newsletters are one great way to utilize content and that’s a critical part of building a great newsletter. However, newsletter content has “no legs” {plus open rates are down, spam rates are up}, and they’re simply not shared {and can’t be found/searched by anyone outside of the author’s base}, so the content only stays there. I love a combo of newsletter/B+M to get the most out of that content.} And I love how AL Jackson utilizes so many different platforms and technology well, including her own app, texts and Snapchat.

A Novel Take: What do you think is the biggest deciding factor in a reader buying a book?

Tracey: According to our resources {RWA did a great study a few years back}, the story is the number one reason a reader buys a book. Content is king. Which is one more reason that Bites are so very important.

A Novel Take: What are you reading now? And next?

Tracey: I’m just finishing up Breakaway by AM Johnson—a hockey romance that I’m absolutely loving! Next up is Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan. I’ve loved all of her books {I HIGHLY recommend Flow and Grip}, but when and I read the first chapter of Long Shot on Book+Main, I was hooked and can’t wait to dive in!


About Tracey Suppo: 

A lifelong reader and twenty-year marketing veteran, Tracey Suppo founded Book+Main with her two partners in the spring of 2016. She believes in the power of connection through the written word and set out to create a community to capture that experience. Beyond reading and her passion for the book world at large, she is also an avid traveler, animal lover and crafter.