A Day In The Life Of… Sarah Jeffcoate by SJV
I’m SO excited to (FINALLY) have Sarah Jeffcoate from our Marketing team in the A Day in the Life of… hot seat today! Sarah is a vital member of @TeamBATC, and one of the absolute BEST people I know, so sit back, relax, and get set for a whirlwind tour of the work/life of a Marketing Exec!
What does a Marketing Executive do?
In the broadest terms, I help to spread the word and make sure everyone knows about the brilliant books we’re publishing. From acquisition onwards, we’re thinking about the best ways to reach and engage with consumers (both traditional book buyers, and new audiences) with creative and impactful marketing. We’re also making sure sales are equipped with everything they need to get booksellers really excited about our titles, so that they stand out from the crowd. I work across both fiction and non-fiction titles on a wide range of subjects, so there’s always something new to try!
I also oversee the S&S UK website, social channels, newsletter output, as well as being first point of contact for audio marketing and looking after marketing for our fab #DigitalOriginals programme, so I get a little taste of everything that’s going on.
Is there such a thing as a typical day, and if so what does it look like?
There is absolutely no such thing as a typical day. Every campaign looks different, and will also be at a different stage of the process, so it could be meeting with authors and agents to discuss and brainstorm campaign ideas, briefing agencies to book in exciting activity, setting up social campaigns, building assets and creating POS for bookshops… the list goes on. Never a dull day in the marketing department.
For the record, if I was a budding debut author, faced with the dreaded blank first page, what would be your top tip to bestseller success?
Just keep going – a little bit at a time, even when you’re not feeling it. I read this nugget of wisdom in the iconic My Favorite Murder memoir (Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered) on motivation, and it’s essentially that motivation isn’t necessary – you just have to show up and do it. It’s really stayed with me. Power through!
We’re obsessed with other peoples TBR piles, how high is yours? And do you have 2, one for work books and one for pleasure books?
Shamefully high, but why read the books you have when you can buy more, is my philosophy. And it’s people like me that keep this industry thriving – you’re welcome ;). And I do have two piles, but there’s a lot of crossover. We publish some gems!
Have you got a best and worst part of the job?
Best part of the job is the creative side. I love working on and briefing designs which really make the books come to life. Seeing a plan come together and make a difference is such a brilliant feeling too!
The worst part is never being able do all the things you’d love to do! There are so many creative, brilliant ideas that come out of discussions, but you have to be strategic about what you can achieve that’s going to have the most impact. Ambition is brilliant, but spreading yourself and your campaign too thin, not so much.
Is there an author you’d sell a limb to work with?
So many, and quite a lot that I have had the privilege to work with, with all my limbs intact so far. This is sort of cheating, but if Dan Levy ever turns his writing hand to books, it’d be him.
What book do you most recommend to others?
Oh do you have an hour? It’s so subjective depending on who’s asking! I’m a big fan of crime and of fantasy. For crime, it’s Firewatching by Russ Thomas, and for fantasy, Laini Taylor’s Strange The Dreamer is my go to recommendation. An absolute masterpiece that sort of combines the two is Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – think Game of Thrones meets Oceans 11, set in some sort of steam-punk version of Amsterdam and you’re there. Non-fiction, it’s Jon Ronson’s The Psychopath Test all the way, and my catch-all is the trusty, absolutely brilliant, The Secret History.
And lastly our quick fire trivia round…
Thing you’d never leave home without? Well I never leave home at the moment, but if I do, it’s headphones (and a book, but I’m betting everyone says that!)
Favourite place to read? First thing in the morning on the sofa with the sun streaming in and a cup of tea in hand. Bliss.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Singapore
What’s the secret to success? To me, success is happiness, so being present, focusing on now instead of what’s next, and not comparing yourself to others.
What’s on your current reading pile? It’s less of a pile, more of a fort. I’ve just finished The Disappearing Act by Catherine Steadman (coming later this year, and it is a treat, let me tell you!) and I’m currently reading The Sanitorium and loving it so far, but I’m a mood reader so not sure what I’ll pick up next. Currently eyeing up The Haunting of Alma Fielding or The Girl With The Louding Voice, but we shall see.
Staying in or Going out? Staying in.
What’s your Signature dish? Turkey chilli – delicious! But I’m biggg on baking, so more likely you’re getting cake.
Beach break or city break? City break
Favourite Literary Hero? Hermione Granger
Famous last words? Never lose your childish enthusiasm.