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Discovering International Markets For a Local Author

Joanna Sims, Harlequin Special Edition Author

Joanna Sims Romance

Joanna Sims is the author of eight cowboy-themed romance novels for Harlequin Special Editions, with five more contracted as of this writing. She’s the talent behind the Brands of Montana book series.

Challenge

Joanna came to us as a relatively new, unknown author. She’d been taken on by a major publisher that releases books in high volume, with a number of writers in the same niche. This niche also has lots of other competition from other publishing houses, too. We had to help her manage to get some attention.

Solution

We began with author-centric content marketing and contests for free swag that are popular in Joanna’s field. There was emphasis on branding the author persona, but we quickly realized that at this stage, it was up to the books to make the author, not the other way around.

Getting less-than-impressive results, we started experimenting with our own meme-style social media posts using elements of the cowboy romance genre and testing international audiences. Things started picking up. In comparison to earlier tactics, our sexy cowboy images were getting phenomenal reach and engagement.

Then we noticed romance novel searches trending in several countries outside the US. With some research, we honed in on and pursued an untapped market of English-speaking audiences there. We devised a unique strategy to capitalize on this new market and other promising avenues. The results have changed the playing field… so much that we’re not prepared to discuss the details publicly.

Results

With our new audience and the success of our sexy cowboy memes, Joanna’s social media following, engagement, and leads rose exponentially by the week. Just take a look at the numbers to the right.

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350%

Annual Increase in Email Subscribers

417%

Annual Increase in Social Following

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When you hire Create180 Design to build your website and your brand, you are hiring what I like to call “the trifecta of talent”: James on research, Helize on design, and Eric behind the scenes writing content that is laser-focused on creating a unique voice for your brand. As a new author at Harlequin Special Edition, I wanted my website to resonate with readers. And, I wanted my website to be a reflection of who I am as a writer. With Create180Design, I feel like I hit the jackpot! My website is a thing of beauty. It’s polished and modern and perfectly me. I love my new website and the Create180Design plan to grow my brand. At Create180 Design, they are more interested in building relationships than building up their bottom line. I feel valued and that matters. So, thank you Create180 Design! I am (another) perfectly satisfied customer!

Joanna Sims - Harlequin Special Edition Author
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