Hello, I’m Catherine Ward, a freelance publicity & events professional specialising in children’s books. I have more than twelve years in-house experience in the publishing industry, specialising in children’s books for the past nine years for HarperCollins and, most recently, Simon & Schuster, where I held the position of Publicity & Marketing Manager. I have worked with a range of authors, illustrators and brands from celebrities to emerging talents, including Darren Shan, Becca Fitzpatrick, Sophie McKenzie, Jo Nesbø, Steve Cole, Michael Bond, Dr. Seuss, Garth Nix, Diana Wynne Jones, Jenny Valentine, Darcey Bussell and Conn Iggulden.
My campaigns span fiction, picture books and licensed brands, launching debut authors, re-establishing well-known writers and taking bestsellers to the next level. I pride myself on forging strong relationships with my authors, whether they are UK-based or abroad, to make best use of their time, talents and behind-the-scenes stories, and have coached them through the changing face of social media and digital PR.
I have witnessed lots of changes in the publishing industry which have impacted on the whole PR process and brought about new challenges and opportunities, from pitching to creating the kind of content readers will really respond to. The immediacy of the internet means a PR campaign is now as much reactive as proactive – a fluid two-way conversation back and forth between publishers/authors and readers. As a publicist I keep up with reader comments on blogs & forums, news items, Twitter trends etc. and am ready to respond quickly and in line with the campaign objectives.
As well as individual book campaigns, I have planned and implemented long-term PR and marketing strategy for bestselling authors Darren Shan and Sophie McKenzie over several years, and launched two overarching fiction campaigns to promote the S&S and HarperCollins fictions lists as a whole.
I have a broad contacts network and proven track record in achieving targeted campaigns, demonstrating an innovative and insightful approach across a variety of books and projects. I think creatively around opportunities and limitations, and employ a strategic, case-by-case approach to every campaign, which has earned me two PPC Award shortlist nominations and a company award for innovation.