Hello, Marketing Manager Fiona here!
After just over a year of managing author events and school campaigns, tweeting about all things #kidslit and marvelling at the wonderful book reviews that our younger fans send us in the post, I am sad to say that I will be leaving Sweet Cherry!
I have had a wonderful time here at the company and been privileged to see Sweet Cherry grow, and introducing 11 new titles and two rebooted editions of series that we had previously published.
It has been a great marketing and publicity year for the company. This year, we decided we wanted to get out of the office and interact with our readers on a much more hands on level – and we did! From organising a week-long event at the Ideal Home Show to running around in a playground with a crowd of excited 10 year olds looking for “dinosaur” eggs, it has been pretty fast-paced.
In December last year, our authors and some friendly faces from other publishers such as Hachette Children’s Books and Michael O’Mara, had a jolly good time at the Ideal Home Show at Christmas, meeting with book fans, signing copies of the books, and enjoying the festive atmosphere. It was a great opportunity to connect with our readers as well as with other publishers and I hope that the relationships we formed will last for years to come.
We had always wanted to reach out to local schools and offer children who struggle to pick up a book the chance to discover new reads that they can not only finish, but also enjoy.
To do this, I led a free book campaign in Leicestershire, which got local children talking about all things Danny Dingle. So much so that some teachers couldn’t teach their lesson without being interrupted by pupils asking when they could finish the book! We ended up telling the city about our lovely books on BBC Radio Leicester and in the Leicester Mercury, and when the campaign expanded to Nottinghamshire, we decided to hold our very own event on World Book Day, and our classroom activity sheet packs were born!
My favourite thing to organise was the Danny Dingle competition, which called for schoolchildren to design their own wacky spy gadgets. The entries we received were very creative and I spent hours poring over the drawings, trying to select a worthy winner. It was great to hear back from teachers how much the children enjoyed the activity and how excited they were to read the second Danny Dingle book.
Other achievements include some of our titles being featured in The Guardian’s Best New Children’s Books guide, being nominated for the People’s Book Prize (not just once, but twice!) and launching our first adult colouring book during the popular Diwali festival.
I look forward to seeing what Sweet Cherry get up to in the coming years: I’m excited to see the whole hoard of awesome books I know will be released next year that will definitely put Sweet Cherry at the top of the publishing radar.
All along the way, I have thoroughly enjoyed working with a small but mighty team who have shown such enthusiasm and passion for their work and also each other – I wish them all the best of luck!