Archive for category publishing
Normally I’m pitching my own authors for guest posts on Seekerville, so I was honored when asked to write a post of my own. Today I’m sharing tips for authors and aspiring authors on how you can make your publicist’s job easier and hopefully make you and your book more likely to attract some media attention.
Get the full post here.
You’ll also have the chance to win a bundle of books I’m currently promoting!
Two weeks ago we said goodbye (at least in the office) to Mavis Sanders as she retired from her position as corporate publicist at Tyndale House. I met Mavis nearly four years ago when I started working at Tyndale and gleaned much from her 40+ years of experience in Christian publishing.
As a recent college graduate, I didn’t know much about public relations (I took one Intro to PR class senior year of college) and I was clueless when it came to book publicity (who knew people actually promoted books for a living?). Mavis was so kind in sharing her knowledge of PR and the industry with me. I learned from watching her interact with people throughout the company and loved hanging around her at conferences and conventions. She literally knew everyone! I remember going to ICRS for the first time and Mavis introduced me into Francine Rivers (one of my favorite authors). Then at another ICRS a couple years later, I was walking through the hall with Mavis and we pass by Philip Yancey, who she stops to greet and introduce me to because, of course, she knows him too.
I’ve learned a lot from all the members of Tyndale PR that I’ve worked with so far (and from others in Christian publishing/book publicity), but I’ll always remember Mavis as someone who took the time to mentor me at the beginning of my career even as she was nearing the end of hers.
Our team enjoyed planning the details of the retirement party. Today I did a post at the Tyndale blog on “How to honor a Publicist.” You can read about what we did in this red carpet extravaganza and see a few photos from the event.
So thank you, Mavis, for taking the time to invest in me during our time together at Tyndale. I hope I can take what Mavis and other more experienced publicists have taught me and share that knowledge with other new and upcoming publicists. I think we all can do a little more of that with people in our lives. Don’t keep all your wisdom and experience to yourself. Use it to teach others so they can learn from your failures and successes. We’ll all be better off because of it.
How can you use your experiences to mentor someone else today?
A couple weeks ago, I learned that the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) here in Chicago had a new roommate: Kate. Kate won a contest to spend a month in the museum, along with a bunch of other prizes. Once she gets out, she’ll also get $10,000. All she has to do is blog, tweet, and make videos about her experience. This includes meeting guests, living in the museum for a month (she’s not allowed to leave), helping out with various things in the museum, and she has an all-access pass to wander around the museum whenever she pleases (which I thought might be a little creepy at night…but maybe the Field Museum would be creepier. It has mummies).
Anyway, I think this is a brilliant PR idea by MSI. Kate’s like their very own advocate, teaching people about science through her videos and sharing behind-the-scenes info about the museum and its exhibits on her blog. She gets a lot of views on her videos, comments on her blog, and you can tell that people definitely want to go visit the museum now to see her and to check out the cool exhibits she tells them about. Even I want to go visit again! I’m pretty sure that’s the museum’s purpose in having this whole contest. It’s a fantastic way to raise awareness about the museum and to get people excited about it.
It helps that they picked Kate to win because she definitely has the personality for the part. She actually reminds me of one of my friends from college who also happens to be named Kate. Funny.
Now, I’m not sure how this would translate into the book/publishing world (since I work at Tyndale). But I think it clearly shows the power of having even just one person who is an advocate for your brand. People are interested and most of all, they’re taking action. They’re interacting with Kate, she’s responding to tweets and comments, people are coming to the museum to visit, Kate gets the experience of a lifetime–it’s a win-win situation for everyone.
In terms of book publicity, this would probably be a more corporate thing–like a Tyndale Teammate (not the greatest name, but that’s all I could come up with right now). Maybe we’d pick the TT from a contest to be our advocate for the year. You’d receive free copies of Tyndale books, which you would review on a special blog and talk about on Twitter. You’d get to interview some of our authors and post them online (maybe even do one of those video chat interviews). You could maybe even help out with some book signings or follow along on a book tour. Maybe even attend a trade show or two and help out in the Tyndale booth. And you’d always have to wear the same orange shirt like Kate at MSI does (just kidding). People get excited about things when they see how passionate others are about them. We need someone like that (besides us) for our books.
What do you think? How do you think this Month at the Museum idea could translate into book publicity?
In the past few years, I’ve realized just how important relationships are in life. People are what really matter. This truth is apparent in my job as a publicist as well. I just spent the past three days at the International Christian Retail Show in St. Louis and wrote about my experience and what I’ve learned on the Tyndale blog.
Read my thoughts here, and feel free to let me know what you think about face-to-face relationships as well!