Category Archives: Uncategorized

Clients We’re Lucky to Have

by Sandy Dunwoody, Literary Publicist

As a publicist and social media specialist at AuthorHive, I work with a wide variety of clients (and with just about every genre and topic you can imagine). I’ve worked with scientists, engineers, CEOs and psychics, and pitched romance novels, cookbooks, business books, and more.  But my absolute favorite projects to work on are campaigns with a great cause.

We must be having the “luck of the Irish” lately, because I’ve been working with a great group of authors. Being that it’s St. Patrick’s Day, I’d like to highlight a few of the awesome and inspiring clients I consider myself lucky to be working with:

ANNA M. WARNER, My Lipstick Journey through Cancer:  A Journey of Faith and Finding the Right Shade: Diagnosed with a rare form of aggressive thyroid cancer and told she’d never again be able to continue her passion of signing, Anna Warner turned to what she knew best: lipstick. In this humorous, inspirational and intimate memoir, Anna shares her battle with cancer, beating the odds, and regaining her voice—all while making frequent visits to the cosmetic counter.

Anna, a self-proclaimed “lipstick junkie,” collected over 50 tubes of lipstick and lip gloss over her three-year battle with thyroid cancer—a different one for every mood she had. After being laid off after radiation, she chose YSL’s “Golden Gloss #14.” After having to quit her next job due to side effects of her cancer, Warner chose Laura Mercier’s “Brown Plum.”

“It’s about staying positive and finding humor during a difficult time, being thankful for every day, and letting even the smallest thing—like choosing the right lipstick shade—bring a little joy to a situation,” Anna says (she also shares her story here at Voice Day 2010). Throughout all the trying struggles Anna has been through, she’s maintained an incredibly positive outlook on life. I’m no lipstick wearer, but Anna is already inspiring me to consider wearing some in her honor!

LYNN ROSEN, Tomorrow’s Vision:   Tomorrow’s Vision shares an inspirational story of a third-grade class that learned about world hunger, brainstormed ways to combat it, and made a difference in their community by donating their time and personal belongings to a cause.   Written by a former New York City teacher and hunger activist, Lynn Rosen, the book is a glimpse of the promise of tomorrow’s generations, starting with the children of today.

Lynn is passionate about ending poverty and world hunger, and as a human rights activist is working on several projects in order to spread awareness of these issues.  She donates her time to the Hunger Action Network of New York, United for Action, New York Cares, and the International Educational Research Network.

It makes you think: If a third grade class can make such a difference, what can we do?

DR. EVERETT WINSLOW LOVRIEN, Doctor Guilt?:  In the 1980s and early ‘90s, hundreds of people experienced what insiders call the “Hemophilia Holocaust.” New medical breakthroughs allowed doctors to relieve suffering from hemophilia, and prolong life. However, the new “magic” medicine unknowingly harbored lethal viruses: Hepatitis and HIV.

Who was at blame for the deaths of the hundreds of patients who died from these viruses? The doctors who administered the drug? The pharmaceutical companies who manufactured the drugs? Or the scientists that were supposed to test the blood? Dr. Everett Lovrien, once a doctor at a hemophilia clinic, was one of the doctors who unknowingly infected patients he deeply cared about. In Doctor Guilt? he explores why this event happened, and shares the stories of the brave patients—some just children—who lost their lives due to these mistakes.

Now he is also on a quest to educate others about hemophilia, and to bring the same hemophilia treatment options that American’s other countries through making hemophilia medicine available and affordable.

All of these authors have inspired me, and I consider myself lucky to be promoting such great causes. What do you feel lucky to have this St. Patrick’s Day?

Keep Facebook Public and Private

By Brittani Hensel, Project Coordinator

Everyone remembers someone older and wiser telling them, “When I was younger we didn’t have _____ .”    Lately, I’ve been considering how differently we experience Internet than ever before, and how it’s difficult to keep what seems like everything from always being on the internet.

Social networking has given publicity something that has never before been possible.  A publicist for an author can leverage social media publicity to interact with not only media, but the general public as well.  While there are still limitations, social networking has given publicity a window for independent authors.  Of course, there are still concerns when it comes to privacy.  Even for me, where Facebook is just a tool I use to keep in contact with friends, privacy is very important to me. 

In 2010, Facebook experienced intensive media coverage because of its privacy policies.  Since that time, they have made privacy settings much easier and comforting to those of us who aren’t used to sharing everything online. They’ve even published an easy guide to make updating your settings a cinch. As an author using Facebook to promote your brand, privacy becomes increasingly more important and a necessity to understand and update.  This can be even more concerning if your book is controversial.

Authors can create their own brand via Facebook, by having an author page, and a fan page.  With AuthorHive, your publicist can show you the ins and outs of Facebook and utilizing it most effectively. The difference is that the author page is something that fans and followers can use to ‘befriend’ the author, and the fan page is where fans and followers can ‘Like’ the author and have discussions.  Using Facebook’s privacy settings, authors with personal pages can select the ‘Friends Only’ privacy option in Facebook’s privacy settings. The guide can show how to change those settings step-by-step.  This means the private page is un-searchable and only friends that are approved can see anything associated with that profile.

Here are some tips to remember for Facebook:

  1. Never share anything you wouldn’t tell a stranger. 
  2. Don’t ‘friend’ anyone on your personal page that you don’t know, especially when you’re trying to maintain an author brand identity and keep a private page as well.
  3. Monitoring your author page is important.  If there are negative or non-relevant items posted, delete them.

For more information about Facebook and how to get started, check out the following books:

Don’t Be a Twit: 5 Tips to Safe Tweeting

by Zac Workman, Marketing Specialist

If you are one of the nearly 200 million people who already use or are thinking of using Twitter, then you probably have heard or been a part of some tweeting debacles.

 

5 tips for you to consider when tweeting:

1)      No redos on Twitter.  Consider what you are posting before you take the dive and send out your 140 character short story about how upset you are by @soandso and remember there is no effective means of recalling public tweets.  Once they are out there, they are part of the public domain and sure to be scrutinized and reflect upon you and your brand.

2)      Your tweets are owned by you.  Once tweeted, your posts are public domain and indexed for searches and linked back to you.  Don’t share anything you don’t want to be public information.  Save this for direct messages if absolutely necessary but remember that even direct messages can be retweeted.

3)      Tweet what is relevant to your brand.  As an individual you represent a brand and that brand can be YOU, your employer, your cause or any other number of things.  Make sure to keep this in mind when tweeting and keep your tweets relevant.  The last thing you want to do is destroy your personal brand because of what you have decided to tweet in the heat of a twitter war or lapse in judgment.

4)      Twitter is not Facebook.  Don’t use Twitter like you use Facebook.  Twitter is used to connect with people and to follow people of interest so you can stay in the conversation.  It is not simply a status update.  To be effective you have to use references and acknowledge individuals on a regular basis.  This may be a retweet, reply, use of hash tags (#) or simply posting relevant content.

5)      Twitter is best utilized via Twitter clients.  I personally use HootSuite which allows me to manage multiple accounts from one system while staying connected and engaged.  These clients also provide analytics and allow you to shorten URLs and easily schedule your tweets. 

Twitter is a highway of information and hopefully this will help you to more effectively consume and contribute to the vast amount of relevant information out there. 

Happy and safe tweeting!

For more information about getting started on Twitter, check out the books below:

Target Your Reader, Not the President

by Kevin Gray, Public Relations Manager

The first rule of publicity has always been “there’s no bad publicity.” Well maybe there is. An, what’s being described as, “overexuberant” author hurled his book at President Obama during a rally in Philly on Monday. Reportedly the scribe wanted to ensure that the President got a copy of his book. For those authors thinking of employing the same approach — DON’T! This is a good way to end up with 15-20 years of quiet time in a small cage.

Nearly every month, I get calls from authors who want to “get on Oprah” or “get their books to the President.” While I appreciate the enthusiasm of these folks for their works; these are not practical approaches to bringing your masterpiece to readers. A well-planned, strategic integrated approach will get you much further. Start small, build a foundation then expand outward.

Think of publicity as dropping a pebble in the middle of a pond. It starts as a small disturbance before rippling out across the water to the distant shore. Dropping the pebble near the shore, won’t get the same long lasting effect.

One of my favorite examples of this phenomenon occured a couple of years ago. The authors of Lucia’s Survivial Guide and Cookbook landed an article in their small, local paper in California. The book is a collection of recipes and housekeeping tips complied 30 years ago by Lucille Campilongo for her daughter Gina to use while studying overseas. Gina chose to self-publish the tattered notebook and to give to her mother for Mother’s Day. The local paper picked up the story and that was that.

Except that a certain host of The Today Show happened to be reading that small local paper; and instructed her producer to contact the self-publisher. A month later, Lucille, Gina and Lucille’s granddaughter were guests on The Today Show. Thousands of books were purchased and media all over the country picked up on the story. All from an article in a small local paper about a gift from a daughter to her mother.

Pretty big pebble.

Branding 101: Understand Distribution Channels

by Joe Bayern, Senior Vice President

You know who’ll buy your book. You know what to say and how to tell your readers about it. Now you’ve got to get it to them. Like any good product strategy, you need to consider your distribution options.  While most authors want to see their books in a Barnes & Noble store, it’s very difficult and typically expensive to get national distribution.  However, there are many other distribution channels available, including online distribution through national retailers and/or on your own website, distribution through traditional book retailers (independents), distribution through non-traditional retailers (for example if you have a book on wines why not sell it in wine stores), and, of course, through personal appearances and events (local fairs, festivals, conventions, genera specific gatherings, etc).

Take some time to understand which options are available and what the economics look like for each option.  Then you can make an educated decision about how much time and money you want to invest in each channel.

Grassroots PR: Plant seeds locally, grow nationally

by Sandy Dunwoody, Literary Publicist

Many of the new authors I work with seem to be focused on gaining national news coverage right out of the gate. And, while Oprah would surely be tickled to receive your book (among thousands of others she receives every year), the truth is that most unknown or otherwise un-established authors are often neglected by big-name media outlets. This is becoming even more prevalent due to newspapers closing or shrinking their book review sections (such as the Washington Post earlier last year).

I’m sensing your next logical question: “But how do I become an ‘established’ author?” Lasting credibility and national recognition takes time, effort and hard work. I’ll use a reference from one of my favorite clients, Charles Asher of Simon’s Crossing, and say that it’s akin to fanning a flame into a “small, spreading fire.”

Authors:  Never overlook the benefits of local media coverage. Small-town and community-oriented media outlets are likely to be interested in an author from the area they cover, so your locale automatically adds “newsworthy” appeal. By approaching and networking with local publications, you’re one step closer to reaching a local audience and building a fan base (you want a following at local events, right?).   And, once you score a review or interview, you have that news clip in your portfolio to tout to even bigger outlets.

A little-known fact is that large publications are always scouting for story ideas, and they just might be looking in your local paper. I’ve seen stories in smaller newspapers get picked up by national outlets on more than one occasion. You may have heard the common phrase “media breeds media”—and it’s true! Every opportunity to become noticed is worth pursuing.

So, what are the first steps to get recognized by local outlets and increase credibility? Here are some:

  • Approach a local or independent bookstore or a library about a book signing or author event. You become even more newsworthy to local media if you show that you are involved in the community.
  • Research! Get to know what media covers your local area. This means looking into more than the well-known traditional outlets; look into websites, blogs and community forums. Follow what they are covering, and connect with the outlet and readers through comments.
  • Make sure to attend local events, in addition to your own. Take this chance to network with local personalities and promote your book.

For those of you that have tried grassroots promotion, what’s worked for you and what hasn’t?