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Do-It-Yourself Publicity: Tips for Authors

POSTED BY Babs Chandrasoma ON April 20, 2011

Marika was a presenter at the YA Conference in Austin, TX and shared these informative and educational tips about DIY publicity. We hope you can find you innner publicist using these insightful guidelines!

A. The state of publicity
• Over ½ million books published in 2010
• Print closings/ importance of online media
• The need to get more creative in less time (be a rock star)

B. Do You Have What They Want?
• What media are you really appropriate for? Be realistic. Create a wish list.
• What can you offer media outlets?
• It’s not you or your book but what you can teach the audience.

C. How To Give Them What They Want
• Watch, read, and listen to every outlet you are pitching.
• Latch on to news within 24 hrs.
• Defining: the perfect pitch
1. If you have a wish list of media, you must call them.
2. Google the outlet and learn their demographics and format .
3. Email pitch—concise, one page/ pitch letter (necessary info)
Remember to use their name, mention media outlet, why you or your expertise is a good source, contact info,pub date/ publisher info
4. Media advisory format (who, what, when, where)
5. Topics/ nuggets; visual ideas; who else can appear?

D. Where Have All The Good Ones Gone?
• Sign up for media updates to keep you in the loop. (The Publicity Hound, John Kremer, Dan Poynter, Bulldog Reporter)
• Cision
• Your own database (with special codes and notes)
• Journalists’ queries (the right way to answer a query)

E. A Few Big Mistakes To Avoid When Speaking to the Media
• Don’t sound like a telemarketer. You are providing a service.
• Don’t talk too long – keep your pitch short.
• Give them a deadline if appropriate.
• Offer to get them extra info if needed (research, develop the story)

F. A Few General Rules When Speaking to the Media
• Find out the types of interviews the person you are pitching likes to cover. (What are their beats, typical stories; remember that Google search?)
• Will they be delegating to someone else? Keep that timeline in mind.
• Keep detailed pitch notes, pay attention to your conversations, write it all down – use those notes in your follow up
• Get declined gracefully. Ask why it’s a “no” but don’t argue.
• Be a resource and help them find sources even if:
1. you’re no longer working on that story/book/ with that client
2. try to connect them to others in your network that might be a good source
3. forward out their emails to the correct people

G. Making it Easy for Them
• What all can you offer for online outlets? (Q&As, excerpts, articles, written review, artwork/ materials, sidebars)
• Flesh out the best segments for them
• Pull the research on their particular topic (specific chapter on networking)

Marika launched PR by the Book, LLC in 2002, combining her love of the media and public relations. After garnering experience as the host of two cable television shows (The Teen Report & The College Report) in San Antonio, reporting for her college newspaper, producing for her college TV station, and working with the NBC affiliate in Dallas, Marika spent seven years leading the publicists of an Austin-based book publicity firm. While there, she was the director of the publisher services division, handling the company’s key publicity campaigns and serving as the company’s spokesperson.

Marika was awarded a Gold Bulldog Award for a publicity campaign, which resulted in exposure in over 700 media outlets. Marika is also the recipient of an Austin Public Relations Society of America Outstanding Mentor Award, an Anne D. Robinson Creative Initiative Award, and is a three-time nominee for the “Profiles in Power” Award. Marika is a regular speaker at conferences around the country, educating audiences on topics related to publicity and overall promotion tactics.

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We Heart YA Authors and Agents! A YA A to Z Conference Review

POSTED BY doug ON April 18, 2011
We Heart YA Authors and Agents! A YA A to Z Conference Review

Man. Who knows how to party?   YA authors. Who just became our new besties here at PR By the Book?  YA authors. Who flies to town for a literary conference, and while there, pops out for a brand new tattoo?  YA authors. Or more accurately, YA authors and agents. Several of whom Marika and […]


Touring the Interwebs: Reviews are in for “Adoption Nation”

POSTED BY marika ON April 8, 2011
Touring the Interwebs: Reviews are in for “Adoption Nation”

This week, we’re celebrating the launch of Adam Pertman’s revised classic Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution is Transforming Our Families – and America (Harvard Common Press, April 4, 2011). If you aren’t already familiar with the author, Adam Pertman is considered one of the most influential experts in his field. Inspired by his Pulitzer-nominated […]

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Websighting: Dr. Steve McSwain on

POSTED BY marika ON April 7, 2011
Websighting: Dr. Steve McSwain on

What’s more fun than seeing wire stories in print? Websightings! Especially a major news network like ABC News. An Associated Press reporter recently called on our resident interfaith expert Dr. Steve McSwain to comment on a story. Dr. McSwain’s advice appeared in the piece which posted on April 5th at The story looked at […]



Writers’ League of Texas Presents YA A to Z Conference

POSTED BY Babs Chandrasoma ON April 7, 2011
Writers’ League of Texas Presents YA A to Z Conference

PR by the Book founder Marika Flatt and Senior Publicist Tolly Moseley will be speakers at the conference, don’t miss this opportunity!   Writer’s League of Texas Presents YA A to Z Conference Everything You Need To Know About Writing for the Young-Adult Market   April 15-16, 2011 Hyatt Regency Austin 208 Barton Springs Road Austin, TX […]