Marika launched PR by the Book, LLC in 2002, combining her love of the media, public relations and books. Leading up to that, 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 NBC-TV in Dallas, Marika spent seven years leading the publicists of an Austin-based book publicity firm. While there, she was the Director of Publisher Services, 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 a nominee for the “Profiles in Power” Award.
Marika is a past-president of the Austin chapter of the Association for Women in Communications. In 2009, she served as the Advanced Publicity track leader for IBPA’s Publishing University and continues to support the organization each year. Marika is listed on Twitter’s Women in Publishing (#womeninpublishing) and in 2011, was asked to join the selection committee for the Texas Book Festival. Also, she is a board member for an Austin nonprofit, Saint Louise House.
Marika is a regular speaker at conferences around the country, educating audiences on topics related to publicity and promotion tactics. A cum laude graduate of Texas A&M University, Marika is the proud parent of three kids (with husband, Doug, who is Managing Partner).
Managing Partner Doug Flatt oversees the business side of PR by the Book, LLC. He handles operations, accounting, IT, database management, and assists with new client communications, among other responsibilities. Doug has more than15 years of experience with his family’s business, Flatt Stationers, Inc., handling various aspects of business from sales, marketing, merchandising and operations. Doug has a degree in Marketing from Texas A&M University. He and his wife, Marika, have three children.
Elaine began her literary publicity career 13 years ago at an Austin publicity firm where she worked as a publicist and later as the media relations manager. There, she managed more than 70 national media campaigns and was named Publicist of the Year in 2002.
Elaine joined PR by the Book in 2005 as a publicist, where she manages national media campaigns and has since worked with media outlets ranging from “The TODAY Show” and Cosmopolitan, to Fox News and Family Circle.
As an undergraduate at Texas State University, Elaine wrote for the University Star, reported for the university’s Channel 23 News and worked as a DJ for KTSW-FM. Upon graduation, she began her communications career in the production department at the NBC affiliate in Austin. Elaine holds a B.A. in Mass Communication, cum laude, from Texas State University. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and three sons.
During her tenure as a literary publicist, Stephanie (Mayabb) Ridge has secured smart media placements for all kinds of authors – from children’s to true crime, first-timer to bestseller. She enjoys being on the forefront of generating headlines, and specializes in planting stories. Whether it’s a New York Times tech reporter or a burgeoning foodie blogger, she provides them with the elements necessary to craft headlines with staying power. In an age when traditional book reviews are hard to come by, Stephanie works closely with authors to find a variety of placements, often developing timely, original articles for a content-hungry marketplace, accompanying them on tour, and occasionally whipping up a social media campaign to build buzz from the ground floor to the national arena.
Stephanie came to PR by the Book by way of Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists where she served as Manager of Media Relations for three years. Before joining Austin’s literary scene, she served as Senior Publicist in the publicity department of WaterBrook press, a division of Random House. Some of her most notable hits include The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Associated Press, Reader’s Digest, Ladies’ Home Journal, Whole Living, iVillage, Huffington Post, CNN, ABC News, Dateline, as well as NPR, SiriusXM, and ESPN radio programs.
Stephanie earned a B.A. in journalism from Texas A&M University. Outside the classroom, she gained experience in various avenues of journalism including: KAMU-TV, a local PBS station; FOX Sports Southwest, where she worked on the sidelines and in the press box at Aggie football and basketball games; as well as DDB Dallas, a leading advertising agency where she served as a broadcast intern. A self-described Francophile, Stephanie aspires to the French joie de vie; she loves to tinker in her garden, explore stateside wineries, dine al fresco, and coast around Austin a la bicyclette. When she’s not reading her clients’ works, she’s got her nose in the latest issues of Bon Appetit, Food + Wine, Budget Travel and Travel + Leisure.
Prior to joining PR by the Book, where he directs the efforts of the Nashville office, Jason spent five years with the country’s largest Christian publishing house, Thomas Nelson Publishers. There, he led campaigns for nine New York Times bestselling titles and managed some of the industry’s most successful authors, including: Bill Bennett, Eric Metaxas, Mark Driscoll, John MacArthur, Don Miller, Bob Goff and Rachel Held Evans, among others. Specializing in history, politics, biographies, culture and Christian living titles, Jason regularly lands his authors on the national stage and maintains strong personal relationships with some of the country’s top producers, editors and writers.
With nearly 15 years experience in public relations, Jason’s pre-publishing career included: three years directing the public relations efforts of one of Memphis’ most widely-respected agencies, Sossaman + Associates (now CS2) and six years in professional baseball, where he managed the media/public relations department of the Memphis Redbirds – the Triple-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals.
A proud native of Memphis, lover of blues, baseball and barbecue and a 1996 graduate of the University of Tennessee-Martin, Jason resides in Tennessee with his wife, Tracey and two boys, Jack and Charlie.
As a literary publicist, Rebekah Epstein has worked with many different genres and authors. Her experience ranges from children’s to cooking to biographies to non-fiction and everything in between. Authors she has worked with have appeared on national outlets, such as: “Fox & Friends”, Babble.com, Cosmopolitian, Parents, Parenting The Early Years, etc.
Before moving back to Texas, she lived in NYC and worked in fashion publicity. When in NYC, she had the opportunity to work at both PR firms and magazines. This insight into both sides of the industry has been useful for pitching and securing placements. Rebekah earned her B.S. in Media, Culture and Communications from New York University. She is excited to be living back in Austin, Texas, and avoiding the brutal Northeastern winters.
Claire Hardee joined the PR by the Book team in 2012 as a social media publicist. Claire works with the campaign managers to consult with clients on social media strategy in order to help form a cohesive voice and message across all platforms. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in Public Relations and a certificate in Business Foundations. Claire currently lives in Austin and serves as the social chair on the board for the Austin chapter of Social Media Club.
Babs Chandrasoma joined PR by the Book, LLC in 2006 after 21 years in the corporate world. Babs assists with online media campaigns, executing strategy to find appropriate online media for clients, and business development. Babs oversees processing potential client leads, curating marketing materials, implementing systems, processing contracts and manages the firm’s internship program. She lives in Austin with her husband and 3 children.
Tatum Sapinoro joined PR by the Book, LLC in June of 2006. Tatum works on PR by the Book’s online publicity team, pitching clients to Internet wires, and she oversees the company’s database. She also assists the campaign managers with various duties, including prepping media lists and handling book mail-outs. Tatum lives in Austin, TX with her husband and three children.