ALA Midwinter was thrilling, and a shout out to Kirby Larson for her Newbery Honor, celebrating Hattie Big Sky. If you want the inside scoop on Kirby's savvy launch marketing, make sure to check out BookSmart's September 27, 2006 interview with her, Building Buzz for New Books!
Speaking of buzz for new books, I shared an interview with Girls, Inc. with Audrey D. Brashich, author of All Made Up: A Girl's Guide to Seeing Through Celebrity Hype and Celebrating Real Beauty. She is a media sensation, being a former teen model, not to mention highly articulate, a true intellectual, and a passionate proponent of girls' self-esteem. She and her book have been featured prominently on CNN, CBS and NBC TV, as well as in USA Today and the Chicago Tribune.
BookSmart: What are the top 3 best things you did to launch your book?Audrey: In the beginning, I found third party credibility very important. Like it was hard to be an author doing self promotion. I worked with both an event booker (who works mostly to get authors to schools, conferences etc) and an independent publicist who did media outreach. Once I had some events under my belt and some great clips... I've found it much easier to contact places on my own now. They are INFINITELY more responsive! So I'd say investing in someone to help you get the word out is key. In-house publicists are busy and overwhelmed. Plus their strategy is just to promote a fall or spring list. An indie person can help attach your work to current event hooks, or spin things in a more cutting-edge way. And it's nice to have someone else talk you up. It's easier for them to say "This is THE book you have to read" than for an author to say that....
BookSmart: What would you do differently?
Audrey: Get more educated about writers conferences, library associations etc. to pitch myself as a speaker for those events. Really make up a game plan with a 6 month lead time (ie, to get into Holiday Gift lists, etc., you've got to be planning at the start of the fall...)
BookSmart: You have a great newsletter. What program do you use? How was it helped you marketing wise? And then...costs...how much?Audrey: To be honest, I don't find my newsletter easy to use at all. I'm constantly amazed that I actually get into people's in boxes. My web hosting package is somewhere around $150 for the year, including my site, newsletter tools, database tools, etc. Overall, the newsletter is totally worth it. It's a great way to keep in touch with supporters and get on the radar of new people (because some always forward it to someone else who then emails me).
- Current Mood: jubilant