Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Follow me on Twitter!

I'm starting to get my other foot wet on Twitter. I got my first foot wet when I set up a Twitter account. Now that I'm actually following other Tweeters, it's starting to get interesting and worthwhile. I'm beginning to see how Twitter really can be part of a successful book promotion campaign. For anyone who wants to follow me on Twitter, I'm @bookpr. See you on Twitter!

Is Reuters ignoring your book promotion pitches?

Is Reuters ignoring your book promotion pitches? Mine, too. Reuters generally gives my book publicity the cold shoulder. If you're wondering why Reuters isn't seeing your story pitch as news, maybe this will help explain it. Here's a news story that Reuters just covered: "Indian boy marries dog to ward off tiger attacks." I have to believe that, in India, discerning readers and media consumers (not to mention book publicists) are shaking their heads in dismay....

Monday, February 16, 2009

From Oprah's Book Club to Waiting Tables?

What's the biggest book promotion achievement you can imagine? Oprah's Book Club? The New York Times bestseller list? The Publisher Weekly bestseller list?

Novelist Chris Bohjalian has scored every book promotion coup you can name. Yet, in yesterday's Sun Sentinel article penned by Chauncey Mabe, Bohjalian admits that he feels professionally challenged by the digital age and the fact that, with more choices available to them, fewer people are reading traditional books. Bohjalian, who wrote the enormously successful Skeletons at the Feast, joked about someday having to wait tables.

On the other hand, Bohjalian also said he enjoys connecting with his fans via the Internet. Online book clubs couldn't exist outside of the digital revolution, so Bohjalian's biggest threat has also provided him with new opportunities to connect with his readers.

I'd say that's a pretty fair trade-off. And, somehow, I'd guess that Bohjalian himself would agree.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Layoffs at HarperCollins explained -- horribly.

Yesterday, I heard rumors of layoffs at HarperCollins. Now I've read the explanation in Publishers' Weekly, and it's ugly. According to PW's article, "Harper Closing Collins; Other Layoffs Planned," Harper is closing its Collins division. Collins' general nonfiction, business, and reference titles will be published under the Harper imprint, which is fine...but, with the expansion of Harper's list, it's obvious that the books published under the Collins imprint (or even the Harper imprint, for that matter) won't get the attention they would have received and that they should have received. Book promotion, marketing, and sales may well fall by the wayside for individual titles -- through no fault of the authors or the publisher.

To me, that's an indication the economy is really hitting the skids: when authors' book projects are compromised and it's nobody's fault. Even this book publicist, who would love to blame a "bad guy" for the situation in which HarperCollins' authors find themselves now, can't. Stuff happens. And, in this economic climate, we'll be undoubtedly seeing a whole lot more stuff.

My thoughts and prayers are with those who are affected by the changes at HarperCollins -- staff members and authors alike. It's the end of an era for all of publicists, book lovers, authors, and publishing industry professionals alike.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New York, New York

It's back! Book Expo America, the granddaddy of all book trade shows in the U.S., will be held in New York ate the Javits Center again in 2009...and in 2010, 2011, and 2012. It will also be shortened by one day, according to an article in Publishers Weekly.

That means, obviously, that plans to hold BEA in DC and Las Vegas have been postponed indefinitely. Well, okay. Makes sense to me. Many of the major publishing houses are based in New York, and it's far less expensive, and far less disruptive, for them to travel to the Javits Center than to go anywhere else. A New York-based trade show might not be nearly as much fun for a New Yorker as, say, a Las Vegas-based trade show...but that's the price we pay to economize.

I just heard from a HarperCollins author that the publisher has, in fact, downsized its staff. Is this the time to be planning a jaunt for the remaining staff members to a distant city in 2010? No, of course not. So, in that sense, it's good that BEA will remain in New York for the next few years.

On the other hand, I do look forward to a healthier economy that, one day, will allow publishers (and, not so coincidentally, book publicists) to write off trips to more exotic locations for BEAs of the future. Has anyone given any thought to holding BEA in Hawaii, I wonder?

Friday, February 06, 2009

Be a pig for book promotion.

Want to get an interview slot on NBC's "Today Show," or score other high-visibility book promotion opportunities? Then be a pig. It worked for Miss Piggy who discussed her new book, The Diva Code: Miss Piggy on Life, Love, and the 10,000 Idiotic Things Men Frogs Do, on this morning's "Today Show."

Don't quite have the swine look and feel? That's okay. There are still book promotion opportunities waiting for you. It just won't be as easy for you, as a non-porker (and non-muppet) to score a high-visibility slot as it evidently is for Miss Piggy. But don't fret. What you may lack in looks, brilliance, and pork potential can definitely be made up in creativity. You'll just have to do more to score your book promotion opportunity than express your willingness to diss frogs in public. Ah, to be a pig!