Thursday, January 19, 2017


This conversation has happened at every agency in the world (particularly in the kids and teen department).
Agent 1: I’ve got a new project.
Agent 2: Yeah? How good is it?
Agent 1: It’s good.
Agent 2: Good?
Agent 1: Yeah, good.
Agent 2: Oh…Damn.
Agent 1: Yeah.
Agent 2: *Sips martini* That’s too bad.
imgres.jpgAgents, editors, and maybe you, the author, know the curse of the “good” book. The book that’s perfectly fine, that works, that tells an interesting story, and that is, sad to say, darn near unsellable. The rejections often contain phrases like “didn’t fall in love,” or “just didn’t feel strongly enough,” leavened with genuine compliments about the writing or characterization. After years of learning the craft of story and voice, you’ve finally created a nearly flawless novelone you know is as good (heck, better!) than a lot of stuff on the shelf. And it just…doesn’t…sell.
What’s going on here? Are publishers just crass, cowardly, visionless hacks who take pleasure in crushing the dreams of talented writers, refusing to give even promising careers a chance to get started?
The answer, of course, is no. Nobody is more motivated (apart from the author) to see a book succeed with flying colors than publishers. Believe me when I say us soulless agents and our human counterparts- editors- are wishing and dreaming as hard as you for that Newbery Medal, the debut on the New York Times Best Sellers list, the book signing line that wraps around the block.
It pains me to say it- and it pains all of us in publishing, I promise you- but there typically just isn’t room for “good” books. Publishing is an increasingly competitive space. More and more people want to be published, and the standard for what constitutes a “success” gets higher every day. Publishers have limited space on their lists, and so each novel has to be more than good. It has to be something special.
Of course there are many kinds of special. Natalie Babbitt’s Tuck Everlasting, Nicola Yoon’s The Sun is Also a Star, Chris Grabenstein’s Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s LibraryVictoria Aveyard’s Red Queen– four completely different novels, with pretty different audiences, and they all have something in common. These are novels that demand you sit up and take notice. They are more than just functioning stories. They refuse to be ignored.
images.jpgWhen I say publishers don’t want good books, I don’t mean they’re after bad ones either. Nobody is more passionate about compelling fiction than your friendly neighborhood editor, whether the novel in question is a beautiful, heart-breaking, cry-on-the-subway coming of age, or a heart-pounding, unforgettable, so-damn-sexy-you-need-a-time-out fantasy, romance, or action/adventure. Though you may have found writing on the shelf at Barnes & Noble that makes your skin crawl (in the bad way), fiction is a subjective business, and I guarantee that even if it isn’t your brand of beer, every novel published made someone, somewhere, feel something profound- whether it was excitement, intrigue, or love.
Awesome, thanks for that John. Of course I want to be better than good. I want to be special, too. So what do I do?
My advice to my clients, to all novelists (and to myself), is always the same: push yourself. Don’t settle for your first idea, or even your second. Don’t stick with a project simply because it’s written, when you know rewriting or moving on to the next thing will be even better. Can you tell a story? Great. Now ask yourself, why does my story need to be told? What about it is new, what about it pushes boundaries? What about it has, at least, the potential to change a person’s life?
Teens need you. Teens need writers. I know I did. Novels saved my life, and I am one of thousands in that club. So be fearless. When you tell someone what your story is about, what’s their reaction? You want “Wow,” you want, “Oh my goodness, really?” You even want, “You can’t write a book about that!”
We’re all striving to do something great, and most of us ultimately land somewhere between where we started and the stars. If you want to be a novelist, you have to want to be the best novelist, or you’ll never get off the ground. As maddening as it can be, I’m glad the publishing biz is so competitive. It pushes us to be more.
So get good, write a good novel, hone your craft until you are a master of structure.
Then start again.
John M. Cusick is an agent with Folio Jr. / Folio Literary Management, representing picture books, middle-grade, and young adult novels.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

17 New Years Tips for authors - Gain greater recognition for your book in 2017

No matter how good your book may be, if you're not getting the recognition you deserve, your potential sales may end up sitting on a shelf collecting dust.  To follow are 17 tips for gaining the recognition you deserve to help generate activity and greater sales for your book.  Take every opportunity to claim your title as an expert in your field and 2017 may just be a banner year for you and your book!  

1) Brand your Facebook cover photo.  Include images of any awards you may have won.  According to BookBub 69% of readers use Facebook to find information about their favorite author and 88% follow their favorite author on Facebook.

2) Create a discussion on Quora. Get involved.  Ask questions, engage users, don’t make it all about pitching your book. Use keywords in your post title and content to increase promotional returns.

3) Have experience with public speaking?  Give a talk at an event. Pitch your subject to a writers’ conference, such as The Great American Book Festival.

4) Start a podcast or reach out to see if you can participate on someone else’s podcast.  The more exposure the better.  Take every opportunity to reach out to others who may benefit from your expertise.

5) Submit your book as an award contender.  According to BookBub, including an author’s awards in their blurbs increases clicks an average of 6.7%.  Try for established and reputable award programs such as Literary Classics book Awards or the CLC Top Honors Awards

6) Comment on relevant threads in Facebook groups or on other people’s threads to help build your reputation as an expert.

7) Write an in-depth blog post on a topic related to or covered in your book, then reference and link to your book within the post as well as at the end as part of your bio.

8) Contribute advice and ideas to a LinkedIn group.  Make sure your profile includes a link where people can purchase your book.

9) Write a press release for PRWeb. It’s a great way to get some backlinks to your site and maybe even some press interest!

10) Use discussion forums on your topic including places like yahoo answers, to get in front of people who want to know what you know. Make sure you provide a link to your author page.

11) Sign up as a HARO source (HARO: Help a Reporter Out) and be seen as an expert in your field.

12) Become active on HubPages, and publish valuable content that will establish you as an expert while providing greater exposure for you and your book.  Be sure to include a link to your site.

13) Post free content or excerpts from your book on Scribd. (You may also sell your book on this site.)

14) Create short presentations about topics related to your book and put them on SlideShare.

15) Share your knowledge.  Have you learned a special technique for promoting your book?  Offer an article for submission with Author.Pub

16) Offer speaking topics at local schools which the schools will find beneficial for their students. If possible, tie this in to the subject or theme of your book.

17) Make a series of videos for YouTube related to your book content.  With nonfiction books you can include a series of how-to videos.  For fiction books, you can do this by including thematic topics.

Whatever you do, resolve to make 2017 the best year yet for you and your book.  By presenting yourself as an expert in your field you will establish greater credibility while increasing your exposure.  Here's to making it great in 2017!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Get the word out - Verbolatry Laugh-a-Riot Contest

Send us your funnies about writing and win cash prizes!


They say a contest is only as good as its judges. By that account, we rock! For our debut year, we've managed to bag ourselves three terrific titans of the writing industry:

Moira Allen
Leigh Anne Jasheway
Geoff Tristram

ably assisted by your humble servant Devyani Borade and her alter-ego Debora!

Read more about the judges.


We are grateful for the support and generosity of our brilliant sponsors. With products and services catering specifically to writers and artists, they are uniquely positioned to help build your success.

Explore their offerings to see how you can benefit.
Anam Cara Writer's and Artist's Retreat
Anam Cara Retreat
Read more about the sponsors.

Contest Rules

Category: FREE

Prize: £50 to the winning entry, via PayPal & publication in the Verbolatry newsletter
Eligibility: Anyone over the age of 18, except contest judges and family
Topic: Writing/publishing
Language: English
Genres: Humorous fiction, humorous nonfiction
Types: Cartoon, Essay
Cartoon - JPG, PNG or GIF file, resolution 75dpi min., dimensions 900x1400px max., as attachment
Essay - 100 words min., 500 words max., in message body
Original, previously unpublished work only
One entry per author, regardless of type
Mention the category and title of your entry in the subject line
Include an accurate word count
Tell us where you heard about this contest (Our charismatic promoters)
Send entry to: v3rbolatry(at)gmail(dot)com
"Early Bird" submission period*: 1 April 2016 to 31 July 2016
Last date: 31 August 2016
Results announced: October 2016 newsletters

Category: PAID

Prize: £100 to the winning entry, via PayPal & publication in the Verbolatry newsletter
Fee: £5 per entry via PayPal
Eligibility: Anyone over the age of 18, except contest judges and family
Topic: Writing/publishing
Language: English
Genres: Humorous fiction, humorous nonfiction
Types: Cartoon, Essay
Cartoon - JPG, PNG or GIF file, resolution 75dpi min., dimensions 900x1400px max., as attachment
Essay - 100 words min., 500 words max., in message body
Original, previously unpublished work only
Multiple entries per author allowed
Each entry must be submitted in a separate email message
Mention the category and title of your entry in the subject line
Include an accurate word count
Note the email address used to make the payment in order to link your payment to your entry
Tell us where you heard about this contest (Our charismatic promoters)
Send payment and entry to: v3rbolatry(at)gmail(dot)com
"Early Bird" submission period*: 1 April 2016 to 31 July 2016
Last date: 31 August 2016
Results announced: October 2016 newsletters

  • You will be subscribed to the newsletter when you participate in the contest, although you can unsubscribe at any time.
  • By entering the contest, you guarantee that you are the author of the work.
  • Winners will be contacted via email.
  • If your entry wins or is shortlisted, you grant us first electronic rights and non-exclusive electronic archival rights. Winning and shortlisted entries will be published on the Verbolatry website and in the Verbolatry newsletter, which is then archived in its entirety.
  • There is only one prize for each category regardless of the type of entry submitted.
  • Payment of the prize will be made within 30 days of publication.
  • If multiple entries are submitted by a single author in the FREE category, only the first will be accepted.
  • Entries sent by post will be discarded without consideration.
  • Entries that don't follow these rules will be discarded without consideration.
  • Entry fee is non-refundable.
  • If your piece gets accepted for publication elsewhere, you must inform us promptly so that we can withdraw it from consideration.

(Void where prohibited. You are responsible for managing your tax implications. PayPal may charge some small fee over which we have no control.)

Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Information in this section forms part of the contest rules.

Why have this contest?
1. We think the adventures of the charming Debora and her incorrigible Pen deserve to be told to the teeming masses of the writing/publishing industry. Everyone can do with a good laugh. We hope this contest raises the profile ofVerbolatry newsletter and gets us more subscribers. And with our anniversary coming up, what better way to celebrate than by asking you to join in?!
2. Humour writing is our thing. Humour about writing even more so. We've found that this niche is sadly under-represented and under-appreciated in the current literary scene out there, so we'd like this contest to fill that void. We hope entrants will feel empowered and encouraged to keep on writing.
If you're associated in any way with this industry, we bet you have a funny story to share!

How can you compare cartoons with essays?
The same way you can compare apples with oranges and decide that just then what you'd really like to eat is an apple, not an orange. All judging is subjective in all contests. If it were an exact science, everybody would win. We like what we like, and we'll know it when we see it!

What are the judging criteria?
Judging is point-based. Points will be awarded for originality and uniqueness of idea, its funny quotient, and quality of writing/art. One bonus point will be given to entries that are submitted early. Normal contest etiquette applies. (This means the judges' decisions are final. No arguing over why a piece was chosen or not chosen. There is expectation of courteous communication by both sides. We trust you to verify your own eligibility to the contest and you remain liable for any consequences if you don't.)

How long will the shortlist be?
No less than five and no more than eight entries, per category.

What happens if there's a tie?
To be announced.

Why do early birds get a benefit?
For balance of volume. Contests get many last-minute entries. If we get a flood of late submissions, we may get overwhelmed and results may be delayed. That would make us cranky. So we encourage early submissions to maintain a nice steady flow of entries. Seriously, you don't want to make us cranky. It's not pretty.

Hey, wait. I know you people. We're friends. We chat often. Do I get the inside track on the contest? *nudge* *wink*
We're friends, you say? Well, don't worry, we won't hold that against you! On the other hand, it won't earn you any favours either.
I am an editor/publisher/cover designer/book agent/retired grandma who's just discovered this thing called Internet/an inhabitant of Antarctica. Can I participate?
Yes! All are welcome, as long as they can meet the requirements above. Competition is fierce. You are pitting your work against strong contenders, many of whom have years of experience in the industry. So make sure you bring your A-game. (Hang on, you really live at the science stations on Antarctica? Cool, please spread the word there, too. Unless you're a penguin.)

Can I collaborate with a friend and submit a joint entry?
No. Each entry must have only one author.

Can I enter a poem/novel excerpt/screen play/photograph/podcast/anything other than cartoon or essay?
Sorry, no.

Will my entry be acknowledged?
In a way. You will be subscribed to the newsletter, which is emailed twice a month. So if you've received an issue of the newsletter, we've received your entry to the contest. If you don't receive an issue within a month of sending your entry, please contact us.

Why are you subscribing me to your newsletter?
Increasing our readership is one of the objectives of this contest. You are under no obligation to remain subscribed. We do hope, though, that you'll hang around to enjoy the newsletter, because, hello? Cartoons! A 20-second fun read in your inbox every fifteen days! What's to not like?!

What if I am already a subscriber?
Then we love you, and you rise to the top of our favourite persons' list. Fear not, you won't be signed up twice, but you also won't get any preferential treatment as far as this contest goes. Perhaps we can schmooze over a coffee later? Sucks, we know, but we're painfully unbiased here.

What do you mean by 'previously unpublished'? Does my blog post/facebook update/twitter tweet count?
Afraid not. If it's been published in a blog, book, magazine, website, anthology, CD,  chat room, writers' forum or even critique group, it does not qualify. If it's still in your little black diary at home buried under clothes and last night's dinner in a corner of your desk drawer, and nobody other than your mum has set eyes on it, it's probably okay to submit.

Why aren't you accepting reprints? Won't that increase your subscriber numbers?
It will. However, we want this contest to be a level playing field for everyone. We want to encourage you to create something brand new! The contest focus is broad enough to allow plenty of latitude for ideas, yet narrow enough to direct and channel your creativity. If your work has been previously published five times, or fifteen, it's probably good, and you should be proud. Now let's give everyone a chance to shine.

I found I made a mistake in my entry, but I've already submitted it. Can I send in a correction, revision or updated version?
No. All submissions are final.

What happens to my entry after the contest?
If your entry gets shortlisted or wins, we ask for publication rights as above. If your entry doesn't make the cut this time, then nothing, you can treat it as before. You don't lose any rights.

Do you accept cheques or direct bank funds transfers?

Must I provide my real name?

Can I send my entry by post?
You're kidding, right? Good one! A sense of humour is exactly what we'd like to see; you should send in an entry!

I love your FAQs! Can I copy them and use them on my website/competition?
We're flattered, but no, thanks. In fact, why settle for imitation when you can get the real thing? Hire us and we'll manage your contest or write copy for you which is as scintillating or even better. Our rates are very modest. In fact, they are so shy and retiring, you'll have to contact us to get a peek at them. Go on, we'll wait.

Still have a question we've not already answered? Feel free to ask us at v3rbolatry(at)gmail(dot)com.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Award Winning Author Susan Doherty shares her marketing tips

Susan Doherty

My novel, A Secret Music was published with a small independent press in Toronto. They had almost no budget for publicity.  I contacted the printing press and ordered 50 copies to use as promotional material.  I wanted my book to stand out from all the other books the media was receiving, so I wrapped each copy in vintage sheet music (the book is historical fiction) which I found at a second hand shop. I tied the novel with thin black ribbon simulating the notes and the staff paper. Next I made postcards of my book jacket. This can be done very inexpensively through a number of online sources, and triples as a thank you card, invitation, and bookmark. Be creative.

I made a spreadsheet of every single media outlet in Montreal: radio, TV, magazine, and newspapers. I called each business to ascertain the contact name.  I hand-delivered my wrapped book with the postcard as my business card.  Here is the most important point. I prepared a list of questions in advance that the interviewer could ask, making it easy, and interesting, for them to want to review my book on air or in print.

I called every library within 200 miles of my house, and asked to do a book talk. If they agreed, I brought books to sell.  As the room was filling up, I ran a simple power point of dozens of old images representing the time period and the characters. I gave two signed copies to each library that invited me to speak.  Three of the libraries ended up buying ten copies for their “book in a bag” book club selection. In the gift shop at the New York Public library I found socks that were printed as old library cards (They also have pencil socks).  I gave each librarian a pair of the socks after my book talk.  Afterwards I always send thank you notes.

In a competitive market, any efforts to differentiate will matter.
As I began to get interviews, I created a file with the links to each review. That generated more reviews, and more requests from book clubs.

My last two suggestions are these: say yes to every book club invite. Readers love to meet the author. As well, you bring special insights and character motives to life when a group (with hopefully divergent ideas!) discusses the themes and plot points.

Lastly, send your book to English teachers with a teacher guide included. Again, make it easy for people to say yes. Follow up.

Nowadays, even the big publishing houses have limited marketing budgets. Be prepared to put yourself out there. I guarantee it will generate book sales.

A Secret Music is Susan Doherty Hannaford’s debut novel.  A Secret Music is currently available at but will soon be available at Amazon.Com and Barnes and Noble in the U.S.  Susan worked at Maclean’s Magazine. After Maclean’s, she worked for a digital publishing company in Paris, freelancing for The International Herald Tribune, La Tribune de Genève, and the Independent in London.  Back in Canada, she studied creative writing at University of Toronto, Concordia University, and was mentored by award winning novelist Sandra Birdsell through the Humber School for Writers.  Her volunteer affiliations include: the YMCA, the Douglas Institute and she is a board member of the Royal Conservatory of Music, the Quebec Writer’s Federation and Nazareth House, a shelter for the homeless. She is currently writing and researching her second book, The Ghost Garden, the story of an Ottawa woman’s life-long struggle with schizophrenia. Her passions include music, mental illness, fitness and living a purposeful life.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Why Publicity Builds Legitimacy

by Shel Horowitz

Why is it important to get news coverage? Of course, you hope that people who see the article or hear/watch the interview will buy your book. But the real payoffs continue long after the paper is recycled, the interview is forgotten.

People need ways of sorting the good stuff from the junk--especially in our oversaturated age, with over 100,000 new books published each month just in the U.S., and tens of thousands more flooding in from other markets. Since even a really avid reader can only manage about three books a week, tops (or 150 or so in a year) and most people will read only a handful in a year, your audience wants a way to know which books are good.

When that reader gets to your website and sees that you've been covered in famous publications...interviewed on dozens of shows...gotten endorsements from prominent achievers in your field (and from ordinary readers like them)...all these things work to build that all-important credibility with the reader. With all those reasons to take a chance on you their unfamiliarity with you as an author becomes much less of a barrier.

Also, in most cases, these kinds of credentials establish your credibility *with the media.* Reporters and editors will know, first of all, that you are worth talking to because all these other publications and stations and websites found you worth covering--and also that you're reasonably comfortable being interviewed and won't freeze up over the air. So they're more likely to call you as a source; and publicity builds more publicity. (The exception: some of the largest TV shows won't want you if you've been aired by their direct competitors--but that's pretty much only an issue for shows like Good Morning America and the Today Show.

Shel Horowitz walks you down the path from unpublished writer to well-published and well-marketed author. A publishing consultant and book marketing writer, he’s helped several writers publish award-winning books. Several of his own 10 books have won awards and or been resold to foreign publishers, including Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green, which was a category bestseller on Amazon at least 34 separate months.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Developing a Marketing Plan for Your Book

Now is the time to develop a marketing and publicity plan for your book

By Rachel M. Anderson, Publicist, RMA Publicity

For many authors, marketing is more of an afterthought than something they think about as they are writing their books. But if you want the manuscript you have poured your heart and soul into to sell, you need to put some thought into how you are going to reach readers. 
A good starting point is to determine your target audience, and no, not everyone who can read will be a good target! You need to step back and determine the characteristics of the person most likely to want to read your book. For example, a reader in his or her 20s is unlikely to take interest in a memoir about an Alzheimer's Journey. But people in their 40s and 50s with older parents may. By the same token, a senior citizen probably won't care for a novel set on a college campus. The ideal audience for that type of book would be older teens and those in their 20s.
Once you have determined whom you are writing for, it is time to give some serious thought to how you can best reach that ideal reader. I recommend you consider both publicity and marketing to promote your books. Contrary to popular belief, they are not one in the same. A good way to differentiate the two is to think of marketing as the paid side of things and publicity as the unpaid side. 
Marketing involves such things as book distribution, advertising and securing signings and tables at events. Publicity involves reaching out to the media to secure stories on TV, in the newspaper, on radio and online, as well as acquiring reviews.

Here are ten tips that will help get you started on a solid marketing and publicity plan:
1. Create a Website for your book. If you don’t have one, it will be hard for potential readers to find you and the media to promote you.
2. Launch a social media campaign. This is something you can and should do well before your book is in print to create a following/fan-base. An easy way to do this is to create a Facebook Fan Page for your book and contribute entries to it regularly. Fan pages are totally free to set up and offer a viral method of making contact with potential customers. The average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events. (Make sure you mention that you have a Facebook Fan Page on your Website.) 
3. Develop a list of places where your potential readers spend time and make plans to visit with them on their “home turf” throughout the year. If, for example, your book is about dieting or recovering from drug addiction, you should be attending regular support group meetings and telling people about your book. If you have a business book, join the local Chamber of Commerce and regularly attend meetings. 
4. Seek out non-profits and other organizations that would be most interested in your book and/or expertise and let them know about your title. If your book is about organ donation, for example, Life Source, the American Organ Transplant Association and the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), are good organizations to get to know.
5. If you haven’t done it yet, ask your friends and people you know who have purchased your book to write a review and post it on The more reviews and activity you have, the higher you move in the searchable listings. 
6. A lot of authors who started out by publishing just a traditional printed book have found that having their title available as an eBook as well significantly impacts the number of sales they get. According to a recent survey released by the American Association of Publishers (AAP) the market share of eBooks grew more than 1,200 percent from 2008 to 2010. 
7. Start a blog and contribute to it regularly, making reference to your book as often as you can. If people like what you have to say, they are likely to purchase your book. 
8. Pay attention to stories making their way through the news cycle. They may offer you opportunities to get on the news. 
9. Prepare regular press releases and distribute them to the media, or hire a publicist to handle this task for you. When you see a story in the news that you would like to comment on, don’t just think about it, do it! Those authors who send out regular press releases are more likely to become sources for reporters than those who don’t. The release of your book should mark the first time you reach out to the media, not the last. 
10. Spend some time researching the editorial calendar used by reporters to determine where your story would fit best. 

Need help executing your plan? RMA Publicity would be happy to help. We develop marketing and publicity plans for authors, offer writing and pitching services, and can also help with setting up book launch parties, book signings and other author events. Contact us for more information.

About the Author 
Rachel M. Anderson has more than 25 years of communications experience across a wide range of disciplines. She currently works as a marketing & PR consultant and publicist for RMA Publicity, a company she founded in 2009 to help small publishers and those who have self published promote their books to local, national and international audiences.  Rachel also has experience as a marketing and direct response copywriter, television newscast producer and assignment editor, television newscast reporter and newspaper reporter. She is currently an at-large board member with the Midwest Independent Publishing Association (MIPA) and writes the monthly marketing article for the Association newsletter.  

Rachel lives in the Twin Cities, but works with authors and publishers across the country. 

Rachel M. Anderson

Marketing & PR Consultant/Publicist
RMA Publicity 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Many authors, either self-published or published by major publishing houses, find getting the word out about their newly-released book to be a challenge. There are just so many reviews appearing in the major newspapers and they primarily focus on already established authors. How can an unknown writer raise his or her profile and get reviews to bolster book sales?

Publicity is key!

In order to maximize visibility for you, your brand, and your book, it’s best to use the following guidelines:

  1. Send review copies to the major media outlets that will review the book, including Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and other publications that will do an honest critique of the book.
  2. Build up your own network of supporters of your book, including friends and family. You want them to write reviews on websites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, GoodReads, and other book-specific blogs, ezines and sites.
  3. When you reach a specific milestone --like signing a book deal, the actual printed books arriving, etc., organize a party at your home to celebrate. At the party, read excerpts from the book and answer any questions from your guests. Request that they write reviews and post them after they’ve had a chance to read your book.
  4. If you don’t have any interest or talent in actually promoting the book and if your publisher is not investing any money in publicizing it, consider hiring a book publicist.  Getting publicity and speaking opportunities for an author – especially a new author – is a time-consuming endeavor. It’s best left to the professionals who have media contacts and have done book publicity for years. Reach out to websites that focus on book marketing to see which public relations agencies they recommend. With technology, it is no longer necessary for your publicist to be in your geographic area….they can work from anywhere to help you get the word out about your new book. Publicists can work within an author's budget and can be very cost-effective. If an article in a newspaper focuses on you and your book, it could translate to thousands of dollars of comparable advertising of your book in that same publication.  Hiring a Public Relations firm or consultant is much more economical than advertising, and has three times the credibility of an ad because the story is written by a third party. Publicists can help you with every step of getting you and your book out there to the local area and the world! For a comprehensive listing of book publicists, go to John Kremer’s Book Marketing Best Sellers website listing:  You’ll find yours truly under “T” (Tomic Communications)
  5. If you have no budget at all for public relations, you may wish to try to do it yourself. Start by writing a one-page summary of the book. Get a great head shot taken by a good amateur or professional. Include a color photograph of the book cover. Next, write a short biography of yourself and a pitch letter to the reporter you are trying to reach. Be sure to include a link where the book may be purchased (the Amazon page, for example) in your signature line.
  6. Creating a website for the book is another selling tool. Include sample chapters, a blog about the book, the media kit, a schedule of your upcoming speaking engagements (if you have any) and contact information.
  7. Six months or so before the book is published, ask for reviews or blurbs from influential individuals – including book reviewers at major newspapers. If your publisher doesn’t let you send the entire book, you can send the first couple of chapters, a table of contents (if it’s a non-fiction book) and your bio.
  8. Try to get speaking engagements in your local community. Ask your local bookstores, libraries, schools, colleges, if they are looking for speakers.  Make sure to send out a calendar listing of the event in advance to help draw a larger audience. Bring a box of books and designate an area following the Q & A for a book-signing. Expect to talk about a thirty minutes with 15 minutes or so of Q & A.
  9. Create videos and post them on YouTube to help create an online following. This is particularly useful for non-fiction authors who want to be seen as experts in their field.
  10. Be persistent! 99% of success requires hard work and persistence! Believe in yourself, your writing, and your book and your enthusiasm will draw people to you. They, in turn, will recommend your book to their friends and family. In some cases, that’s how a viral marketing campaign succeeds – through word of mouth.  
  11. Hire a publicist who really knows how to guide you in getting interviews and speaking engagements. Many offer much-reduced fees for independent authors.
  12. Good luck!

Charlotte Tomic, President
Tomic Communications, Inc. 917-882-5243,

Tomic Communications is a boutique public relations company that serves clients around the world. We assist in shining the spotlight on companies, authors, nonprofits and professionals to burnish their brand via strategic communications and planning.