The Power Force Online

When people think about publicity, they think about getting into the big publications and the major outlets; People Magazine, USAToday, The Today Show, Vogue, to name a few. What many authors don’t realize is that it is just as important, if not more, to build a strong online presence. This has lasting power. The more people start “buzzing” about you, your book and your expertise online, the more opportunities you are giving the “BIG” media to come and find you! ..Or at least have your publicist lead them to you.

For example, one of our authors, Megan Kelley Hall, has been traveling around (virtually, of course) to various blogs and websites talking about the role bullying has played in her YA novels, SISTERS OF MISERY and THE LOST SISTER. Both of her books are fiction, what is notoriously the hardest to promote because most news and entertainment outlets want a great non-fiction topic to build a show or article around. What we did with Hall was determine the best, most news-worthy angle that her stories provided. Because both of her books deal with the idea of mean girls, bullying and hazing (topics she researched painstakingly during the writing process) we used her expertise to build a “hook.” The result was that with every online outlet Hall wrote or was interviewed for, it always came back to bullying and the central theme of her novels.

When we were pitching Hall to the major outlets, one of my contacts over at Teen Vogue mentioned that she was working on a piece on bullying but that they typically didn’t cover fiction. Through our previous efforts with platform-building on websites and blogs, I was able to direct this editor to numerous sites where Hall has talked about the research behind the bullying aspect of her novels. Hall had set herself up as an expert and was therefore able to use the previously acquired online coverage to leverage a fantastic appearance in the cover story for the December/January issue of Teen Vogue.

Another example of how small things can lead to BIG exposure.

Salem Takes Publishing World by Storm!

Sisters of Misery by Megan Kelley Hall

Salem is taking the publishing world by storm. Over the next few months, bookstores will be seeing a rise in novels based in Salem, MA. The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry (William Morrow, August 2008), Sisters of Misery by Megan Kelley Hall (Kensington, August 2008) and The Heretics Daughter by Kathleen Kent (Little, Brown, September 2008) all focus on life in the same, small New England town that is steeped in tragic history.

This is an exciting trend that will only increase the amount of attention that this particular corner of our world already receives. There is movie buzz already for all three books and each one deals with a different aspect of Salem’s vibrant history. The Lace Reader and Sisters of Misery are both modern day stories with hints to the influential and ever-present history and The Heretics Daughter is an historical novel.

They are all novels that are being given a large presence in their respective publishing houses. The Lace Reader was a self-published novel that received one of the largest advances for a self-published novel, Sisters of Misery is launching Kensington’s young adult line and The Heretics Daughter was one of the most talked about books at Book Expo America with Little, Brown giving out an extraordinary number of galleys to booksellers.

USA Today just ran a piece in today’s paper about this exciting trend in literature. Check it out!

Grub Street’s Muse and the Marketplace

Last weekend (April 25-27) we spoke at Grub Street’s 7th Annual Muse and the Marketplace held at the Omni Parker House in Downtown Boston. We were on the publicity and promotion panels and were able to provide some insight into the complex world of book promotion. Many aspiring writers were there to learn from the pros. Jonathan Franzen made the keynote address at the luncheon and the audience was filled with notable writers, agents and editors. Anita Shreve, Mameve Medwed, Trish Ryan, Amy MacKinnon, Michael Thomas, Lois Lowry, Lisa Scottoline, Julia Glass, Scott Heim, and Jenna Blum were among the writers in attendance.

Two of our clients, Lisa Genova (Still Alice) and Brunonia Barry (The Lace Reader) were also on various panels, each with their debut novels. Everyone involved with the event enjoyed the experience and are already eagerly anticipating next year’s event.

The Boston Globe ran an article this weekend on the event and brought attention to the fact that New England is truly a literary hotbed. Chris Castellani was responsible for the wonderful flow of the entire weekend and should be commended for his amazing work as well as his fabulous introduction to Jonathan Franzen’s speech. Below is a photo of Jocelyn Kelley and Megan Kelley Hall with local author and National Book Award winner, Julia Glass. We are all eagerly awaiting her newest release, I SEE YOU EVERYWHERE!

Jocelyn Kelley, Julia Glass, Megan Kelley Hall