Thursday, July 3, 2008

Part One: Fatal flaws of authors

Making the most of the author-publicist relationship

Good stories and fatal flaws are synonymous. Just as long as the fatal flaw isn't yours and doesn't rear its head during the media campaign, right?

At the core of an effective book publicity campaign is a good working relationship between author and publicist, a partnership. To help you get the most out of yours - ensuring your publicist is in your court, is a champion for your cause and has a good rapport with you and your camp - we'll post a five-part series this week unveiling the most common "fatal flaws" of authors.

Fatal flaw #1: Overcommunicating.
Some clients need a little extra hand-holding and that's ok. (Don't we all sometimes?) The author should be in the know and it is our job as professional communicators to communicate plans, progress and feedback from media. So communication is key, but overcommunicating can be fatal.

Your publicist is likely serving multiple clients so 30 minute chats here and there can add up. Over-the-top client communication can, when compounded, detract from pitching time. So how do you strike a balance between keeping the lines open and over-the-top?

Here are some starters:
  1. Don't bog your publicist down with voicemails liek "This is Jane Doe, please call." Leave details on the voicemail so your publicist is clear on the nature of your need.
  2. Rather than shooting off several short emails from your Blackberry, compile your thoughts for the day into one email, in bullet form so you can be sure all your questions are addressed.
  3. Set up a regular weekly call with your publicist to discuss plans and set goals.
  4. Make sure your publicist has a dependable method for reporting on a regular basis.
  5. Don't worry about calling to see if the producers from the national morning shows called back to book, we'll call you.

Stop by tomorrow for fatal flaw #2, saturating media contacts.

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Blogger Tolly M said...

Yay Stephanie!!! I know I work here but this is just a wonderful post series - so glad you're making it available to the masses!

July 4, 2008 at 10:54 AM  
Anonymous themeadowblog said...

Most of your practical advice is built on the fact that the published book already exists. What about the novel that is still in the early throws of awaiting publication? I have just completed a novel along with a co-author. We understand the responsibility that is placed upon us to ensure its success. Our story is about love experienced by two people who move through many lives over many centuries. All good entertainment. If anyone from your organisation finds the time, we would love to hear your comments, not on our story, but the way that we have decided to grasp the nettle and market it via the internet. If you use the URL that is posted here it will take you to and there you will find many articles based on life itself. The main purpose of the site is , of course, to help promote our novel "The Meadow".

My question is do you think we are on the right road to achieving the results we desire, leading to successful publication? I am blogging daily, using many sites and responding to others, in the hope that someone like you will realise what we are doing. I have even clicked on the "follow" button on your Twitter so that someone can see what's happening.


Mike O'Hare

July 5, 2008 at 6:20 AM  

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