Saturday, April 4, 2009

Mt. Hermon Conference: Day 2

Still sunny and 70 degrees out here. Amazing stuff.

Today was the first day of my major morning track, titled "Bring on the Media." I'm still not sold on the title--it sounds like I'm encouraging an author/media smackdown or something.

"Who wants some--did you say something, Redbook?"

I've seen a few public back and forths between authors and journalists and while they can be entertaining (if you're not the publicist caught in between), I'm more interested in making sure the class doesn't feel intimidated by the publicity process.

I started things off by commenting that the changes within the media over the past six months make the publishing industry look stable by comparison. As publicists, we're having to evolve almost daily as the media consolidates, changes and in some cases just disappears.

For authors watching that process from the sidelines, it can be worrisome, if not flat-out depressing. My morning track is all about prepping authors for those new challenges--and more importantly, new opportunities.

A few of the things we covered today:

- Social media is all about building authentic relationships--not hawking books.

- Media members are searching for sources and guests online and if you don't have a good website with fresh, professional information--you're missing out on opportunities.

- Thanks to blogs, Twitter and other apps, authors have more control than ever over their platforms. No excuses remain for not plugging in online.

- Buzz doesn't build overnight--it's a result of hard work and a unique/entertaining perspective communicated to an ever-growing audience over time.

- Don't be intimidated by social media--learn as much as you can about how to approach it and dive right in.

Mt. Hermon Quick Hits: Day 2

  • Bill Butterworth is one funny dude. He gave his first talk last night and the guy had us eating out of his hands.

  • I've got some very smart, savvy authors in my course, including Annie Downs, Sharon Norris Elliott, Holley Gerth and others that I will get dirty looks from for not mentioning here.

  • My poor roommate. Every time I roll over in bed it sounds like I'm doing a cannon-ball on a creaky set of box-springs. It's brutal.

  • I haven't had to dodge any careening branches yet today--stay tuned.

  • All weekend I have been asked for examples of an author with a good Web presence and I always point people to my good friend Vicki Courtney. Her website is excellent and her blog is even better.

  • The food is amazing here--I feel like I'm on a cruise. I thought people were just being nice but it's as good as advertised.

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Blogger AnnieBlogs said...

Well played. No dirty looks from this savvy author.

April 4, 2009 at 9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


April 5, 2009 at 9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rusty! Great reporting from MH.

April 6, 2009 at 9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The links in the post aren't working because it's including the blogger address.

great posts, by the way. I'm a fan!

April 8, 2009 at 8:47 AM  
Blogger Rusty Shelton - Managing Director said...

Hey Anonymous--

Thanks for the heads up on the broken links. All have been fixed. Glad you stopped by!


April 9, 2009 at 11:30 AM  

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