Friday, February 10, 2012

Guest Blog Day - Ashley Memory asks, "Who is Your Publicist?"

I was recently amused when another author posted the following comment on my LinkedIn wall: “Who is your publicist?”

This may or may not have been a compliment, but since it fell on the heels of a blog post on special events to promote my new novel, I had reason to believe that she meant well. My answer was short and to the point: “Me!”

While I’m very fortunate that an independent publisher agreed to publish my novel, nearly every event that I’ve attended has been scheduled by me. But I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. Not only have I learned a great deal, I find it quite liberating not to be dependent on someone else’s labor.

Three Quick Hints for Finding the Publicist in You

1. Where are other authors going? Join a local writing organization (such as N.C. Writers’ Network) and find out where other authors read. I’ve been amazed by the variety of businesses and organizations that seek out writers, from bed and breakfast inns to retirement communities.

2. Find a connection between your book and a local business. My most lucrative event so far has been my first, when a local restaurant specializing in my main character’s specialty—French crêpes—agreed to host a signing and serve dessert crêpes for free.

3. Contact local civic clubs and ask to speak at their events. They’re always seeking speakers and are grateful for your time and expertise. Some will say no but all it takes is one yes. My first Rotary appearance led to three more invitations to speak.

Hollywood celebrities can afford to hire publicists because let’s face it, they’re far too busy to make cold calls but more than one of these relationships has ended acrimoniously. Fortunately for me and “my publicist,” we can’t part ways so easily. While not every event is a wild success at least I only have myself to blame. And if someone asks me who created this cheesy People magazine cover, I’ll just roll my eyes and say: “That crazy publicist of mine!”

Ashley Memory is the author of Naked and Hungry, which was named as one of the season’s most promising debut novels by The Library Journal on October 2011. For more questionable writing and promotion tips, visit her blog.


Sherry Gloag said...

Thanks for such an interesting and informative post.

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Rick Bylina said...

Sherry and Mary - Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

Karen Lenfestey said...

Good ideas about publicity. I can't imagine how you got a restaurant to donate food--and crepes no less. Yum!