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The Savvy Author’s Guide to Book Publicity

Author: Lissa Warren
Publisher Carroll & Graf Publishing
Publication Date: January 2004

Reviewer:Andy Marken
In his nearly 25 years in the advertising/public relations field, Andy has been involved with a broad range of corporate and marketing activities. Prior to forming Marken Communications in mid-1977, Andy was vice president of Bozell & Jacobs and its predecessor agencies. During his 12 years with these agencies, he developed and coordinated a wide variety of highly visible and successful promotional campaigns and activities for clients. A graduate of Iowa State University, Andy received his Bachelor's Degree with majors in Radio & Television and Journalism. Widely published in the industry and trade press, he is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

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There are two things most public relations people often say if only to themselves:
  1. I wish I had known about that yesterday, last week, last month…

  2. Someday I'm going to write the great American novel, a fiction book about my experiences, a tell-all tale of what corporate or association or government PR book is really like
Let us say flat out we have never had a desire to write a book on public relations or anything else. The articles we write always have a specific purpose or specific target so telling all or just making a few bucks from publishing or having someone like myself judge my work has never appealed to me. But we know and have known PR people who have written books - good books - and we admire what they have said and passed along.

But frankly we wish we had known about The Savvy Author's Guide to Book Publicity a few months ago. We received one of those "over the transom" requests for PR assistance from an individual. We told the writer it wasn't an area where we had any expertise and couldn't assist them.

Had we known about Ms. Warren's book, we could have pointed him in the right direction. And after reading the book, we know it would have been the best $14 investment he would make in his writing career.

Ms. Warren has done an outstanding job of building a roadmap for people who are a writing book or thinking about writing a book. Her advice and anecdotes will help anyone who goes the self-publishing route to maximize the return on their investment. We don't know many people who already have major publishers lined up to publish their work but if we did we'd recommend the book to them.

In some of the publicity material we received on the book she has been quotes ad being the book publicist's publicist. So even if we had a contract with a major publisher - who had their own publicity department - we'd read the book just to ensure we (and the publisher) leveraged very opportunity for positive exposure.

The book hasn't made her so much money that she has given up her day job - publicizing books for Da Capo Press - but we are certain she has saved a lot of people money after they read her book. More importantly, she has spelled out the steps an author - any author - needs to follow from story concept to delivery into the reader's hands.

She spells out the things you need to do to get the media's attention for your book, how to develop your press materials and how to take advantage of every interview opportunity.

Maybe you don't have a book in you but we have to say she does a dynamite job of developing strategies and tactics to maximize press coverage for books. We believe there's a lot to learn in these expert recommendations for a publicist in any area - product, service, public service. There are anecdotes, recommendations, guidelines and suggestions that any PR person can apply in his or her life.

If you have the germ of a book idea - fiction or non-fiction - she can get you motivated to plunge forward and guide you through the launch and continued book sales. Or if one of your organization's executives comes to you and says they want you to promote their book - because it will be good "image" for the company - this is the only reading we'd recommend that will help you produce the results your executive will expect.

Book or no book, Ms Warren's Guide to Book Publicity is one book we feel you'll read from cover to cover…even the appendices.