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Listed below:  Lissa Warren


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Hi Beryl. Thanks for the link. It looks great! ... Thanks again for his opportunity. What fun! --Lissa

20 Questions (by Beryl Hall Bray) excerpt from WOW WomenOnWriting.com

Lissa Warren

L
issa Warren has worked in the publicity department of several prestigious Boston publishing houses including David R. Godine, Houghton Mifflin, and Perseus Publishing, and is currently Vice President, Senior Director of Publicity at Da Capo Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group. She teaches a graduate course in book publicity at Emerson College.
 

BERYL:  Does the approach to promoting a book differ between fiction and nonfiction?

 

LISSA: It does, to some extent. The basics are the same—go out with galleys nice and early, try to secure the four major advance reviews (Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, and Booklist), follow-up with the media like crazy. But with non-fiction you have the opportunity to tie in to current events—which can mean greater exposure. Also, with fiction, the publicity is much more author-focused. You’re promoting a person, not just a book.

How many ‘hats’ does an author need to wear from the moment of inspiration to cashing her check?

More than they think—and they need to put them on nice and early. These days, an author really has to start thinking about his or her audience—especially for non-fiction—at the proposal or manuscript stage. You have to have a very clear sense of who your book is for, and you have to show that you know of ways to reach them. At Da Capo, we like to see proposals that have a section on promotional ideas—whether it’s organizations with which the author is affiliated, media contacts that they’ve established, bookstores with which they have relationships, lectures that they intend to give, conferences they plan to attend, or acquaintances who are movers-and-shakers who will help support the book in some fashion. This is not to say the writing and the concept of the book don’t matter. Of course they do. But they’re only a part of the picture.

You’ve written The Savvy Author's Guide to Book Publicity, so you know what it is like to be on the author’s side of promoting a book. Most would think that you naturally had everything you needed, or were you required to do what other authors have to do to promote their books?

I’d imagine my experience was pretty typical, actually. Yes, I had more media contacts than most, but I also knew enough to let my publicist do the approaching for me since most media people prefer not to be contacted by authors directly. And like other authors, I had to get out there and pound the  pavement. I gave talks to a number of different writing organizations--still do, actually. I wrote original articles tied to my book. I created a website (www.savvyauthorsguide.com).

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