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
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
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).