Thursday, May 26, 2016


Bukowski Mural: Los Angeles

Want to subscribe?
Please go to Book Publicity by Marlan Newsletter  
and click "Subscribe" link at the upper right.
Thank you!

Note from the Editor

Welcome to the first installment of the Book Publicity by Marlan Newsletter! I began representing indie authors four years ago when my longtime friend, Luke Benoit, published a book that I thought was terrific (All Storms Pass: The Anti-Meditations). I ran a book review and an author interview in my blogs, and the they history. Since then, it's been a thrilling--and educational!--ride as I hone my publicity and marketing skills, while assisting indie authors (self-published and small press) with their book launch campaigns, book reviews, press releases, press kits, speaker engagements and of course, book signing bookings. My services sometimes include editing (copy editing, as well as full-on revision suggestions and rewrite/ghostwrite).

Every client experience has been a teaching episode. It is not enough to throw your book up on Amazon and hope for the best. And each PR effort requires diligence as well as knowledge on the part of all who are promoting a book.

Why am I smiling? I'm on vacation!

I'm an "Artisanal Publicist"--each book campaign requires a carefully crafted one-sheet, "elevator pitch," and consideration of the target market, as well as knowing how to attract media hosts and reporters. Books are as different as snowflakes.

This month, I find I have a short list of Writer-Author-Publisher items that might interest you. So here we go!

PS - I will consider articles you submit for this newsletter. So please feel free to submit your pearls of hard-won wisdom via the Contact Form on this newsletter! Thank you! 

Upcoming Stuff

Seattle Publisher, Gemelli Press, will be releasing and re-releasing these spicy guidebooks to Italy, just in time for your next Italian Romp (or your next fantasy about it):

In Etna's Shadow
Salento by 5
Pit Stops, Pitfalls and Olive Pits
Coins in the Fountain 
The Essential Etna Wine Guide
I worked with Gemelli and its sister, Green Darner Press, last year on several of their exciting books, and cannot wait to get started on helping spread the word on these new offerings. (I also did the final edit on Pit Stops, Pitfalls and Olive Pits, a lovely you-are-there guidebook with charming anecdotes along the way.)

Hot Tips and Contests
For great tips in PR, Writing and Beyond, I highly recommend veteran author/publicist Carolyn Howard-Johnson's jam-packed Sharing With Writers Newsletter. She also maintains a generous and informative website, where she frequently publishes my book reviews (she welcomes your submissions too), and most recently a note of praise I wrote her re her Artists First podcast interview:

This very savvy publicist is the author of the bestselling How to Do It Frugally series, which serve as encyclopedias for self-published authors.

Free Book Review Sites

I write book reviews for The Midwest Book Review, but the MBR editors are fine with me publishing those reviews elsewhere first; so while I wait for MBR to Green Light them, I send them off to Carolyn Howard-Johnson's The New Book Review site, in addition to publishing them on my blogs: L.A. Now & Then and Roadmap Girl's Book Buzz

As you authors and publishers already know, there's no such thing as too much PR exposure!

Why would one publicist support another publicist? Good question! I'll write about that in my next newsletter!

Very happy for U.K. mystery author Celia Conrad (Alicia Allen Investigates Trilogy) whose novel, Wilful Murder has just been selected as BOTM (Book of the Month) by the Goodreads Legal Anything group.

Conrad is an attorney-turned-author with a powerful imagination that spins her legal experiences and love of Classical Literature into mystery gold.

And P.S. to anyone in the Los Angeles/Pasadena area: Sisters in Crime is a wonderful group for mystery writers and readers. They meet once a month at the South Pasadena Public Library (and are international, as well). The meetings are open to anyone and free (membership is worthwhile if you care to join for a small fee), and feature speakers who give talks on all aspects of writing, publishing and mystery/suspense genre writing. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Authors: Do Not Discount the Power of "The Lovely Little Note"

Years ago, I took a "Making a Literary Life" workshop from the prolific California author, Carolyn See. She was testing material for her upcoming book of the same title. One point she makes that has always stuck with me is "You should write one Charming Note to someone you admire (who is a celebrity or highly visible in the profession you aspire to). None of the recipients has ever responded with, "Oh this sounds like what Carolyn See advises!"--until now.

A few days ago, another author I greatly admire, Carolyn Howard-Johnson, was interviewed on a radio podcast, and I wrote to let her know how much I enjoyed it. To my surprise, she not only asked my permission to post it on social media, but she posted it on her Carolyn Howard-Johnson's Sharing with Writers Newsletter blog with this prologue::

One Lovely Thank You Note a Day: This is What Carolyn See May Have Meant
In one of her books on writing, Carolyn See advises authors to write one lovely thank you note a day, the emphasis on "lovely." Lots of authors are good at writing thank you notes, especially since e-mail has made it so easy. But "lovely?"  We are all pressed for time.

Still, I have one reader who has sent me several that is an example of the kind of letter I think See would have approved of. Her name is Marlan Warren and she gave me permission to reprint her letter if I thought it would help other writers to do something similar--or at least to nudge them to write their letters. I mean, a note like this can make an author so happy! And the words from a smart publicist are an added bonus!

Dear Carolyn:

I really enjoyed your interview with Maxine Thompson on the Artist First RadioNetwork last night. I felt privileged to hear you and Maxine discuss literature, writers, writing, and your own great how-to knowledge (I’m a huge fan of your How to Do It Frugally series and now a fan of Maxine's show). You are two Old School pros who know better than anyone that being a great writer or editor means more than having been at the top of your class in English.

I especially liked your tip to "Promote the Promotion." This is what I try to explain to my PR/Marketing clients, but it is hard for them to grasp. Most think it's enough to post a "Hey! Buy my book!" on social media and leave it at that.