Monday, August 14, 2017

Channel your Inner #WonderWoman! A Carolyn Howard-Johnson poem: Happy Women's Equality Day (Aug. 28)!

Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, can make a poem sizzle with Universal Reverb like Carolyn Howard-Johnson! Yes, I've been away from Book PR since April, working In-House PR for Colvard Learning, and producing/directing a play that I wrote: Bits of Paradise: Kochiyama's Crusaders which was a hit last month!

Get your bracelets on, Fellow Amazonians! And let's rock that Women's Equality Day (August 28th will be here before we know it)!

You Think You Know Me Well

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson

I am Wonder Woman. You may have known 

me so long you remember

my original star-studded skirt

a la 1942 or still sigh over that skirt metamorphosed

to a bias-cut bikini singing

a patriot’s song to the female derrière
That would have been the same time 
it became hard to tell if I was born
to empower little girls or to mesmerize 
boys--the big ones and the small.
If that’s what you think
when you hear my name,
you’ve clearly not internalized
the idea of cruel waxing demanded by today’s
experts on grooming. (You should know
I didn’t do that. Somehow I was never convinced. 
Tights were another matter. I wore
them proudly--my woman-of-steel
brand-- lasso-wielding woman,
woman who bounced bullets
from magic cuffs, woman who didn’t need
D-cup implants
spilling out of her lamé bustier. 
If you’re more academic, you may think
of my Amazonian past, woman of bent 
bow fighting Trojans, memorialized 
on Greek urns, basalt on red or—or more ancient 
inverted potter’s clay
on black. That version goes back to Homer
and Arktinos of Miletus. But they couldn’t resist thinking 
my best weapon a shock of hair
revealing a beautiful face when the helmet was sent askew
in a battle hardwon.

Monday, April 10, 2017

What's in a Media Kit (aka "Press Kit")?

As a publicist, I have created media kits (aka "press kits") for mailing, e-mailing and what are called Digital Media Kits. I actually prefer DMKs because they act like websites for the book.

Here are samples of the Digital Media Kits that I've designed for authors.


"Father's Wisdom" 

What's in a Media Kit (aka "Press Kit") why do you need one for PR?

A Media or Press Kit is a one-stop look for media hosts (i.e., news editors, reporters, TV/Radio hosts and program coordinators, bloggers, etc.) to see what you are about and what you are (to be blunt) selling...and whether, at a glance, they feel you might be right for an interview or story about your book.

What goes into a Media Kit hasn't changed much, although how it is presented has. Here's what goes into it:

1. A One-Sheet that features the following content:
  •  Small photo of book cover at the top.
  •  "(insert your name) would be honored to speak at your event about ______." Or "would be honored to appear on your show to speak about _________."

  • Very Short Summary of the book that is actually a marketing pitch but not one that emphasizes hype, exclamation points, etc. or says "This is the best book ever written," etc. But it should interest whomever you intend to interest with a short and sweet, professional-looking pitch that says what the book is about and why it would attract readers. 

  • Early Book Review "Blurbs" if the book is brand new or strong book review quotes from impressive reviewers (anonymous Amazon reviews really do not count, sorry) if the book has gained these reviews after publication. A blurb consists of one or two lines praising the book.

  • Sell Sheet
    This used to be on a separate page when the media kit was sent by mail. I now include the info briefly on the one-page (Where is the book being sold, how much is it -- although price is optional as it keeps changing for indie authors, and most of the relevant info that is on Amazon re ISBN number, etc.)

  • Author Bio
    Keep it brief, but pick the most exciting and interesting things about yourself. (Sounds like common sense, but you'd be surprised.)

On the back of the One-Sheet, if you're printing it out to mail to a bookstore, you can put a short excerpt of the book or a marketing plan if that is relevant. If you have Press Release that can fit on the back, go ahead and use it.

2. Photos: Author Photo and any photos of book signings, etc.

This can get tricky if you are emailing your kit to someone you do not know because it may land in their spam folders. Many "stranger emails" land in spam if they contain attachments or even live links.

3. Book Excerpt: If you include a book excerpt, keep it relatively short (receivers tend to have Attention Deficit Disorder) and make sure it is exciting, humorous or intriguing.

For some reason that I have not yet figured out, the majority of authors need assistance in picking out the most exciting aspects of their bio or book to show someone else. Think about it: Would you rather slog through a boring page of narrative as an intro to a book or the juiciest passage?

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Thank you, Athena Cats, for including my play in your New Works Fest (4/8/17)!

Los Angeles playwright Marlan Warren's play, "Chasing Sangha," has been selected for Athena Cats' New Works Festival of 10-Minute Plays, and will be performed as a staged reading Sat., April 8, at the City Garage in Santa Monica's Bergamot Station Arts Center. The event ties in with SWAN (Support Women Artists Now) Day.

"I'm thrilled Athena Cats invited me to be part of this afternoon of 10-minute plays," said Warren. "Athena Cats--with its focus on women playwrights and directors--is like a dream come true for me."