Notes from Twin Cities Book Festival 2012
Book publicity panel
- Jerrold Jenkins, owner of a publishing services firm
- Jocelyn Hale, executive director of The Loft
- Lorna Landvik, author and performer
- Steph Curtis, Minnesota Public Radio producer
How does one establish a platform?
Blogging, writing and publishing articles on your topic, giving presentations and keynotes. Establish yourself as an expert in the topic.
Focus on what success means to you and be realistic.
Start small! Look for opportunities in your church newsletter, your alumni magazine, and word of mouth.
Steph Curtis: Has your book or idea received some traction? Show that it’s resonating with people. What are readers/audiences saying? If it’s getting some attention, it is more likely to grab a producer’s attention at MPR.
Be really clear on the angle that you’re pitching to the media. Are you pitching yourself as an author with experience, awards, a publishing deal? Or are you pitching your writing? Whichever one, be focused.
Arrange meetings with local book clubs.
Whatever you do, report back to your publisher. Make it a team effort so everyone is aware of what’s going on.
Book event/launch tips:
- Coordinate events with the launch.
- Have one BIG event, then plan smaller readings.
- Try to coordinate with others—writers, artists, musicians—so you can share audiences and reach new people. Think of people who may be doing things adjacent to your themes.
- Let other writers read from your work—this keeps it different and interesting
MPR is looking for authors who are good talkers.
Do you have evidence of this? When pitching to MPR, try to highlight your speaking experience. If you don’t have any, consider creating some YouTube videos that show your speaking abilities.
Are you inspired by this information? I know that I plan to look for possible pairings with other writers, artists, and musicians when it comes time for my launch. I also need to be better about writing essays and articles and trying to get my name out there. Lots of work to do!