Rachel Fershleiser works on Tumblr’s strategic outreach team, specializing in publishing, nonprofit, and cultural organizations. Previously she was the Community Manager at Bookish and the Director of Public Programs at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, where she now serves on the Board of Directors. She is also the co-creator of Six-Word Memoirs and co-editor of the New York Times Bestseller Not Quite What I Was Planning and three other books. Her writing has appeared in the anthology My Parents Were Awesome and in The Village Voice, New York Press, Print, Los Angeles Times, National Post, Salon.com, Fray Quarterly and several amazing print and online publications you’ve never heard of. She’s also great at making soup.
In our ongoing series looking to help authors do better events, we knew Rachel would be the perfect person to talk to. We chatted with her about the importance of community and collaboration, the best events of all time, and how well PB&Js can pair with PBR. We also got her fantastic advice about exactly how and why authors should use social media. ”When people tell me they don’t want to do social media I’m always sort of confused about, like, well why did you write a book?” Rachel says. “I presume it’s because you have things to say that you want people to hear.”
Absolutely awesomesauce ideas that break the book launch mold wide open!
From Bill and Steve Harrison’s Reporter Connection:
Here on Earth, it’s January. On the planet inhabited by national magazine editors, it’s July. Many national publications plan ahead 7 months or more. So, as you get your 2013 calendar organized, make a note to pitch ideas at least 9 months in advance of when you think a story would run. Just missed a good date? Then pitch your story as a website exclusive. Those are written closer to publication. Get planning!
From Bob Mayer at Digital Book World.
“The product is the story. Not the book, not the eBook, not the audio book. The Story.
The consumer is the reader. Not the bookstores, the platform, the distributor, the sales force. The Reader.
Authors produce story. Readers consume story. If anyone is in the path between Author and Reader they must add value to that connection.”
This is what we at Read The Spirit try to do every day, add value for both our authors and our readers… or at the very least detract less than another publishing house might…
Not really. Probably.
But we’re hitching our wagon to those stars anyway. And we’re not the only ones.
For example there are at least three new Hobbit-related Bible studies coming out this fall. One ARC, The Christian World of the Hobbit by Devin Brown, is on my TBR pile as we speak. And The Hobbit won’t be released until December.
Here at Read The Spirit we are much more excited about November. On the 9th of November Bond, James Bond, returns with all the mayhem that follows him around in Skyfall. Of course we’ve got a little something to say about Bond, since we’ve got Benjamin Pratt and his book Ian Fleming’s Seven Deadlier Sins & 007’s Moral Compass.
Fleming was making a moral point. All those bad guys, including the morally questionable Bond himself, are characters in a parable that recasts the seven deadly sins for a new age. The coolest part is Pratt has the scholarship to back him up.
Then, one week later, the final Twilight installment, Breaking Dawn Part 2 opens.
So what does an angsty teen vampire flick have in common with a publishing house focusing on “spirituality for everyday living”? A lot, it turns out.
I thought I was all alone in the world two years ago when I started writing about spiritual themes in Twilight, which resulted in Glitter in the Sun: A Bible Study Searching for Truth in the Twilight Saga. Suddenly the market is crowded with writers of all stripes who point to Twilight and other new Gothic media as symptoms of a world hungry for some sort of deeper spiritual understanding.
Glitter in the Sun does not condemn Twilight fans, but instead joins them on the journey to find unconditional and eternal love for everyone.
So, yeah. Bring on the popcorn - and the books!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Oprah guest author speaks, signs her new book at Charlevoix Library
Longtime summer Charlevoix resident Suzy Farbman brings her story of hope and healing
Charlevoix, MI - Best-selling author Suzy Farbman brings a special early-release edition of her new book, Godsigns: Health, Hope and Miracles, My Journey to Recovery, to her beloved summer hometown.
On Thursday, August 23 at 1:30 p.m. Farbman will be speaking on GODSIGNS: Finding Miracles in Your Life, and signing books afterward. Godsigns will be available in advance at Round Lake Bookstore in Charlevoix.
When Farbman appeared on Oprah as an expert on relationships, she was at the height of her success as an author. Yet, as readers clamored for her advice on relationships, doctors privately revealed that her body was failing. Facing life’s worst fears, Suzy picked up her pen, called her colorful circle of friends and charted a course through America’s wealth of medical and spiritual resources.
The message in this warm, suspenseful and often funny memoir is universal: We can find hope if we open our eyes to Godsigns all around us.
Godsigns is Suzy’s second memoir. She also wrote Back from Betrayal, Saving a Marriage, A Family, A Life. Prior to that, Suzy was a journalist for thirty years. She spent five years as a regional design editor for Better Homes and Gardens and other Meredith publications. She has been a contributing editor for Detroit Monthly magazine, concentrating on decorating, fashion and the arts; a columnist and feature writer for the Detroit News; a correspondent for Women’s Wear Daily; and a freelance writer for national magazines including Cosmopolitan. She worked on public relations projects for the Farbman Group, as well.
Profits from Godsigns will go to cancer research.
For more information contact Suzy by phone at (231)588-6149 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Read The Spirit Publishing
Jane Wells, Director of Marketing
Well, we aren’t going to the Frankfurt Book Fair ourselves.
In fact, we won’t even have any real physical books there. However a friend of ours, Stuart Maitlins of Jewish Lights Publishing, is going. And he offered to share some very valuable table space with us!
So, this week, among all the Other Thing That Must Be Done, I am building very exciting brochures for several of our titles, including this one.
So, if you see Stuart in Frankfurt, tell him I said “Hi”, and kindly direct all those lovely international publishers to the Jewish Lights table so they can fall in as much love with our stuff as we are!
Blogging guru (and buddy) Stanford Smith wrote this blog post about Lemon Cake. But it wasn’t about cake, really, as much as it was a marketing illustration that I could wrap my sweet-tooth filled head around and digest.
So, after savoring the toothsome advice for a few days, here is how I see applying his cake marketing advice to books. (Because they’re obviously the same thing, right? Both go well with coffee…)
The first step, product content: showing the reader how to get the most of our books. Already many of our titles have built-in study questions. We have discussed linking to video questions and author interviews - which are natural QR code applications.
Second step, brand content: connecting knowledge of existing taste to something similar, we already do. In the back of each book are the cover picture and short description of two similar titles we offer. Once we get our new website up and running, I think QR codes to custom built pages might be a good thing.
This also potentially expands the reader’s loyalty from just this one author to the publishing house as a whole. This might be even more effective if we ask the author to endorse the titles that match his or her topic.
Third step, mission content: create, or recognize, a sort of lifestyle our customers can identify with. We are passionately interested in practical spirituality in the current culture. To that end we encourage voices that are above all interested in dialogue. We don’t have that mission down to a the bumper sticker yet, but when we do I’ll let you know.
Concerning my promise a few weeks ago - this is where our little house stands out from the crowd.
We are like traditional houses in that we publish real books, with professional editors and top notch artwork. Take a look at the cover of our upcoming title Godsigns, for example. But we are much quicker on our feet than traditional houses, able to turn out a book in 6 months or less.
But, like self-publishers, we have a form flexibility the big boys are scrambling to implement. Many are still producing a printed product first, then trying to reverse engineer the e-book. What we produce is a “form agnostic” book. I think it’s a miracle - but then when you start getting into writing computer code I’m over my head anyway - because the file we produce can then be told, “Make a book.” And it does! Or, you can tell it, “Make a Kindle book.” And it does that, too! Or any other reader format you choose. The coding imbedded in the document makes sure that the pictures, the hanging quotes and the paragraph breaks all look right in every format, without having to redo it each time.
We’re kind of like the Six Million Dollar Man of publishing. We’ve taken the best of everything and put it together into something stronger, faster and more flexible than anything that’s gone before.