The Book Publicity Blog

News, Tips, Trends and Miscellany for Book Publicists

Save time with Autotext / Canned Responses

ReadWriteWeb posts about Gmail’s new Canned Responses, sort of the Hallmark cards of email.  I got a kick out of reading the post because I often make use of Microsoft Outlook’s Autotext feature.  Many of you have heard me complain before about the avalanche of requests I get for books published by other imprints (departments) at my company.  Rather than retype the same response every single time, I’ve created the following Autotext that can be inserted with a couple clicks:

This is a [correct imprint] title / author (different department).  I am forwarding your message to [department’s email address] and they can help you out with your request.

For future reference, you can check our site, [website], and our Media Contact page, [website], to find the correct departmental address for your request.

For those of you using Outlook, you may have an Autotext icon on your shortcut menu bar.  If not, you can find it under the Insert tab on your menu bar.  Since you don’t have a lot of room for text, each of the above sentences will need to be created as an Autotext option.  Of course, Autotext can also be utilized for anything else you might find yourself repeatedly saying in an email message.

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October 22, 2008 Posted by | Email | , | Leave a comment

Morning Brief — Thursday, May 22

Tiffany from Krupp reports “Jessica Guff from GMA Now is taking a six-month leave of absence starting in June.  Moving forward, contact Lee Alexander and/or Laiea Smith.”

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The PR blog The Buzz Bin talks up the importance of bloggers commenting on other blogs.  (You may remember that the other day The Publicity Hound’s Blog posted about blog comments as well.)

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ReadWriteWeb posts some very handy tips about social media, essentially social media 101.  It talks about blogging and also using social networks, Twitter, YouTube, etc.

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RWW also lists the top 10 social networking sites for the month of April.  Although MySpace has far and away the most members, its three percent growth last month is a sliver of the 56 percent growth rate for Facebook or 361 percent for LinkedIn.

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Buzz, Balls & Hype runs a feature about how often authors should check in with their agents.  As a publicist, I don’t have much to do with the author / agent relationship, but it’s interesting to see how these things work.

May 22, 2008 Posted by | Blogs, Miscellaneous, Social Networking | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Morning Brief — May 8, 2008

Mashable reports that FORA.tv (sort of C-SPAN online) has managed to secure a few mil in funding.  What this means for us is that FORA is likely to stick around — and cover our authors — for a while yet (at least until they burn through this latest pile of cash).

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Since we’re all now staking our claim online — whether individually or corporately — it probably behooves us to give a little thought to what we post online and how it appears.  ReadWriteWeb talks about how we read online.  Apparently, research shows that online reading habits are similar to how I used to “read” (in other words, skim) in college.  So that means if I write a really long blog post, you won’t read it.  Or something.

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A lot of marketing departments reach out to book groups.  Booklist’s Book Group Buzz blog lists some sites that feature online reading guides. 

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Ever booked an author on “Connie Martinson Talks Books”?  Methinks pretty much yes if you’ve ever sent an author to L.A.  LA Observed reports that she has donated her interviews to Claremont University.

May 8, 2008 Posted by | Miscellaneous, Reading Groups | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why you need an RSS reader (and how to set it up)

For those of you who have not yet set up RSS readers because you think it’s too complicated / don’t have time to set one up / have no idea what I’m talking about, check out ReadWriteWeb‘s “Ode to RSS.”  This RSS 101 explains why you would want an RSS reader (it’s easier to follow blogs and podcasts), allows you to click through directly to Google Reader in the post so you can open up an account immediately (Bloglines and Newsgator are other RSS readers) and includes links to other RWW posts that explain how to get the most out of RSS.

May 2, 2008 Posted by | Blogs, Media Monitoring | , , , | 1 Comment

What’s Twitter all about and how can it help book publicists?

I came late to Twitter.  I didn’t think a lot of my friends used it (they don’t) and I thought “Twitter” was a stupid name (it is).  But why’s it so important that everyone can’t shut up about it?

There are actually two types of things you can do on Twitter: post your status for people who are following you and follow the status of those people whom you might be following.  You may be thinking this sounds dumb because we really don’t need to know what someone is eating for lunch, but some journalists and bloggers also use Twitter to post queries or even to conduct interviews (and of course there’s that Berkeley kid who managed to post the word “arrested” to his Twitter account when he was nabbed at a protest in Egypt).

In the past couple days, PR Squared posted a list of media people who use Twitter and ReadWriteWeb explained how they use Twitter as journalists.  Both posts show Twitter screen captures so you can see what exactly is going on.  Yesterday Valleywag chimed in.  (Apparently there are 80,000 Twitter users.  Business Week’s Blogspotting blog just posted about how various business are using Twitter and if you really want to stay on top of the Twitter big shots, check out Alltop’s Twitterati.

April 30, 2008 Posted by | Online Marketing, Trends, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Morning Brief — April 29, 2008

ReadWriteWeb posts about how best to Digg stories.  (Yes, there’s a technique that includes leaving out references to individual sites — we may all know what Gawker is, but does the rest of the world? — submitting to unusual categories and submitting often so your votes count more.)

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For those of you who don’t follow the daily book section blogs (Boston Globe, DMN, Sun-Sentinel, LAT, NYT, WaPo, etc.), I encourage you to do so — you can find the links to these sites on my blogroll.  Today, Paper Cuts, one of the NYT’s book blogs, featured “outtakes” from Dave Itzkoff’s Sunday Styles profile with Keith Gessen.  Off the Shelf (the Globe’s book blog) and Texas Pages (the Dallas Morning News’ blog) always list local author events and the latter often runs excerpts of books that are reviewed in the print edition.  Of course, with the LAT Book Fest this weekend, the folks over at Jacket Copy, the LAT book blog, were working overtime.  Long story short, there’s a ton of original content on these blogs that you won’t want to miss.  I haven’t had time to investigate all the papers that might also have book blogs, so if anyone would like to contribute other book section blogs for my edification, please, you know, feel free to let me know.

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The (London) Times via The Literary Saloon writes about the history of bestseller lists.  (Apparently Brits think bestseller lists are crass and American.  Now whatever gave them that idea?)

April 29, 2008 Posted by | Media Monitoring, Miscellaneous, Pitching Tips, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to pitch using new(ish) technologies

What I’m going to discuss really isn’t new, but we’re in an industry that hasn’t changed much since Gutenberg, so basically it counts as new for us.  All book publicists are accustomed to pitching by phone and email (and sometimes fax).  Have you thought about pitching via IM or Facebook?  Or what about setting up a feed for your press releases?  If you pitch or are thinking of “Web 2.0” pitching (using IM, social networks, RSS readers, etc.) you should read this ReadWriteWeb post about how they like to be pitched.  (Incidentally, they don’t like being pitched by IM, Twitter, phone or Facebook.)  Granted, how you pitch someone varies from person to person and this post covers only the preferences of the RWW editors, but it raises some important issues to consider.

And if you really want to play around with your press material, check out this interactive release from PR Squared.

I’m excited to try out all of this, but at the same time, it does takes time to figure out how to work something new (and work it well) and at the end of the day what matters is the book and the author, not what the release looks like or how many hyperlinks it has.  So play it by ear — sometimes what will work best is plain and simple; other times you may have the opportunity to try something new, so carpe diem.

April 18, 2008 Posted by | Pitching Tips, Press Material | , | Leave a comment