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A Curious Case in Texas: When Promoting a Book Becomes a Campaign Finance No No

81H-LUSdMnLWendy Davis is running for office. She also has a book out. We’ve seen this all before. No big deal, right?

No big deal except for the fact that this is Texas and the Democratic gubernatorial candidate’s memoir includes an abortion.

The last time Davis spoke personally about abortion (specifically, the ending of an ectopic pregnancy during an epic 13-hour filibuster over a new state abortion law) she was launched into the national spotlight.

Now, in Forgetting to be Afraid, Davis reveals that she terminated another pregnancy in which the fetus had developed a severe brain abnormality.

Supporters are applauding the revelation. “Having that kind of personal story around what is a divisive issue will help,” said a 35-year-old campaign volunteer to The Associated Press.

Republicans thinks so as well, and are taking steps to curb the promotion of the book: Read more

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How to Use Cross-Promotion to Sell Your Book

Be-Your-Own-Publicist-ArticThe book industry is like any other in the sense that selling and marketing your product — and, in essence, yourself — can often be the toughest part.

If you’re a unknown author working with a small publishing house (or self-publishing), partnering up with a brand that has a large following could help boost sales and get your name in the press. We got the scoop from several branding experts on how to choose the right partner:

Think outside the box and team up with a brand, retailer or expert who supplements your area of expertise. If you just wrote a book about the benefits of Pilates and the barre method, [Beth Feldman, co-founder of BeyondPR Group] suggests teaming up with Lululemon to do a book signing at their store or build a 10-city tour to appear in their stores and then promote yourself to local media. This begins with concocting a well-crafted strategy to share why you would add value to them via media exposure.

To learn more, including how to build a local following, read: How To Be Your Own Publicist.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

How to Ace a Speaking Engagement


Although some writers may cringe at the idea of having to speak in front of a crowd, it’s one of the most important ways authors can market their book. Public speaking may seem intimidating, but with the right preparation, the process can be painless:

Embrace any opportunities you have to speak to a group. If you write fiction, you may be asked to read excerpts or make speeches at book-signing events. If you’re a nonfiction writer, you may be invited to speak at gatherings pertinent to your topic of expertise. Book authors are required to speak constantly when they’re on tour. Even if the only crowd you ever address is your local writers’ group, knowing what you might face at your first speaking gig can relieve some of the tension you may be feeling.

The first thing you should do is research your audience. Knowing who you’re addressing can help you tailor your presentation. Also, never write out your speech word for word. Limit yourself to an outline as it will make you sound less rehearsed.

For more speaking tips, including how to structure your presentation, read: 5 Tips on Nailing Your First Speaking Gig.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

DIY Tips to Help Market Your Book

market-book_articleSo let’s say you’ve published your book (hooray!) — no doubt with the help of your stellar nonfiction book proposal. Your work is done, right? Not exactly. Your next step is crucial: you need to get people interested enough to actually buy your work. That’s where the marketing efforts comes in.

In the final “Book Publishing” installment of our Profit From Your Passion series, we talked with a variety of publishing experts about how to promote your book, even if you can’t afford to hire a publicist. One of the biggest lessons learned? Don’t stop writing:

There are literally thousands of magazines and websites that regularly hire freelance writers (see our How To Pitch column for leads), and if you’re interested in penning an op-ed or trend piece around one of the topics in your book, it can be a great way to actually get paid to promote your own work. ”It’s important to think about not only the topics that the author has the authority to write and that may interest them, but also how it ties in to the book,” says [Dana Kaye of Kaye Publicity]. “If your audience mostly reads a lot of hard news, then you want to be pitching CNN, the Wall Street JournalThe New York Times. If your audience reads more lifestyle stuff, then going to women’s lifestyle publications and websites makes sense.”

For more book-marketing tips, including advice on how starting a blog can help, read: 6 Ways to Effectively Market Your Book.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

‘Masters of Sex’ Pop-Up Exhibit Opens in New York City

The Masters of Sex pop-up exhibition has opened at the Old Bowery Station in New York City.

The exhibit was inspired by the Showtime TV series that adapted Thomas Maier’s biography, Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love.

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Tanya Hall Named CEO at Greenleaf Book Group

A number of publishing job promotions and changes were announced this week.

Greenleaf Book Group founder Clint Greenleaf will step down as CEO and serve as chairman. Tanya Hall, the current COO, has been named his successor.

Two members of the Soho Press editorial team have received promotions. Juliet Grames has been named associate publisher and Mark Doten is now senior editor.

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15 Places to Promote Your Book for Free

Looking for places to share your brand new book?

Thanks to the Kindle Boards, we discovered 15 places where self-published authors can promote their work for free. We’ve collected more information about the sites in a simple directory below, linking to the submission pages for these eBook sites.

Welcome to our Top Stories of Summer 2013 series. For all our readers returning from trips and vacation reading, we’ve created a short list of the stories you may have missed during this long, strange summer for the publishing industry.

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Mad Libs Quote for Your Next Press Release

San Francisco-based advertising agency barrettSF and Penguin Young Readers Group issued the first Mad Libs-style press release we’ve ever seen, a handy fill-in-the-blanks quote for your next announcement.

Created by Leonard Stern and Roger Price in 1958, Mad Libs are now published by Penguin’s Price Stern Sloan imprint. The release included this quote template from publisher Francesco Sedita:

We are so proud of the Mad Libs brand here at (TYPE OF ANIMAL). When we met (NAME OF AWESOME AGENCY), all of us here knew that we had found a smart, innovative, and (ADJECTIVE) team, one who would help (VERB) Mad Libs to even more (ADJECTIVE) levels. Plus, they are really (ADJECTIVE) and tons of (PLURAL NOUN).

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How Writers Can Use CafePress


In a bookselling world filled with memoirs, it requires some ingenuity and online work to make your work stand out from the pack.

In this encore edition of the Morning Media Menu, we spoke with Rachel Shukert about her memoirEverything Is Going to Be Great: An Underfunded and Overexposed European Grand Tour.  In this 2010 interview, Shukert explained how she used CafePress to promote her book:

I’m designing a CafePress site with themed merchandise–which is honestly more of a stunt than I think anybody will buy it. But I think it could be funny … there were a lot of funny phrases and things and thoughts I had in the book that I thought would be funny merchandise … there will be tote bags and buttons and underpants that will somehow reference funny scenes in the book.

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How to Make a Great Book Party

What makes a great book party? In this encore edition of the Morning Media Menu, we interviewed author Evan Hughes about his new book, Literary Brooklyn: The Writers of Brooklyn and the Story of American City Life.

Press play below to listen on SoundCloud. While introducing some of the great Brooklyn novelists featured in his literary history, Hughes also shared the secret behind his headline-making book party in Brooklyn. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

I wanted it be as social as possible–not to have people sit still and behave for too long. People want to mingle with the friends they came with. The party was two hours, but I really made an effort to keep the readings and the entertainment to a 30-minute period. I brought other writers into it. Two other writers who also lived in Brooklyn, Touré and Michael Thomas, both read selections from Brooklyn literature.

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