Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Publicists First, Successful Writer Second

Rebecca Skloot dreamed about going on tour. She envisioned herself, her boyfriend, the dogs and her best friends traveling cross country in a great big tour bus to promote her first book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. But her publisher Crown had other ideas: "We really don't do books tours anymore." Her agent agreed. "They're just not the best investment of publicity funds." Instead, they offered banner ads, buzz campaigns, bookstore placement, blogs, Twitter, FaceBook, and radio tours.

Ms. Skloot agreed, at least in the beginning.

Later that night, at home, she changed her mind. And with the help of her brain-damanged father Floyd Skloot (also an author, who has written about the neurologic damage he suffered from a virus in the 1980s) they went public (Ms Skloot has many friends on Twitter and FB) and The Immortal Book Tour was launched. Within days an expense -paid trip was booked at a medical school in Ohio ... and a nearby bookstore later that evening.

Ms. Skloot: "Now, I'm not suggesting that posting a request for help on Facebook will miraculously result in a successful book tour. Far from it. A plan like this requires an established social network, something writers should start developing years before publishing a book...."

To learn more about the author and the book tour  http://www.rebeccaskloot.com/

How To Connect With Readers -
Topic for discussion: Writers do you have a presence on Twitter ... Facebook? Do you have an active blog and or website? Do you know what to post and how often...

Please share your thoughts with us....

(This post is based on an author interview. PW November 2009)

1 comment:

Patricia said...

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is officially a NYTimes Bestseller! Just debuted on the list at #5 after its first week in print!