Friday, September 16, 2016

What's in a Media Kit (aka "Press Kit")?

As a publicist, I have created media kits (aka "press kits") for mailing, e-mailing and what are called Digital Media Kits. I actually prefer DMKs because they act like websites for the book.

Here are samples of the Digital Media Kits that I've designed for authors.

"Arrgh!"
http://arrghpresskit.blogspot.com/p/media-releases.html 

"Father's Wisdom"
http://authorpresskitsbymarlansample.blogspot.com/ 

What's in a Media Kit (aka "Press Kit") why do you need one for PR?

A Media or Press Kit is a one-stop look for media hosts (i.e., news editors, reporters, TV/Radio hosts and program coordinators, bloggers, etc.) to see what you are about and what you are (to be blunt) selling...and whether, at a glance, they feel you might be right for an interview or story about your book.

What goes into a Media Kit hasn't changed much, although how it is presented has. Here's what goes into it:

1. A One-Sheet that features:
  •  Small photo of book cover at the top.
  •  "(insert your name) would be honored to speak at your event about ______." Or "would be honored to appear on your show to speak about _________."
  • Very Short Summary of the book that is actually a marketing pitch but not one that emphasizes hype, exclamation points, etc. or says "This is the best book ever written," etc. But it should interest whomever you intend to interest with a short and sweet, professional-looking pitch that says what the book is about and why it would attract readers.
  • Early Book Review "blurbs" if the book is brand new or strong book review quotes from impressive reviewers (anonymous Amazon reviews really do not count, sorry) if the book has gained these reviews after publication.
  • Sell Sheet
    This used to be on a separate page when the media kit was sent by mail. I now include the info briefly on the one-page (Where is the book being sold, how much is it -- although price is optional as it keeps changing for indie authors, and most of the relevant info that is on Amazon re ISBN number, etc.)
  • Author BioThis also used to be on a separate page when  mailed. I squeeze it onto the one-sheet now if I'm e-mailing.

On the back of the One-Sheet, if you're printing it out to mail to a bookstore, you can put a short excerpt of the book or a marketing plan if that is relevant.

2. Photos: Author Photo and any photos of book signings, etc.

This can get tricky if you are emailing your kit to someone you do not know because it may land in their spam folders. Many "stranger emails" land in spam if they contain attachments or even live links.


BOOK REVIEW: "First Practical Handbook for Crazy People" transcends whatever genes we may have inherited.



Title: The First Practical Handbook for Crazy People [Making the Best of Mental Illness]
Authors: Shelly Glaser with Sherry Glaser
Genre: Self-Help/Recovery/Mental Illness
Publisher: Mother's Milk Publications
Paperback: Pub. Sept. 6, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-692-76460-2   (90 pages)
Kindle E-Book: Pub. Aug. 4, 2016
ASIN: B01JTMPELO   (File Size: 308 KB)
Website: http://www.sherryglaser.net
Author Contact: sherryamore67@outlook.com

MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
By Marlan Warren:

The Mother-Daughter Continuum
Continuum: noun (kƒn-tin'yoo- ƒm): A continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, although the extremes are quite distinct, e.g., at the fast end of the fast-slow continuum.
--The First Practical Handbook for Crazy People [Making the Best of Mental Illness]

In the self-help tradition of Louise Hay’s New Thought books (“Heal Your Life”), comes The First Practical Handbook for Crazy People [Making the Best of Mental Illness]. It not only features tips from mental patient, Shelly Glaser, but the twist is that this handbook was not only posthumously published, but co-written with her daughter—award-winning performance artist and author, Sherry Glaser—after Shelly died.

Years after her mother’s death (hastened by the side effects of anti-psychotic medications), Sherry Glaser came across the manuscript in rough draft (with this title) and felt inspired to finish it, adding her own story—which included deep fear of inheriting mental illness— and delineating the tools she uses to transcend that dread and keep herself sane.T

True to its title, this book offers practical step-by-step tools made so simple that anyone could try them and not feel overwhelmed by the prospect. They include meditation, the mind-body connection and the “exotic” (for the more adventurous).

Each Glaser has walked through her own mental hell. Each tells her hair-raising story (in the elder Glaser’s case, literally, as she endured numerous electroshock treatments) with eloquence and wry humor.

9/23 @ 6:30pm: BOOK LAUNCH! SHERRY GLASER READS & SIGNS "THE FIRST PRACTICAL HANDBOOK FOR CRAZY PEOPLE" (Gallery Bookshop, Mendocino, CA)

Authors Shelly Glaser (L) and Sherry Glaser (R)
Mendocino, CA, September 06, 2016 --(PR.com)--Press Release by Marlan Warren

The First Practical Handbook for Crazy People empowers by removing the stigma of "crazy," and replacing it with the hope that we can move through healing and serenity, no matter whose genes we inherited.—Midwest Book Review


On Friday, Sept. 23 at 6:30 p.m., the Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino, Calif. will host author and award-winning performance artist Sherry Glaser’s book launch of "The First Practical Handbook for Crazy People [Making the Best of Mental Illness]," which was co-written with her late mother, Shelly Glaser.

Sherry will be on hand to read and sign the book; and discuss related topics, including her mother’s determination to transcend her severe mental illness diagnosis; the impact of parental mental illness on children who may fear inheriting "craziness;" and what it’s like to co-write a book with a parent who is deceased.

Mother's Milk Publications released the book in paperback on Sept. 6. The handbook came out in Kindle e-book format last month, and garnered stellar reader reviews. Radio journalist Christina Aanestad called it “a unique testament to the human spirit and a touching memoir to Sherry's late mother, who lived a full life with a mental illness, gaining a law degree, managing a company, and raising a family—all while going crazy.”

“Years after my mother died, I came across this manuscript she’d written entitled ‘The First Practical Handbook for Crazy People,’” said Sherry Glaser in a phone interview with journalist Marlan Warren. “I was struck by how honest she was in sharing her own journey and her down-to-earth tips for others who may also be struggling.”

In 2015, Sherry decided to pick up where her mother left off—polishing Shelly Glaser’s manuscript, while adding her own harrowing ‘herstory.’ In the book’s section, “Sherry: The Sequel,” Sherry recounts her rollercoaster life which has run the gamut from celebrated performance artist (her award-winning Off-Broadway show “Family Secrets” still holds the title of “The Longest Running One-Woman Show in Off-Broadway History”) to the mysterious disappearance of her husband to pot advocacy (and SWAT arrest) to lesbian marriage and divorce. Like her mother, Sherry shares the tools she uses to keep straitjackets at bay.



“We’re breaking new ground here,” said Sherry Glaser. “This is the first mother-daughter mental health recovery handbook.”

Clinical psychologist Lauren J. Oliver commented in an Amazon review: “It is inspiring to experience a clear-voiced woman who is committed to self-healing and being well, and who uses many practical and valuable tools to do so.”

The book also features Shelly Glaser’s “Companion Questionnaire,” which serves as an interactive workbook to help readers “avoid making uninformed choices.”

Sherry Glaser created “The First Practical Blog for Crazy People” and on Aug. 22, posted:

“We don't know what's next, but if we know where we're coming from, and that there are practical tools ready and available, we can learn to crawl and walk and run and eventually...fly.”

Book Launch Location:
Gallery Bookshop
319 Kasten Street
Mendocino, CA 95460
E-mail: info@gallerybookshop.com
Phone: (707) 937-2665

Gallery Bookshop Website:
http://www.gallerybookshop.com/event/sherry-glaser-first-practical-handbook-crazy-people

Book Info:
Media Kit: http://sherryglasermediakit.blogspot.com/
Title: The First Practical Handbook for Crazy People [Making the Best of Mental Illness]
Authors: Shelly Glaser with Sherry Glaser
Genre: Psychology & Counseling Mental Illness/Self-Help
Publisher: Mother's Milk Publications
Paperback: Pub. Sept. 6, 2016 Kindle E-Book: Pub. Aug. 4, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-692-76460-2 (90 pages) ASIN: B01JTMPELO (File Size: 308 KB)
Available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sherry-Glaser/e/B001KE31AG

Book Blog: http://www.thefirstpracticalblogsforcrazypeople.com/
Website: http://www.sherryglaser.net
Contact: sherryamore67@outlook.com

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Newsletter! New Workshop! New Book Reviews! New Hot Tips!

Book Publicity by Marlan Newsletter

In this issue:  
  • Congrats!
  • As Me Anything on Reddit!
  • New book reviews
  • Hot Tip: How to get your book into libraries (or give it your best shot)!
  • New Workshop Starting Up: Nuts & Bolts of Book PR & Marketing Strategies
  • Writer Consultations
CONGRATS! 
Just as they say a business owner should "always pay yourself first," I will congratulate myself on my Book Publicity by Marlan Linked In profile being named in the "Top 24 Publicists" on its site. How did this happen? I don't know. Might have something to do with what I call "The Robots." I regularly publish "Updates" in Linked In's Pulse platform. That may boost the algorithm of my name, biz, etc.

Google Screenshot

Congrats to Shelly Glaser & Sherry Glaser on their soon-to-be-released First Practical Handbook for Crazy People: Making the Best of Mental Illness! (Soft Cover Pub. Date: 9/6/16) (Kindle: 8/4/16). Review is in this issue! Book Launch Details are on the way!

ASK ME ANYTHING

Marlan Warren/Book Publicity by Marlan is now on Reddit's "Ask Me Anything"

Why should Donald Trump have all the fun? He's not the only one who can participate in a Q&A on Reddit. I tried it out a couple days ago. Trump apparently had lots of questions. Me, not so many (although they were good ones). It might still be up and running, so feel free to check it out (you have to become a member--it's free) at:

I AM a Book Publicist

This platform can be very useful for authors who want to expand their PR! One of my clients is doing it today and had over 100 questions this morning.

FALL WORKSHOP

Yes, it's here by popular request: I will conduct a PR/Marketing Workshop starting in September! We will meet 2 hours weekly in a Los Feliz cafe that has long tables and not many customers (they are new & expensive, but there's no minimum). It is a 3-week workshop that we can extend one week if there is a demand (at no extra charge). We will not only go over the basics, but authors will receive individual attention on such topics as how to write effective pitches for one-sheet, media queries and social media. We will look at book trailers on Youtube and analyze them for marketability.



This workshop will reference Carolyn Howard-Johnson's Frugal Book Promoter, and the brilliant How-To Guru Carolyn will be a guest speaker! (Cue the Applause!)

Workshop Fee: $155.00
3-4 Weeks
More Details: E-Mail memoircity@gmail.com or call 323-347-6762


YES, I AM A WRITING COACH TOO
For decades, I have coached writers in all forms of writing from screenplays to novels to articles to memoirs. My background is so eclectic, there isn't space for all the pies I've had my fingers in; but essentially, in addition to my PR skills, I am a professional editor (and writer).

For example, right now I'm looking over a manuscript that was rejected by a publisher with such a clumsy evaluation that I suspect they were probably just the wrong publisher (a friend of mine once received a rejection from an agent that said: Dear Linda: Not my thing!). However, I do see a few points the author could have capitalized on when pitching it, and how those points could have been emphasized in the manuscript itself (to make a case for why a thundering herd would want to read this book).

If you are interested, please feel free to contact me for a consultation.

NEW BOOK REVIEWS

Here is a taste of two new book reviews with links to read more!


I wondered how anyone ever felt at home here, where there was nothing you could trust to hold on to, not even the ground beneath your feet.—Dazzled

Title: Dazzled 
Author: Maxine Nunes
Series: A Nikki Easton Mystery (Book 1)
Publisher: Five Star (October 23, 2013) 
ISBN-13: 978-1432827304 
Available on Amazon (Paperback, Kindle and Hard Cover)
Website:  http://www.maxinenunes.com/
 
Synopsis: Feisty one-liner actress Nikki Easton finds herself embroiled in a quest to either find out who murdered her best friend—the "dazzling" aspiring actress Darla—or verify that the unrecognizable corpse buried in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery is really someone else. Along the way, Nikki finds herself smitten with a sexy cop, looks for clues at a Playboy-type mansion, and tangles with unsavory Underworld characters whose antics and shocking connections are nearly indistinguishable from the rest of Hollywood's movers who slither through this book. Sex, drugs and lost souls who are torn between the need to be "somebody" and the desire to flee L.A. keep this mystery ticking like the proverbial time bomb.

Review:
Maxine Nunes' Dazzled is a tale told with such precision for atmospheric details, lifestyle annoyances and pitch perfect dialogue, it should come with a cautionary disclaimer for Los Angelenos:

"Warning: May induce the sensation that you are still inside the plot every time you look up from the book."

True to its genre, the story takes readers where others have gone before, but Nunes puts a fresh spin on the familiar elements through inspired turns of phrases ("...a man who evidently thought a strip of chest hair would do for a necktie") and quirky 21st Century updates (gifted with a bouquet, the only "vase" Nikki can find is an empty Slurpee cup).

Nunes also has a gift for depicting layered characters. To this end, she makes excellent use of an acting class that demands "honest emotions" of its students. In the hands of a lesser writer, these scenes could come off as satire or excessively dramatic; but here they skillfully alternate between humor and pathos while giving readers the necessary insights.

The stronger the personality the more it hid.Dazzled

Dazzled lovingly and painstakingly explores the paradoxical contradictions of Los Angeles and its hapless inhabitants. The smell of night jasmine juxtaposes with the stench of the morgue...an actress with a "show biz" sensuality hides her true self in plain sight...and all the sleights of hand resonate in the book's first line:

What's real? Click here for the full review



Review originally published in L.A. Now & Then blog:
http://losangelesnowthen.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-first-practical-handbook-for-crazy_24.html

Title: The First Practical Handbook for Crazy People [Making the Best of Mental Illness]
Authors: Shelly Glaser with Sherry Glaser
Genre: Self-Help/Recovery/Mental Illness
Publisher: Mother's Milk Publications
Paperback: Pub. Sept. 6, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-692-76460-2   (90 pages)
Kindle E-Book: Pub. Aug. 4, 2016
ASIN: B01JTMPELO   (File Size: 308 KB)
Website: http://www.sherryglaser.net
Author Contact: sherryamore67@outlook.com
Marlan Warren, Reviewer
Roadmap Girl’s Book Buzz: http://roadmapgirlsbookbuzz.blogspot.com

The Mother-Daughter Continuum
Continuum: noun (kƒn-tin'yoo- ƒm): A continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, although the extremes are quite distinct, e.g., at the fast end of the fast-slow continuum.
--The First Practical Handbook for Crazy People [Making the Best of Mental Illness]

In the self-help tradition of Louise Hay’s New Thought books (“Heal Your Life”), comes The First Practical Handbook for Crazy People [Making the Best of Mental Illness]. It not only features tips from mental patient, Shelly Glaser, but the twist is that this handbook was not only posthumously published, but co-written with her daughter—award-winning performance artist and author, Sherry Glaser—after Shelly died.

Years after her mother’s death (hastened by the side effects of anti-psychotic medications), Sherry Glaser came across the manuscript in rough draft (with this title) and felt inspired to finish it, adding her own story—which included deep fear of inheriting mental illness— and delineating the tools she uses to transcend that dread and keep herself sane.T

True to its title, this book offers practical step-by-step tools made so simple that anyone could try them and not feel overwhelmed by the prospect. They include meditation, the mind-body connection and the “exotic” (for the more adventurous).

Each Glaser has walked through her own mental hell. Each tells her hair-raising story (in the elder Glaser’s case, literally, as she endured numerous electroshock treatments) with eloquence and wry humor.

The book opens with Mama Glaser’s life story. Along the way, she stops to explain what worked for her, what didn’t work for her, and encourages all seekers to make their own decisions as they explore options for recovery. How do you choose a therapist? Should you get electroshock treatments? Shelly lays out the choices without pushing. She does not try to sell herself as an expert on anything but her own experiences. Her direct honesty and plain talk give an insider look into how mental illness can be bravely borne with a strong will to heal whatever can be healed. Shelly Glaser could be your mother, your sister, your daughter…your peer. And her resilience inspires.

Then “The Mother-Daughter Continuum” swings into focus as Sherry tells her side, creating a link between their “herstories” that resonates beyond the grave.

It’s no surprise that Sherry Glaser puts “Creativity” at the top of her list of mental health lifesavers. She came to New York fame with her one-woman show, Family Secrets, which still holds the title of the Longest-Running One-Woman Show in Off-Broadway History. In 2015, her Oh My Goddess!: A Comedy of Biblical Proportions won the Best Avant-Garde award at New York's United Solo Festival.

In the section entitled Sherry: The Sequel, she recounts her rollercoaster life without a trace of self-pity or morbid self-reflection. Sherry reveals herself to be a dedicated activist against war and for cannabis legalization, who was devastated by the sudden disappearance of her husband, which remains an unsolved mystery to this day. Add to that lesbian marriage/divorce and arrest by a SWAT team, and it seems a wonder she is not in a straitjacket.

And speaking of straitjackets…

The cover features a black man smiling beatifically…in a straitjacket. How did this cover come to grace the Mother-Daughter Continuum’s first handbook? Sherry explains before she even gets to page 1. Hint: Her mother was behind it.

No alternative tool is left unturned. Mother and daughter offer two different viewpoints on the topic of electroshock therapy vs. medical cannabis. Actually, one left something out of her story in this regard, and the other one put it back in. Hint: Sherry Glaser is a founding member of the Love In It Co-op, a medical marijuana dispensary in Mendocino, California.

With its Companion Questionnaire that is designed to be used in a Clinical Psychology classroom as a workbook, but is user-friendly enough for a more casual setting, The First Practical Handbook for Crazy People serves as a useful, calming addition to anyone’s mental health library.

And for those of us whose parents struggled with the horrors of mental illness, this book does its best to empower us by removing the stigma of “crazy,” and replacing it with the hope that we can move through healing and serenity, no matter whose genes we inherited.

HOW TO GET YOUR BOOK INTO CAMPUS LIBRARIES
This is copied with permission from Carolyn Howard-Johnson's terrific newsletter on her Sharing with Writers website, which I encourage you to subscribe to, if you don't already.

QUESTION

Re: University Bookstores
I know that Random House had my book in their catalog targeting educational sellers. Is there more than that I can do? How would I: (1) identify them and (2) approach them?
             
ANSWER
I'm going to use my husband's experience with his What Foreigners Need to Know About America from A to Z as an example because he was so successful with it.

He put together a form letter (which he tweaks) depending on who he is sending it to. He goes online and finds areas on campus that could use his book. That includes

1. Libraries

2. International Student Programs

3. International Student Course Teachers

4. Campus Bookstore Buyers

5. ESL classes through extension

He spends about 30 minutes a day sending the letter to the correct person when possible. Sometimes that's only one contact. Some days, when research goes well, it's three or four. He's had some amazing successes like having his book chosen as gifts/recommendations by the university that hosts the Fulbright Scholars in the US each summer. There is a cost to it beyond time. He offers a free book to those influencers who show an interest, but these most often don't result in single book sales, either. The top sale we could trace to his letters (it's sometimes easier for self-published authors to trace sales to a specific effort) was 59 copies.

Be aware, that if you find an instructor who recommends your book or uses is at class reading, the bookstore often stocks the book automatically. But not always. It doesn’t hurt to mention in a separate query or phone call that your book was ordered for a specific class or that Professor X showed an interest in your book.

One more secret. He keeps at it.

Here’s an alternative that isn't as frugal and not as effective because the contact is not personal (but it’s a lot less time-consuming!):



IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association) had a catalog that they send out to libraries, a separate one to university libraries and one to reviewers. I've used that program. It can be good...or not. Depending on the title.

-----
ABOUT CAROLYN HOWARD-JOHNSONCarolyn Howard-Johnson brings her experience as a publicist, journalist, marketer, and retailer to the advice she gives in her HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers and the many classes she taught for nearly a decade as instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program. All her books for writers are multi award winners including the first edition of The Frugal Book Promoter published in 2003. Her The Frugal Editor, now in its second edition, won awards from USA Book News, Readers’ Views Literary Award, the marketing award from Next Generation Indie Books and others including the coveted Irwin award.

Howard-Johnson is the recipient of the California Legislature’s Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award, and her community’s Character and Ethics award for her work promoting tolerance with her writing. She was also named to Pasadena Weekly’s list of “Fourteen San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen” and was given her community’s Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts.

The author loves to travel. She has visited eighty-nine countries and has studied writing at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom; Herzen University in St. Petersburg, Russia; and Charles University, Prague. She admits to carrying a pen and journal wherever she goes. Her Web site is http://www.howtodoitfrugally.com.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

"DAZZLED" - A Mystery Built on the Contradictions of L.A. with Unflinching Fresh Eyes



I wondered how anyone ever felt at home here, where there was nothing you could trust to hold on to, not even the ground beneath your feet.—Dazzled

Title: Dazzled 
Author: Maxine Nunes
Series: A Nikki Easton Mystery (Book 1)
Publisher: Five Star (October 23, 2013) 
ISBN-13: 978-1432827304 
Available on Amazon (Paperback, Kindle and Hard Cover)
Website:  http://www.maxinenunes.com/
 
Synopsis: Feisty one-liner actress Nikki Easton finds herself embroiled in a quest to either find out who murdered her best friend—the "dazzling" aspiring actress Darla—or verify that the unrecognizable corpse buried in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery is really someone else. Along the way, Nikki finds herself smitten with a sexy cop, looks for clues at a Playboy-type mansion, and tangles with unsavory Underworld characters whose antics and shocking connections are nearly indistinguishable from the rest of Hollywood's movers who slither through this book. Sex, drugs and lost souls who are torn between the need to be "somebody" and the desire to flee L.A. keep this mystery ticking like the proverbial time bomb.

Review:
Maxine Nunes' Dazzled is a tale told with such precision for atmospheric details, lifestyle annoyances and pitch perfect dialogue, it should come with a cautionary disclaimer for Los Angelenos:

"Warning: May induce the sensation that you are still inside the plot every time you look up from the book."

True to its genre, the story takes readers where others have gone before, but Nunes puts a fresh spin on the familiar elements through inspired turns of phrases ("...a man who evidently thought a strip of chest hair would do for a necktie") and quirky 21st Century updates (gifted with a bouquet, the only "vase" Nikki can find is an empty Slurpee cup).

Nunes also has a gift for depicting layered characters. To this end, she makes excellent use of an acting class that demands "honest emotions" of its students. In the hands of a lesser writer, these scenes could come off as satire or excessively dramatic; but here they skillfully alternate between humor and pathos while giving readers the necessary insights.

The stronger the personality the more it hid.Dazzled

Dazzled lovingly and painstakingly explores the paradoxical contradictions of Los Angeles and its hapless inhabitants. The smell of night jasmine juxtaposes with the stench of the morgue...an actress with a "show biz" sensuality hides her true self in plain sight...and all the sleights of hand resonate in the book's first line:

What's real?

Friday, August 5, 2016

AWARD-WINNING POET CAROLYN HOWARD-JOHNSON TURNS CARTWHEELS INTO CAR WHEELS


When you think of L.A., you may think "Cars," but do you also think "Poetry"?

Award-winning poet Carolyn Howard-Johnson recently re-published this lovely poem on her Facebook Page. It evokes in delicious detail her neighborhood walks past a neighbor who enjoys tinkering with his car. She has given me permission to share it (even if you are not a "Poetry Buff," I believe you will find this an enjoyable read:


The Vintage Corvette and Its Man

The man who polished
his Corvette to the sound
of concertos—usually
piano—crackling slightly
(radio tubes), a lament
in the dusks of some twenty
summers, wasn't there last
spring or this. I didn't interrupt
his idle then, lying there beneath
his aqua and blue rrrrrmm,
rrrrmmm, plates coded black
and gold from, California 70s, no,
more like the 50s…likely
the one he spit-polished
in his teens, couldn't disturb
his meditation. Now,
I walk my dog in June,
jasmine in the evening
air—unseen blossoms—I long
to hear his garage door yawn,

Thursday, May 26, 2016

NEW! NEWSLETTER!

Bukowski Mural: Los Angeles

Want to subscribe?
Please go to Book Publicity by Marlan Newsletter  
and click "Subscribe" link at the upper right.
Thank you!

Note from the Editor

Welcome to the first installment of the Book Publicity by Marlan Newsletter! I began representing indie authors four years ago when my longtime friend, Luke Benoit, published a book that I thought was terrific (All Storms Pass: The Anti-Meditations). I ran a book review and an author interview in my blogs, and the rest...as they say...is history. Since then, it's been a thrilling--and educational!--ride as I hone my publicity and marketing skills, while assisting indie authors (self-published and small press) with their book launch campaigns, book reviews, press releases, press kits, speaker engagements and of course, book signing bookings. My services sometimes include editing (copy editing, as well as full-on revision suggestions and rewrite/ghostwrite).

Every client experience has been a teaching episode. It is not enough to throw your book up on Amazon and hope for the best. And each PR effort requires diligence as well as knowledge on the part of all who are promoting a book.

Why am I smiling? I'm on vacation!

I'm an "Artisanal Publicist"--each book campaign requires a carefully crafted one-sheet, "elevator pitch," and consideration of the target market, as well as knowing how to attract media hosts and reporters. Books are as different as snowflakes.

This month, I find I have a short list of Writer-Author-Publisher items that might interest you. So here we go!

PS - I will consider articles you submit for this newsletter. So please feel free to submit your pearls of hard-won wisdom via the Contact Form on this newsletter! Thank you! 

Upcoming Stuff

Seattle Publisher, Gemelli Press, will be releasing and re-releasing these spicy guidebooks to Italy, just in time for your next Italian Romp (or your next fantasy about it):


In Etna's Shadow
Salento by 5
Pit Stops, Pitfalls and Olive Pits
Coins in the Fountain 
The Essential Etna Wine Guide
I worked with Gemelli and its sister, Green Darner Press, last year on several of their exciting books, and cannot wait to get started on helping spread the word on these new offerings. (I also did the final edit on Pit Stops, Pitfalls and Olive Pits, a lovely you-are-there guidebook with charming anecdotes along the way.)

Hot Tips and Contests
For great tips in PR, Writing and Beyond, I highly recommend veteran author/publicist Carolyn Howard-Johnson's jam-packed Sharing With Writers Newsletter. She also maintains a generous and informative website, where she frequently publishes my book reviews (she welcomes your submissions too), and most recently a note of praise I wrote her re her Artists First podcast interview:

 http://sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com/

This very savvy publicist is the author of the bestselling How to Do It Frugally series, which serve as encyclopedias for self-published authors.

Free Book Review Sites

I write book reviews for The Midwest Book Review, but the MBR editors are fine with me publishing those reviews elsewhere first; so while I wait for MBR to Green Light them, I send them off to Carolyn Howard-Johnson's The New Book Review site, in addition to publishing them on my blogs: L.A. Now & Then and Roadmap Girl's Book Buzz

As you authors and publishers already know, there's no such thing as too much PR exposure!

Why would one publicist support another publicist? Good question! I'll write about that in my next newsletter!


Congratulations!
Very happy for U.K. mystery author Celia Conrad (Alicia Allen Investigates Trilogy) whose novel, Wilful Murder has just been selected as BOTM (Book of the Month) by the Goodreads Legal Anything group.

Conrad is an attorney-turned-author with a powerful imagination that spins her legal experiences and love of Classical Literature into mystery gold.

And P.S. to anyone in the Los Angeles/Pasadena area: Sisters in Crime is a wonderful group for mystery writers and readers. They meet once a month at the South Pasadena Public Library (and are international, as well). The meetings are open to anyone and free (membership is worthwhile if you care to join for a small fee), and feature speakers who give talks on all aspects of writing, publishing and mystery/suspense genre writing. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Authors: Do Not Discount the Power of "The Lovely Little Note"

Years ago, I took a "Making a Literary Life" workshop from the prolific California author, Carolyn See. She was testing material for her upcoming book of the same title. One point she makes that has always stuck with me is "You should write one Charming Note to someone you admire (who is a celebrity or highly visible in the profession you aspire to). None of the recipients has ever responded with, "Oh this sounds like what Carolyn See advises!"--until now.

A few days ago, another author I greatly admire, Carolyn Howard-Johnson, was interviewed on a radio podcast, and I wrote to let her know how much I enjoyed it. To my surprise, she not only asked my permission to post it on social media, but she posted it on her Carolyn Howard-Johnson's Sharing with Writers Newsletter blog with this prologue::


One Lovely Thank You Note a Day: This is What Carolyn See May Have Meant
In one of her books on writing, Carolyn See advises authors to write one lovely thank you note a day, the emphasis on "lovely." Lots of authors are good at writing thank you notes, especially since e-mail has made it so easy. But "lovely?"  We are all pressed for time.

Still, I have one reader who has sent me several that is an example of the kind of letter I think See would have approved of. Her name is Marlan Warren and she gave me permission to reprint her letter if I thought it would help other writers to do something similar--or at least to nudge them to write their letters. I mean, a note like this can make an author so happy! And the words from a smart publicist are an added bonus!



Dear Carolyn:

I really enjoyed your interview with Maxine Thompson on the Artist First RadioNetwork last night. I felt privileged to hear you and Maxine discuss literature, writers, writing, and your own great how-to knowledge (I’m a huge fan of your How to Do It Frugally series and now a fan of Maxine's show). You are two Old School pros who know better than anyone that being a great writer or editor means more than having been at the top of your class in English.


I especially liked your tip to "Promote the Promotion." This is what I try to explain to my PR/Marketing clients, but it is hard for them to grasp. Most think it's enough to post a "Hey! Buy my book!" on social media and leave it at that.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Client Reviews for Book Publicity by Marlan

Compliments are always welcome here! As Noel Coward once said:

"I can stand any criticism as long as it is unqualified praise."

I'm disappointed that Yelp will not allow people to see the 5-Star Reviews for Book Publicity by Marlan. If you'd like to read the testimonials my sweet clients have sent me, just visit We love Book Publicity by Marlan 

Thank you so much!

Monday, March 21, 2016

No blood, but plenty of sweat & tears: Author Jennifer K. Jordan's 14 Year Quest for "DADLY Wisdom"

Jennifer K. Jordan
Published in Broadway World Book News

Book Title: 
DADLY Wisdom: Untold Stories That Represent the True Faces of Fatherhood
Author: Jennifer Karin Jordan
Publisher: Motivational Press (March 10, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1628652691
Paperback: 232 pages
Genre: Family Relationships
Brand: Hogan Hilling's DADLY Series

Available at Amazon
Author Website: Jennifer Karin Jordan Website
Facebook: DADLY Wisdom Facebook Page 

Author Contact: 
(562) 208-4869 / jenniferkj@charter.net
Interviewer: Marlan Warren (323) 347-6762 / memoircity@gmail.com 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW:
Interview with Author Jennifer K. Jordan: “I wanted to give a snapshot of fathers’ wisdom from across the world.” 

What began as a simple tribute to honor the wisdom and love of her father became a life-altering journey for Jennifer K. Jordan, author of DADLY Wisdom. Recently Jordan sat down with journalist/blogger Marlan Warren to reveal her 14-year process to gather insights from fathers she believes (according to the book’s back cover) “represent humanity at its best.”

Q: Did any of the interviews surprise you?

A: All of the interviews did that. Every time I interviewed a father, I was so impressed and moved that I thought I could never meet another such fine human being. I was in awe of all the fathers and their love for their children, and their dedication to helping their families no matter what.

I was surprised when Cain Credicott spoke to me for two hours for his interview. He is extremely busy as the Editor-in-Chief of Paleo Magazine, so I didn’t think his interview would be so long.

When I listened to Bernard Sayone and Tomas Kovar talk about their experiences in the Holocaust, I was constantly amazed. I learned more about the Holocaust from interviewing them than I had in any school, book or film. Bernie and Tomas also inspired me because they now work to promote peace in the world instead of being victims of such a difficult past.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Interview with Judith Fein, Author of THE SPOON FROM MINKOWITZ: A Bittersweet Roots Journey to Ancestral Lands


How to crack the mystery of who we are, why we love, and where we came from can be the greatest mystery of all. Judith Fein embarks on a quest to call on ancestors and urges us to do the same..


Interview with Judith Fein, 
Author of  
The Spoon from Minkowitz: 
A Bittersweet Roots Journey to Ancestral Lands: 

            Finding roots is the solution for a rootless life.”


 I heard the Eastern European ancestors of many people like me
 calling out. “Remember us. Don’t forget us. Our story needs
 to be heard. Write our story. Write your story."
—Judith FeinThe Spoon from Minkowitz

Title:      The Spoon from Minkowitz:  A Bittersweet Roots Journey to Ancestral Lands
Author: Judith Fein with Photographs by Paul Ross
ISBN: 978-0-9884019-3-8
Publisher: GlobalAdventure.us
Paperback             Pages: 256       Price:     $18.95
Discussion Guide Included
Pub. Date: Jan. 5, 2014 (Available in all e-book formats.)
Author Website

Note: This interview was written by Marlan Warren and originally published as a press release in 2014 in PR.com, and picked up by the BBC Record.

     Judith Fein is a travel journalist’s travel journalist. Like a latter-day Marco Polo, she has globe-trotted without maps or preconceived notions from Mog Mog to Vanuatu. By her own account, she has swum with Beluga whales, consulted with a Zulu sangoma in South Africa, and eaten porcupine in Vietnam (“not with relish”). In 2011, when Fein and her photojournalist husband Paul Ross visited Tunisia during the Arab Spring, the French-speaking American Fein found herself on the radio, speaking to Tunisians about Democracy. Her popular travel memoir Life Is a Trip: The Transformative Magic of Travel conveys her need to find out where people of different cultures come from and what makes them act, think, and behave the way they do. After decades of travel, there was one frontier that still eluded the “I-live-to-leave” Fein: the mystery of her own ancestral roots.

     Fein’s book, The Spoon from Minkowitz: A Bittersweet Roots Journey to Ancestral Lands, takes us on the trip she finally made in 2012 to the shtetl her Jewish grandmother left behind in an obscure Russian (now Ukrainian) village.

     The Spoon from Minkowitz has garnered stellar reviews. Catharine Hamm, travel editor of the Los Angeles Times, found The Spoon from Minkowitz “as tense as a thriller and as tender as a love story.” Zelda Shluker, editor of Hadassah Magazine, noted the book is “unlike any other back-to-roots book…driven by the author's almost mystical quest to recover the past…Her curiosity, openness and passion take us along on a journey that turns out to be ours as well.”

     We had the opportunity to catch Judith Fein for a moment when she was not in perpetual motion to talk about the deeper meanings of genealogy as explored in this book:

For those who have not yet read your book, what is “the spoon from Minkowitz”?
My grandmother was from a village called Minkowitz in what was then Russia. That fact plus five others were all she would ever tell me about where she was from and why she left; she didn’t want to talk about the past. My mother told me virtually nothing.

When I met my husband Paul, we were immediately attracted. But here’s the kicker: when I asked Paul's parents about their ancestral roots, it turned out his father’s family came from…Minkowitz

Okay. So the “spoon.” When Paul told his parents we were getting married, his father offered us the only thing left from his parents’ shtetl of Minkowitz: a soup spoon they brought with them to America. I treasured that spoon because it made our ancient, ancestral connection so real and concrete. We made a place of honor for it under the chupa  (Jewish wedding canopy) on a satin pillow.

You followed your intuition and things miraculously started happening—as you did in Life Is a Trip. Would you call your process “right brain”?
I explored the context my ancestors, and the ancestors of so many others, came from by just showing up and going from town to town looking and learning.

Perhaps it is “right brain.” I prefer to call it “following the arrows.” It’s about keeping eyes and ears open, and following wherever the arrows point, even if you don't know where they are leading or what you will find there. If you trust you will end up in the right place, you will somehow get there. 

This book is like a Jewish Roots, the Alex Haley book that traces his African American family history. And in some ways, it’s like Safran Foer’s Everything Is IlluminatedHow would you pitch The Spoon from Minkowitz to a Hollywood producer?
Hmmm.. I’d say it’s a female Everything Is Illuminated meets Life Is a Trip.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Yelp Review: Kari Hock, Green Darner Press / Gemelli Press

I have been like the shoemaker going without her proverbial shoes when it comes to keeping current with my own PR! In fact, I just found this wonderful review from Kari Hock, Managing Editor of the Seattle-based Green Darner Press and Italy's Gemelli Press.

Thank you so much, Kari! Here's her Yelp review (which Yelp did not "recommend" - along with denying me permission to claim my business):

As a managing editor of a small independent book publishing company, having Marlan on board has been an essential part of the process. She is so knowledgeable and an expert at what she does. She is a joy to work with.--Kari Hock, Green Darner Press/Gemelli Press

9/29/15