Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sarah Pinneo's Blurb is a Verb!

On Tuesday, the Library's Writing Life Daytime Talk Series was thrilled to welcome back former member Sarah Pinneo, whose popular blog Blurb is a Verb, features adventures and misadventures in book publicity. Sarah shared what she's learned on the topic firsthand (by publicizing her Ski House Cookbook and her new novel Julia's Child) and from other writers. She was gracious enough to share her notes - and valuable web links...

Sarah says:

Postcards - You must have these!
- Your "Christmas Card" List: if you don't tell your friends when and where to buy your book, they won't buy it
- Postcards are cheap! I like NextDayFlyers
- Envelopes which fit poscards are size A6. Staples sells inexpensive A6 envelopes, and Paper Source sells beautiful ones.
- Booksellers I have loved: send a postcard and a note to booksellers who ought to know you're nearby

Private Parties: much likelier to be well attended than bookstore events
Libraries: many public libraries will hold book events
Bookstores: have a STUMP SPEECH = why I wrote this book, fun research details, visuals, why you should care about this book
Sponsors?: If your book lends itself to alliances with companies, don't be shy!

Your web presence: Blogs and Twitter and Author Websites
Guest blogging
: rent your audience
-Quality of blogs, not quantity
-Don't feel you must become a blogger. Driving traffic to your blog takes as much time as driving it to your book

Author Page
-You do need a landing page with your contact information: example.
-"Buy Links" should be more than just Amazon. Include B&N, Powells, IndieBound, and local booksellers.

Facebook: Unless you love it, skip it. "Sharers" will still link to you on Facebook. Goodreads: What is it even for, besides humiliation (possibly author talks); RedRoom is useless for authors.

Amazon - take control of your Amazon presence!
- Sign up at AuthorCentral
- Tagging: "tag" your book so that searchers can find you
- Solicit reviews from your friends. It matters.

You and Your Publicist
House Publicist
-Knows the book venues only (perhaps)
-New model: send out books, no follow-up
-Feel free to give a presentation: here is my reader, and here's where you can find her

Hiring Help
-Publicist: get someone good, and know what you want. Sector + follow-up.
-Publicists who do excellent work include: KMSPR's Kathleen Schmidt and Lauren Cerand, among others. {note from Carolyn - also check out Gilda Squire who gave a fabulous Writing Life talk Beyond the Book Tour: Marketing Your Book back in 2010.}

Paid book blog tours: Blurb is a Verb post about book tours


  1. Sarah Pinneo's talk was compelling and delightful. It was quite a paradox hearing about self-promotion from such a self-effacing young woman. My blog post at coming up this Friday, 2/17/2012 refers to this terrific talk and its relationship to the irony of self-promotion. My blog is especially for readers and writers, so please read the post and write me a comment!

  2. I can't wait to read your post, Sidney!