Thursday, July 16, 2015

World of Writing, interview

-- World of Writing -- 

Stephanie Barko, a literary publicist, has a wide array of clients ranging from traditional publishers and their authors, small presses, and independently published nonfiction authors to historical novelists. 
Stephanie’s PR agency was recently voted Best Resource in the
2015 Small Business Book Awards. Since its inception in 2005, Stephanie has moderated a nonfiction book group that was featured on BookBrowse and has hosted nationally bestselling authors.This fall she is launching an app called DIY Book Platform that guides authors to create their very own unique book platform. In 2014, Stephanie was profiled by both Environmental Defense Fund and National Audubon Society for her commitment to the earth. Today she joins us from her office in Austin, Texas (US) to some thoughts on marketing. Be sure to check out the links in this interview below:
Q: Did you take any writing classes? 

A: Business Communications was required for my BBA in Marketing with a concentration in High Tech at the University of Texas at Austin. I started my agency after an editor in a writing circle we shared noticed that I was promoting the work of others in the group. I had been marketing semiconductors before joining that group and marketing books felt like a lot more fun to me.

Q: What are some of the tools you use for marketing? 

A: I create email pitches, virtual tours, press releases, LinkedIn connections, and blog posts, among other tools. Reviewers who are good writers are also among my marketing connections since one good review can make or break a book. Over the last year and a half, I developed an app for authors who cannot afford to hire a publicist called DIY Book Platform. It is an interactive web-based app that writes author platforms for $99. It debuts 3Q15. Interested authors can connect to the app through Facebook if they want to be notified when it goes live. 

Q: What are some of your favorite websites for writers? 

A: Well, I have to mention Writer’s Digest, since they were kind enough to interview me, and my own blog, which authors say they like for providing free book marketing information. Writer’s Chat Room has won many awards, has a good list, and is a site on which I book traditionally published authors.

Q: How much time do you devote to marketing your book? 

A: And what kind of marketing do you recommend? To market clients’ books, I devote 3-6 months per client, using custom tools. I recommend acquiring pre-publication reviews and spending the majority of time six months prior to release with positioning the book so that it sells itself when it launches.

Q: Where do you hope to take your writing in the future? 

A: I’m always striving to improve my technical skills so I can teach my clients the tricks I learn, like how to train Google to index your blog. My writing also gets me speaking gigs - yours can too! 

Q:  What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?  

A: I write every day for a living, while calling my own shots and making my own hours. I’m living my dream right now and have been since 2006 when I started my book PR agency, Stephanie Barko, Literary Publicist. My best memory in the industry so far was presenting to my peers (Joan Stewart, John Kremer, Judith Briles, Dan Poynter and more) at Author U 2014 in Denver.

Award-winning authors Dave and Lillian Brummet: 

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