33 Tips From Book Publicists

City Book Review publishes multiple book review sites including San Francisco Book ReviewManhattan Book ReviewSeattle Book Review, and Kids Book Buzz. With thousands of books reviewed over the past 8 years, everyone is bound to find something intriguing. The digital magazines feature exclusive interviews, as well as interesting articles on literature, publishing, literary news, independent book stores, and more.

The editors recently published an article for self-published authors featuring tips from 33 book publicists including yours truly.

We see hundreds of indie and self-published books every month here at City Book Review. Some authors are just testing the waters with their book; others take their publishing as a professional commitment. We get so many questions on how they can better prepare their book, sell more copies, or reach more review or publication outlets.

So we asked more than 1,000 professional publicists the most important thing they think every indie author should do when publishing a book. We were blown away with more than 100 responses in 48 hours. So here are a good selection of different ideas – from editing and cover design to marketing plans and launch parties.

Carney & Associates’ small contribution:

Be the expert on your topic

When it comes to print and digital media, be sure to go after non-bookpage coverage and instead of pitching the book, pitch yourself as an expert on your topic. Create compelling pitches tied to current events and position yourself as the expert. Explain why you’re the perfect source for the story, and then mention you’ve also written a book on the subject.”

You can read all 33 tips for self-published authors here.

Are you a self-published author looking for a publicist? Carney & Associates specializes in traditional, digital and social media for authors, experts, products and services. Please contact Kathlene Carney for a free consultation to find out how our publicity services can contribute to your success.

Canada’s Largest Show Features Dr. Paul Blanc

Canada’s most-listened to radio show The Current featured a fascinating interview with Paul D. Blanc, M.D. today. Hosted by Anna Maria Tremonti, one of Canada’s most trusted journalists, The Current airs weekday mornings across their country over the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC), and is heard across the U.S. on SiriusXM.

Here’s an excerpt from their summary:

For well over a century, viscose rayon has been used to make clothes, tires, cellophane and everyday kitchen sponges.

It was hailed as a wondrous new product when first introduced — but what most people didn’t know is how deadly manufacturing rayon was for the factory workers.

It’s an industrial hazard whose egregious history ranks up there with asbestos, lead and mercury, according to author Paul Blanc.

In his new book Fake Silk: The Lethal History of Viscose Rayon (published by Yale University Press), Blanc, who is also a University of California professor of medicine, looks at how the manufacturing of viscose rayon served as a death sentence for many industry workers.

“There was a famous rubber factory where they put bars on the second story windows because so many workers had a tendency to jump out and kill themselves,” he tells The Current’s guest host Laura Lynch.

The key ingredient in the making of viscose is a molecule called carbon disulfide — a molecule so insidiously toxic that it devastated the minds and bodies of factory workers for more than a century.

Blanc says that occupational health and multinational corporations were aware of the dangers, but motivated by huge profits, failed to act.

“It was pretty easy to recognize the toxic effects early on because it makes workers insane. They found that about 30 per cent of the workers that they investigated showed signs of serious poisoning.”

But when it comes to the health impact on consumers, Blanc says there is none.

“Which is why … it’s gone on as long. Because when consumers aren’t affected, there’s not very much impetus for outrage if it’s just the poor people making it that suffer.”

Blanc says the fabric continues to this day to be “greenwashed” as an eco-friendly product.

“They omit entirely the fact that you can’t make the product without this toxic chemical. So it’s really a ‘greenwashing’ of the most diabolical sort.”

Listen to the full conversation HERE.

This interview is part of our comprehensive publicity campaign for Fake Silk. Are you looking for a publicist, a publicity firm for nonprofits, a PR firm for small business, or an independent book publicist? Carney & Associates specializes in science pr and sustainability topics. Please contact Kathlene Carney for a free consultation to find out how our publicity services can contribute to your success.

 

Speak Out Campaign Reached Over 1 Billion

February is Global Population Speak Out month. This grass roots project went worldwide in 2015 with an extraordinary campaign that reached over 1 billion impressions.

Using a crowd-sourced distribution strategy to increase activism, our client’s international environmental activist network began giving away more than four thousand copies of a dramatic coffee table book, Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot (OVER). Featuring more than 300 pages of stunning, full-spread photography it was the centerpiece of the 2015 Global Population Speak Out (“Speak Out”).

Trash wave: Indonesian surfer Dede Surinaya catches a wave in a remote but garbage-covered bay on Java, Indonesia, the world’s most populated island ‘Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.’ Jacques-Yves Cousteau Photograph: Zak Noyle

The goal was to spread the issues and ideas of Speak Out and OVER far and wide, to young and old, to increase awareness on the problems we confront today and to build on solutions that promote human rights — and the rights of all species on Earth. Whether one is working to mitigate the effects of climate change, end child marriage, protect endangered species, or advocating for women’s rights, the Global Population Speak Out helped strengthen activist voices — so all our interconnected concerns were heard.

Speak Out used social media, word-of-mouth and direct action to engage opinion-leaders, scientists and citizens of the world to respond creatively to environmental degradation. Speak Out emphasized elements of environmental protection that are rarely discussed: promoting human rights and human health as strong, indispensable solutions to preserving the rights of other species to exist and the health of the planet.

Speak Out organizers granted the free copies of OVER to people and organizations around the world who became ambassadors of information and inspiration, and promised personalized delivery to policymakers, opinion leaders, activists, allied organizations, and other audiences.

Many of the subjects in OVER are often discussed by environmentalists around the world: materialism, consumption, pollution, fossil fuels, carbon footprints, and more. But OVER and Speak Out purposefully joined two ever-present parts of environmentalism together: the number of the human species and our socio-economic behaviors. The book and the campaign intentionally moved beyond tired arguments that only one side of the equation matters and pictorially depicted the importance of both the number of people and the way people live.

The environmental book became an international media sensation and demand for the OVER books was beyond our wildest expectations – fueled by over 250 mass-media articles, reaching over 1 billion readers in 47 countries.

Reservoir development:

Former old-growth forest leveled for reservoir development, Willamette National Forest, Oregon

‘What an irony it is that these living beings whose shade we sit in, whose fruit we eat, whose limbs we climb, whose roots we water, to whom most of us rarely give a second thought, are so poorly understood. We need to come, as soon as possible, to a profound understanding and appreciation for trees and forests and the vital role they play, for they are among our best allies in the uncertain future that is unfolding.’ Jim Robbins

Photograph: Daniel Dancer

Examples of media sources that have reported on OVER include Washington Post (online and print), The Guardian (online and print), Buzzfeed.com, Salon.com, News.com (Australia), MSN Germany, Yahoo India, the China Daily News, BBC’s Impact, The Daily Mail Online (UK),  Folha de S.Paulo (Brazil), San Francisco Chronicle and Mashable.com.

The Guardian’s photo spread (“Overpopulation, overconsumption – in pictures“) resulted in over 3 million page views, 650,000+ Facebook shares, and over 8,700 Tweets and re-Tweets.

Ashton Kutcher, actor, producer and investor posted Speak Out content on his Facebook page which resulted in over 31,000 likes, 8,000+ shares and 1,300 comments.

Hill-side slum:
Slum-dwelling residents of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, face bleak living conditions in the western hemisphere’s poorest country
‘Squatters trade physical safety and public health for a few square meters of land and some security against eviction. They are the pioneer settlers of swamps, floodplains, volcano slopes, unstable hillsides, rubbish mountains, chemical dumps, railroad sidings, and desert fringes … such sites are poverty’s niche in the ecology of the city, and very poor people have little choice but to live with disaster.’ Mike Davis
Photograph: Google Earth/2014 Digital Globe

While the media attention was robust, Speak Out organizers believed OVER could really effect change with the citizens and organizations speaking out and sharing their passions for saving the planet and creating a better world for all.

In Europe, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability displayed OVER at an annual congress on climate change adaptation and resilience, thereby “allowing congress participants to peruse the magnificent photos during breaks and have the photos spur thoughts and conversations.”

A library consultant at a prominent international health organization reported that “Word is getting around!” The group was sharing OVER in their campus library, which resulted in requests for copies to be taken to country offices in Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, and Uganda.

An activist in Mexico told how he shared the message from OVER: “The book has a permanent place on the counter in our restaurant and many friends/customers/associates have already entered and began to read with awe.”

Down in New Zealand, a conservationist shared that “This will be a great opportunity for us to further promote the impact of increasing human populations on our fragile ecosystems and on the future of the planet’s biodiversity.”

Many of those who requested free copies of OVER were high school teachers and college professors. One teacher from the UK said “It is a really exciting and inspiring resource for future planning of activities within the Department, and in doing so, raising awareness with young people.”

Global Population Speak Out (Speak Out) united world-class scientists, academicians, opinion-leaders – and thousands of lay environmentalists and concerned citizens – to help bring international attention to the crises posed by overdevelopment and human population size and growth. Speak Out was jointly administered by Population Media Center and Population Institute.

To view more of our media coverage for this campaign, please go here. To find out how our publicity services can help spread the word of your book, event or organization, please contact Kathlene Carney at Carney & Associates.

The Atlantic Features “Fake Silk”

In The Atlantic, James Hamblin recently wrote a fascinating feature about FAKE SILK: The Lethal History of Viscose Rayon by Paul David Blanc, M.D.

Here’s an excerpt from “The Buried Story of Male Hysteria: When men actually began to be diagnosed as ‘hysterics,’ doctors searched for a cause. They found a chemical that may be on the rise again today.”

When a raving 27-year-old man was committed to Hudson River State Hospital for the Insane in April of 1887, no one thought much of it.

But 12 days later, another man arrived at the door in much the same incoherent condition. When the men regained awareness and could be interrogated, it turned out that they worked in the same nearby rubber factory.

That summer, a third man was brought to the hospital, where he was described as “in a condition of great mental excitement, disturbing the neighborhood by loud noises and violent praying.” He, too, turned out to be a co-worker.

The chief of the Nervous Department at New York’s College of Physicians and Surgeons at the time was Frederick Peterson. He knew these three cases couldn’t be a coincidence, so he set out interrogating the workers on the nature of their jobs. As he suspected, the men had all inhaled a chemical in the factory’s air: carbon disulfide.

Peterson had heard of carbon-disulfide insanity in Europe, so he alerted his colleagues in The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal (now known as The New England Journal of Medicine) that the problem had come to America. In England, the new term “gassed” had arisen, defined in the Liverpool Daily Post as “the term used in the India rubber business, and it meant dazed.” The British physician Thomas Oliver had recalled watching as people working in rubber factories left after their shifts and “simply staggered home,” apart from themselves. The effect could be deadly. “Some of them have become the victims of acute insanity,” Oliver wrote, “and in their frenzy have precipitated themselves from the top rooms of the factory to the ground.”

This article is part of our comprehensive publicity campaign for Fake Silk. Are you looking for a publicist, a publicity firm for nonprofits, a PR firm for small business, or an independent book publicist? Carney & Associates specializes in science pr and sustainability topics. Please contact Kathlene Carney for a free consultation to find out how our publicity services can contribute to your success.

Donald Trump and the media’s ‘epic fail’

There’s been a lot of reporting about the media’s “epic fail” in the recent election, and one of the most insightful articles is by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism:

One of the most egregious failings of the media in the US election was their chase of audience share at the expense of substantial reporting. Struggling with ever-declining advertising revenues, newspapers chased the stories that brought them the clicks.

At the heart of divided societies in both the US and Britain is a newspaper industry in precipitous decline. The true “epic fail” is of the journalism industry as a whole: that the sector has been unable to find an alternative commercial model to the one that has sustained it for so long. As print readers migrate online, few newspapers have been able to persuade them to continue contributing to the cost of producing news; and neither have they been able to convince advertisers that their online versions are as worthy of investment as their print products.

The article also referenced  the shocking reduction in journalists in the U.S. As reported in The Guardian, the number of people employed in the US newspaper industry has fallen by almost 60% since the dawn of the internet age – from nearly 458,000 in 1990 to about 183,000 in 2016. This loss has been felt most seriously among regional papers which have either cut their newsrooms back to the bone or shut down altogether.

Major media platforms did fly their own journalists around the country to interview supporters at Trump rallies, but these reporters “rarely got out of the campaign bubbles. They had not lived among the many communities that voted for Trump” the way local journalists had–before their jobs went away.

Based in London, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism understands the important role investigative journalism must play in the years to come. “Now more than ever, we need strong, independent, fearless and deep reporting that holds power to account. We need journalists who have the time and the resources to properly investigate the stories that matter.”

It’s now more urgent than ever that we support the legitimate sources that provide our news. Those journalists can’t work for free.

Meanwhile, are you looking for a publicist, a publicity firm for nonprofits, a PR firm for small business, or an independent book publicist? Please contact Kathlene Carney for a free consultation to find out how our publicity services can contribute to your success–through reputable news outlets.

 

Greenwashed products exposed on Groks Science Radio Show

The current “greenwashing” of viscose products as being eco-friendly (rayon fabrics, sponges, cellophane products) is exposed in FAKE SILK: The Lethal History of Viscose Rayon by Paul D. Blanc, M.D. (Yale University Press).

A highly toxic chemical, carbon disulfide, has been the life blood of this industry from the start. It also has meant a death sentence for many of its workers. For a more than a century, making viscose has been linked to severe illness, including mental derangement, heart attack, and stroke.

Dr. Blanc discusses the history of the industry and its current rebirth in greenwashed eco-friendly products on the Groks Science Show. He emphasizes the importance of skepticism about “green” products on the market, not just in terms of potential hazards for consumers, but also up the chain in its manufacturing, and where it goes after the consumer is finished with it.

This interview is part of our comprehensive publicity campaign for Fake Silk. Are you looking for a publicist, a publicity firm for nonprofits, a PR firm for small business, or an independent book publicist? Please contact Kathlene Carney for a free consultation to find out how our publicity services can contribute to your success.

 

CJR: Tips for Journalists Covering Trump

“The Canadian media now knows how to report on a post-truth, journalist-bashing politician, and they have some ideas for their American counterparts struggling to keep up with Trump,” according to a fascinating article in  the Columbia Journalism Review.

In “Canadian Journalists Who Covered Rob Ford Offer Tips on Trump,” their first piece of advice is that visuals speak louder than words:

No one knows that better than Robyn Doolittle, the now Globe and Mail reporter who was one of two Toronto Star journalists to see the infamous Ford crack-cocaine video. She was only allowed to watch the video on an iPhone in the back seat of a parked car—she couldn’t take pictures or the video with her. While that seemed good enough at the time, when the story came out thousands of Torontonians, including Ford and other city counsellors, said it was fake. “I was shocked that the half the city would think that the Toronto Star made up the story,” she says.

About a year later, now at the Globe and Mail, another drug dealer called saying he had a second video of Ford smoking crack. Once again, she could only watch the video on a mobile phone, but unlike with the first video, her paper agreed to pay $10,000 for several screenshots. When the story came out the next day, Ford checked himself into rehab, something he had never done before. “I have a newfound appreciation for photos,” she says. “In the days of Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, people expect to see footage.”

The article also advises journalists to start standing up for themselves, and emphasizes the importance of support from news agencies.

It’s also critical for reporters to know their editors and their newspapers will be there to defend them, says Irene Gentle, managing editor at the Toronto Star. “Reporters have to believe they will be supported despite the attacks on them personally, despite the attacks on the integrity of the news organization and the news industry,” she says. “The editor has to make that completely clear. The reporters have to know their job is to keep going.”

At Carney & Associates, we’ve specialized in working with journalists for more than 20 years, and it’s our job to remain abreast of the monumental changes that are reshaping today’s media landscape.

Now it’s more urgent than ever that we support legitimate sources that provide our news. Journalists can’t work for free, more on this in future posts…

Meanwhile, are you looking for a publicist, a publicity firm for nonprofits, a PR firm for small business, or an independent book publicist? Please contact Kathlene Carney for a free consultation to find out how our publicity services can contribute to your success–through reputable news outlets.

 

TriplePundit: Renewables Disrupting Fossil Fuels

Energy expert Leah Parks says renewable energy technologies are poised to disrupt fossil fuels, in an insightful article published recently on TriplePundit. Here’s a short excerpt:

“Exponential growth clean-energy technologies are a most powerful not-so-secret weapon for our last, best effort in the fight against disastrous climate change. A 21st-century energy transformation is already underway.  Our digital revolution is facilitating massive progress in technologies that are leading to disruption and will result in the replacement of the fossil fuel industry faster than most could imagine.

“We can jump over political resistance and climate denial despite outdated and misinformed all-of-the above federal policies.  Our modern-day Edisons have done their job.  We are at a tipping point where technological innovations that have been in development for many years can now provide us with all the energy we need at ever decreasing costs.”

“We need only look at the last turn of the century to see how quickly transformation can happen.

“In 1903 we took our first flight, and New York city streets were filled with buggies.  By 1914 we were fighting a war in the air and the same streets teemed with cars.  The engineering which first made spaceflight possible was developed in 1919.  Within 38 years Sputnik was launched, and 12 years later we walked on the moon.

“We can jump over political resistance and climate denial despite outdated and misinformed all-of-the above federal policies.  Our modern-day Edisons have done their job.  We are at a tipping point where technological innovations that have been in development for many years can now provide us with all the energy we need at ever decreasing costs.”

“We need only look at the last turn of the century to see how quickly transformation can happen.

“In 1903 we took our first flight, and New York city streets were filled with buggies.  By 1914 we were fighting a war in the air and the same streets teemed with cars.  The engineering which first made spaceflight possible was developed in 1919.  Within 38 years Sputnik was launched, and 12 years later we walked on the moon.

“The exact form our energy infrastructure will take by the year 2050 is not certain, but it will be cleaner, cheaper and safer than the one we inherited from the 20th century. Electric vehicles and trains, as well as heat pumps, will play a major role.  Solar, wind and storage, paired with digital management and energy efficiency, are already being deployed.

“We are witnessing the end of an energy dinosaur.  This is a new era of clean energy, ready to obtain its fuel free of charge from the sun and wind.  Anyone looking backward will be left in the digital dust.  They will be made extinct by the unrelenting disruptive force of exponential growth technologies.

“Working against entrenched interests can be frustrating and at times make optimism difficult.  In moments of doubt, let’s not forget the words of Robert Hutchings Goddard, the father of space flight, ‘The dream of yesterday is the hope of todayand the reality of tomorrow.'”

book3d2This placement is one of many in our publicity campaign for Parks’ new book All-Electric America: A Climate Solution and the Hopeful Future.” Are you looking for a publicist, a publicity firm for nonprofits, a PR firm for small business, or an independent book publicist? Please contact Kathlene Carney for a free consultation to find out how our publicity services can drive your success.

Advertising, Fake News and ‘Attention Harvesting’

I just listened to the most fascinating interview on KQED-FM’s  radio show Forum, “Tim Wu On Advertising, Fake News and ‘Attention Harvesting’.” Here’s their promo copy:

Columbia Law professor Tim Wu is best known for coining the term “net neutrality” and for his research on the Internet, media and communications. His latest book, “The Attention Merchants,” looks at how advertisers have monetized public attention throughout history, from penny press newspapers to Facebook ads. We’ll talk to Wu about the book, get his take on the proliferation of fake news and explore what technology policy might look like in the Trump administration.

Wu explains that the attention merchants’ business model, targeting anyone who goes on Facebook or searches on Google  for example, takes us as its resource to harvest. It’s takes our minds, our attention, and wants us to be constantly distracted, looking at ads, losing control over ourselves. They don’t want you reading books or talking with friends or family, because that’s all wasted revenue to them.  This business model has become so pervasive in our lives, it’s starting to have profound effects on who we are and also on the underlying media. For instance, so much of the web’s content has become clickbait because that’s the only thing that can survive. It’s become a race to the bottom in terms of competing for people’s attention.

attentionmerchantsThe Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get  Inside Our Heads is receiving rave reviews:

“A startling and sweeping examination of the increasingly ubiquitous commercial effort to capture and commodify our attention…We’ve become the consumers, the producers, and the content. We are selling ourselves to ourselves.”—Tom Vanderbilt, The New Republic

“An erudite, energizing, outraging, funny and thorough history…A devastating critique of ad tech as it stands today, transforming “don’t be evil” into the surveillance business model in just a few short years. It connects the dots between the sale of advertising inventory in schools to the bizarre ecosystem of trackers, analyzers and machine-learning models that allow the things you look at on the web to look back at you…This stuff is my daily beat, and I learned a lot from Attention Merchants.”—Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing 

“Tim Wu has written a profoundly important book on a problem that doesn’t get enough— well, attention. Attention itself has become the currency of the information age, and, as Wu meticulously and eloquently demonstrates, we allow it to be bought and sold at our peril.”–James Gleick, author of Time Travel: A History 
 

The Attention Merchants should be required reading for anyone working in public relations, publicity, marketing or advertising, as well as the general public.

Infographic-The Clean Energy Revolution is Happening Now

Despite political resistance, climate denial, and outdated misinformation, the clean energy revolution really is happening now.  

Fossil fuels will become a thing of the past just like oil from whale blubber, according to energy expert Leah Y. Parks. “Disruptive technologies are changing business models and clean technologies are on track to completely disrupt the fossil fuel industry. We can either embrace this future, become the leader in the ‘clean energy’ revolution, and reap the benefits or we can fall behind and risk obsolescence like Kodak and Blockbuster.”
The following infographic illustrates that a 21st century energy transformation is already underway:

Clean Energy Revolution infographic made by Carney & Associates as part of our national book publicity campaign for All-Electric America, by Leah Y. Parks and S. Davis Freeman. To find out how our publicity services can help spread the word of your book, product or organization, please contact Kathlene Carney.