The New York Times features “Candid Creatures”

Our client’s book Candid Creatures: How Camera Traps Reveal the Mysteries of Nature by biologist Roland Kays (Johns Hopkins University Press) was featured The New York Times! Science reporter Nicholas St. Fleurs interviewed Kays for spread on camera traps. He also included several photos from this groundbreaking book, which is the first ever to compile the remarkable images and discoveries made through this explosive new technology. Here are some excerpts:

CandidCreaturesCover“Camera traps can help illuminate the world’s most elusive animals. When a cougar, elephant or other creature triggers the device’s motion sensor, it snaps a picture.
“’Most animals are hiding, you actually never get to see them and you might be led to believe there’s nothing out there,’ said Roland Kays, a zoologist at North Carolina State University and author of the forthcoming book Candid Creatures: How Camera Traps Reveal the Mysteries of Nature.
“Wildlife photographers have used remote-controlled cameras for more than a century, but in recent years scientists have begun using the tool with more frequency, Dr. Kays said. The images may be used to help researchers track the whereabouts of rare species or figure out what creatures inhabit a certain area.

“Volunteers with the citizen science project eMammal set up the camera trap that captured
this coyote in the South Mountains Game Lands in North Carolina. The project encourages wildlife enthusiasts to assemble camera traps in their backyards in hopes of connecting with the furry creatures that live around them. This particular project was observing the effects of hunting and hiking on wildlife near Raleigh, N.C.

“We’ve been finding coyotes in Raleigh in much more urban areas that we thought,” said Dr. Kays, the zoologist at North Carolina State University who started the eMammal project.
NYT Article“Sometimes what you find is quite surprising,” Dr. Kays said. In one case middle school students in India caught video footage of a tiger exhaling a steamy breath. They were participating in an eMammal project that organized a trap-cam photo exchange among classrooms in India, Mexico and North Carolina.

“Children from India shared images of tigers, leopards and civets, while students from Mexico shared their pictures of jaguarundi, ocelots and ring-tailed ground squirrels. Those from North Carolina shared images of coyotes, gray foxes and white-tailed deer.

28TB-CamTrap1-jumbo“’It allowed the kids to learn about the animals that are living right around them that they otherwise never see,’ Dr. Kays said. “And through the joy of sharing their own discoveries, they can compare how the species are different and similar.”

This prestigious national placement is part of our comprehensive book publicity campaign for Johns Hopkins University Press. Please contact Kathlene Carney to discuss how Carney & Associates publicity services can help promote your science or nature book or organization.

Internet is pushing American news media to the coasts

I read a fascinating article by Joshua Benton on NiemanLab.org about how the Internet is pushing the American news business to New York and the coasts. “Rather than creating geographic diversity, digital news has pushed the industry into a few tight clusters. That has real impacts on the journalism we get.” Here are more highlights from his piece:

“Let’s start by thinking of the pre-web news business. Physical distribution of newspapers and over-the-air distribution of TV signals meant location was all-important for daily news. Journalistic talent was arrayed to match, with substantial newsrooms in every city.

“Digital changed that. Think of the most prominent digital-native news companies, like Vice Media, BuzzFeed, Business Insider, Gawker Media, Mashable, Vox Media — all of them are in New York or D.C. (Vice adds a sort of geographic diversity by being in Brooklyn instead of Manhattan, I suppose. But you could still visit a dozen of them without your Uber bill climbing too high.) There are smaller hubs in the Bay Area (for tech reporting), Los Angeles (all about video), and even Miami (for Spanish-language and Hispanic-targeting media), but the increase in concentration is unmistakable. Journalism jobs are leaving the middle of the country and heading for the coasts.

“This won’t come as a shock to anyone who’s studied cluster theory, the idea that industries naturally tend toward concentration in one or a few places — think autos in Detroit, oil in Houston, or music in Nashville. Small geographic advantages start to snowball; companies that want to work with the big players naturally want to be near them, and talented people know that, if they want to do interesting work, they’d best go where the innovation is happening.

“So if the news business is becoming even more centered in New York, what sort of impacts would that have on our news? For one thing, you’d expect it to make the media more liberal — culturally and politically. Journalists don’t like it when conservatives point out that they, as a group, lean farther left than the country as a whole. But you don’t need to be a conspiracy theorist to believe it: College-educated liberal arts grads who live in cities — a group most American journalists fit into — are more liberal as a group than the American median. And those who live in New York or San Francisco are going to be more liberal as a group than those in Cincinnati or Knoxville.

“America is a big, highly distributed place. Our democracy is structured around cities and counties and congressional districts and states. Our media used to be too. As an industry, it’s our responsibility to make sure we don’t become too myopically focused on a few square blocks in Midtown Manhattan.”

At Carney & Associates, we specialize in media relations and spread our clients’ messages through traditional and digital news outlets wherever they may be. Contact Kathlene Carney for a free consultation to discuss how our publicity services can spread your message through the news.

Sierra Magazine: The Fracking Fallout

Sierra Magazine recently featured an excellent review of our client’s extraordinary book,  Slick Water: Fracking and One Insider’s Stand Against the Wold’s Most Powerful Industry by Andrew Nikiforuk, and published by Greystone Books. Enjoy:

SlickWater_CoverFINAL02.indd“This exposé about the dangers of fracturing rocks deep underground to extract oil and gas might jolt you like the earthquakes the technique causes. Poisoned water, contaminated wells, stews of toxic chemicals, exploding toilets, unbearable noise, and torn-up landscapes from Alberta to Arkansas are presented in all their horror by Canadian journalist Andrew Nikiforuk.

“But his story focuses on the efforts of one woman, Jessica Ernst, to halt fracking where she lives in Alberta. Ernst was an industry insider who ran a business arranging agreements between oil drillers and landowners, part of which involved mitigation of environmental damage. This equipped her to appeal for protection from regulatory boards when her own water and that of neighboring ranchers and businesses became so contaminated with methane that they couldn’t take a shower with it, let alone drink it.

“After being repeatedly stonewalled by the boards, which even fudged data to try to prove that the methane was naturally occurring, Ernst sued the agencies and the fracker, Encana, in 2007. The defendants’ lawyers managed to drag out the case until it went all the way to the Canadian Supreme Court, where it is still pending. Nikiforuk shows clearly how the industry’s legal maneuvers allow it to evade accountability and bad publicity in many other places as well. With plaintiffs worn to a frazzle, suits often get settled out of court and forgotten.

“Because of people like Ernst, there’s growing knowledge of the dangers of fracking, and increasing opposition, but much remains to be done. Nikiforuk, for instance, notes the ‘Halliburton Loophole’ in the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005, which exempted fracking from crucial clean-water regulations, and which the Senate refused to close this year. And who toiled mightily to frack this loophole? None other than Dick Cheney, ex-boss of major frack supplier Halliburton.

At Carney & Associates, we provide publicity services for people who improve our world, and we’ve had the honor of working on Andrew Nikiforuk’s book publicity campaign for several months now. For a free consultation about how we might provide public relations services for your book or product, please contact Kathlene Carney.

West Coast Live Interviews John Muir Laws

Just a quick note to say that my awesome client John Muir Laws, popular Bay Area naturalist, educator, and artist, will be interviewed on the  syndicated public radio program West Coast Live with Sedge Thomson tomorrow, March 5, between 10am-12pm PST.JohnMuirLaws

John  (called “a modern Audubon” by The Washington Post) will be talking about his new book  The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling by John Muir Law (Heyday Books, March 2016) .

From our press release: A potent combination of art, science, and boundless enthusiasm, the latest art instruction book from Laws is a how-to guide for becoming a better artist and a more attentive naturalist.

In straightforward text complemented by step-by-step illustrations,  The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling by John Muir Law includes dozens of exercises to lead the hand and mind through creating accurate reproductions of plants and animals as well as landscapes, skies, and more.

While the book’s advice will improve the skills of already accomplished artists, the emphasis on seeing, learning, and feeling will make this book valuable to anyone interested in the natural world, no matter how rudimentary their artistic abilities.

A growing body of evidence demonstrates that spending time outdoors in nature is good for us, and doctors are increasingly “prescribing” time spent outside in nature. Studies show it lowers levels of cortisol and stress, and increases white blood cells – which can help fight cancer and infections.

“Nature journaling trains your eyes to see deeper into the mystery and beauty of the world, and with practice you will also retrain you brain to be able to draw what you see,” explains Laws. “You do not need to start as an artist or a naturalist, but you will become one, and journaling can become a habit that fundamentally changes your life.”

West Coast Live is a fabulous show and this week, will be broadcast in front of a live studio audience in San Rafael CA. It’s described as a “rich mix of writers, thinkers, comedians, and musicians come mostly from the Pacific Rim and the Western United States, but also from further afield as feels right to do. Think Bill Moyers meets David Letterman, according to one reviewer.”

You can reserve tickets at Brown Paper Tickets  or by calling their 24/7 hotline at 1-800-838- 3006.

This interview is one of many placements we’ve secured during this book publicity campaign. For a free consultation about how we might provide public relations services for your book or product, please contact Kathlene Carney.

Ecotopia Features Slick Water Author

Stephen TchudiSusan and Stephen Tchudi, hosts of the long-running radio show Ecotopia, are among the few interviewers who take time to actually read their guests’ books in advance, and prepare thoughtful questions.

So we were thrilled when they invited our client Andrew Nikiforuk, author of Slick Water: Fracking, and One Insider’s Stand Against the World’s Most Powerful Industry, to be on their show last week.

The entire hour was devoted to hydraulic fracturing—fracking—and its impacts.  In the first half of the program they spoke with Andrew by phone from Alberta, CanadaHe described the fascinating and frightening history of how fracking has evolved over the past 150 years, and then he told the story of Jessica Ernst, a person who has launched a single-handed campaign against commercial fracking and the Canadian government.

And in the second half of the program, they spoke with Dave Garcia, who has led the anti-fracking movement up in Butte County. He gave an update on the June 7 ballot measure that would ban fracking in Butte County, and provided precise and well researched information on why fracking is a danger, not only to the county, but to the world.

Ecotopia airs on KZFR 90.1 Chico, CA, Tuesdays, 6-7 pm and covers issues ranging from water to population to homesteading to energy and from do-it-yourself to what-can-we do?  At Carney & Associates, we specialize in media relations for people who improve our world, especially those in areas of sustainability. We’re grateful that the Tchudi’s have interviewed many, many of our clients over the years. They are excellent hosts who produce intelligent, high-quality programming.

This was one of many media placements we secured during our book publicity campaign for Slick Water.  Please contact me for a free consultation to discuss how our public relations services can help with your publicity needs.

THE ANNIHILATION OF NATURE: Human Extinction of Birds and Mammals

The Annihilation of Nature, Gerardo Ceballos, Anne H. Ehrlich, and Paul R. Ehrlich
The Annihilation of Nature, Gerardo Ceballos, Anne H. Ehrlich, and Paul R. Ehrlich

With the human-caused “sixth extinction” receiving increasing attention in media coverage of climate change and the environment, I was honored to handle the publicity campaign for The ANNIHILATION OF NATURE: Human Extinction of Birds and Mammals, by Gerardo Ceballos, Paul Ehrlich and Anne Ehrlich, and published the Johns Hopkins University Press.

The authors bring enormous credibility and passion to the topic: Gerardo Ceballos is one of the world’s leading ecologists and professor at the Institute of Ecology at National Autonomous University of Mexico. Anne H. Ehrlich is a senior research scientist emeritus at Stanford University. Paul R. Ehrlich is the Bing Professor of Population Studies and the president of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University.
Our planet is now in the midst of its sixth mass extinction of plants and animals . We’re currently experiencing the highest amount of species die-offs since the loss of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Although extinction is a natural phenomenon, it occurs at a natural “background” rate of about one to five species per year. Scientists estimate we’re now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times that, with  dozens going extinct every day.
During our book publicity campaign, the authors explained these dynamics but their emphasis was inevitably on the heartbreaking and unavoidable evidence that this extinction is human-caused and increasing.

In The Annihilation of Nature, wonderful photography presents the amazing animals and environments that are under assault.  Extraordinary full-spread photographs introduce each chapter.  The effect, not quite celebratory, not quite elegiac, is just right in conveying how high are the stakes and how vital the message.
Our PR campaign was a great success. The book was reviewed everywhere from the Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post,  and the Los Angeles Review of Books to Salon.com, Science NewsBioscience, and Photo Review. Paul ‘s interviews aired on more than 1500 radio stations across the U.S. and Canada.

All royalties for this title go to the Navjot Sodhi Fund at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, which supports the work of young conservation biologists.

At Carney & Associates, we are proud to specialize in publicity campaigns for nature, the environment, climate change, biodiversity, food scarcity, and other sustainability issues.

Please contact me for a free consultation to discuss how our public relations services can help with your publicity needs.

KPFA’s Letters and Politics on Transgender Women in Prisons

CARNEYPR.COMMitch Jeserich, host of the popular Letters and Politics radio show on KPFA-FM in Berkeley, recently interviewed my incredibly talented friend and client  Kris Schreier Lyseggen.

Kristin, a distinguished international journalist and photographer, was there as part of our publicity campaign to discuss her latest book, The Women of San Quentin: Soul Murder of Transgender Women in Male Prisons. Kris has been working tirelessly to raise awareness of the struggles transgender women endure, and the abuse and trauma they suffer in male prisons.

Ashley Diamond, one of the women Kris features in the book, joined her for the radio interview. Ashley is a transgender woman and nonviolent offender who had sued Georgia corrections officials for failing to provide her medical treatment and safekeeping.

Here’s an excerpt from KPFA’s post: “True stories about nine transgender women in the male US prison system who grew up never feeling safe, who were surrounded by others telling them that they should be ‘ normal ’ , and that their deepest sense of who they were was an error.

“As the number of transgender people ‘coming out’ reaches levels we never before dreamed of, author Kristin Lyseggen hopes this book will shed some light on the needs of people locked up twice in their lives.

“She started writing this book as soon as she moved to California from Norway, just before we learned that Private Bradley Manning was Chelsea Manning and before we knew about the popular Netflix TV show Orange Is the New Black. In real life, most women with gender identity issues, when jailed, are put in male prisons with notorious predators. The only options for many of them in order to survive is to live isolated in cages, or become sex slaves for other inmates.

For Kristin Lyseggen to understand the reality of their lives, she had to gain trust from people she had never met and never expected to meet. This book project led Kristin from the ‘ war zone ’ in East Oakland, California, to the run-down, chaotic intensity of the Tenderloin district in San Francisco; she traveled from a boundary breaking Transgender Health Conference in Bangkok to a clandestine LGBTQI advocacy conference in Nairobi, Kenya; from an event to raise funds for incarcerated transgender women in Oakland where one speaker was ( former FBI ’ s ‘ Most Wanted ’ ) Angela Davis, a professor at University of California; to conservative Rome, Georgia and Montgomery, Alabama; to a maximum security prison in the Central Valley of California. Without exception the stories she encountered during this project were diverse and different from one another in ways that were surprising and often disturbing.

“Kristin was introduced to an almost inconceivable struggle heaped upon the usual stories of people incarcerated in US prisons. In spite of the conditions of their lives, they taught her that what landed them behind bars, and the contradictory feelings one has about their crimes, there could be the possibility of redemption.”

I was honored to conduct a national publicity campaign for Kris, and the Letters and Politics radio show was one of many PR interviews we arranged for her. You can listen to it here.

Please contact me for a free consultation to discuss how our public relations services can help with your publicity needs.

 

 

Extraordinary wildlife photos from camera traps

I just received the blads* for an extraordinary upcoming book, Candid Creatures: How Camera Traps Reveal the Mysteries of Nature, by biologist Roland Kays (May 2016, Johns Hopkins University Press).

Before this publicity campaign, I’d never heard of camera traps. I’ve since learned that many of the most fascinating and significant wildlife discoveries in recent years have been made thanks to the explosion of these non-invasive, motion-sensitive cameras, placed out in nature.

With wildlife in crisis around the world we need to know the status of animal populations now more than ever. To meet this challenge, scientists trek to the most remote corners of the planet to set camera traps. They hope this technology will allow them to catch glimpses of animals they could never see with their own eyes.

Not only do camera traps provide stunning images of endangered species, they’ve revolutionized the field of wildlife science, and elevated our understanding of the animals in our own backyards.

We’re thrilled to be conducting a nation book publicity campaign for this title, it’s a publicist’s dream. Candid Creatures is the first major book to reveal the secret lives of animals through this new technology, and we have more than 600 remarkable photographs to share from researchers all over the globe.

The author Roland Kays is a dynamo. He’s the director of the Biodiversity Laboratory at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and a research associate professor at North Carolina State University. Roland is energetic, articulate, and super-enthusiastic about his work. Here’s one of his excellent camera trap videos that we’re using for his media relations campaign.

* Blads are pre-publication brochures for upcoming books, used by publicists and sales teams. Blad stands for book (or, basic) layout and design.

Contact Kathlene Carney at Carney & Associates for a free consultation to discuss how our media relations services can help with your wildlife organization or book’s publicity needs. 

Audiobooks Are the New E-Books

The New York Times recently reported that audiobooks are the new e-books.

In a look back at 2015, they said “audiobooks joined podcasts as one of the breakout creative mediums of the year.” Sales of downloaded books increased by 38 percent in the first eight months of 2015, according to the Association of American Publishers. Meanwhile, e-book sales declined by 11 percent in the during the same period, leading to speculation that some consumers are switching from digital reading to digital listening.

The New York Times points out, “The growing use of smartphones means that practically everyone has an audiobook player on hand at all times. There are more titles than ever to choose from (25,787 audiobooks were released in 2014). And the medium is attracting prominent actors and celebrities.”

Tom Tivnan of the publishing industry bible The Bookseller also believes the rise is largely due to technology. “Streaming and speed of downloads helps, but simply that most people have a smartphone is probably the main factor,” he says. And developments in digital recording and distribution have made audiobooks more affordable. The Wall Street Journal notes that Stephen King’s lengthy The Stand cost $100 in 1978. Today it can be downloaded for $33.

I’ve been a fan of audiobooks for years.  As a book publicist my work is often sedentary, so when reading for pleasure I love the mobility afforded by audio downloads. And because I specialize in media relations for nonfiction titles, I gravitate toward fiction on my own time. It’s incredibly relaxing to have someone read me a story while I’m doing chores, running errands, or working out.

Bestselling crime writer Mark Billingham summed it up when he said, “I think people will always enjoy having a story told to them. It’s not something that happens often after childhood and it’s a rare and special treat.”

My book publicity clients often ask if I think it’s essential for them to produce an ebook version of their titles. Now a more important question is, when will your audiobook be ready?

Contact Kathlene Carney at Carney & Associates to see how our book publicity services can help promote your audiobook–or ebook. 😉

 

Amazon wins self-publishing market

Self-publishing is a booming multibillion-dollar market. In 2015, author-published books accounted for 18% of the entire book market in the U.S., and Amazon published 85% of them.

So I wasn’t surprised when Quartz reported, “Penguin Random House, the largest book publisher in the world, is chopping off its self-publishing arm. The company said Jan. 5 that it has sold Author Solutions—the self-publishing author-tools platform that it bought in 2012—to an unnamed affiliate of US private equity firm Najafi Companies for an undisclosed sum.”

From The Financial Times: “Self-publishing has been growing rapidly, with more authors designing and selling their books without the backing of a traditional publishing house. Author Solutions has sought to capitalise by offering a variety of services to independent authors, including ‘web-optimised’ press releases for $1,299 each.”

In other words, they were accused of trying to make money off of their authors rather than for their authors, and the company was subject to frequent complaints as well as a couple of lawsuits.

Whether due to tanking market share or negative publicity, Quartz notes “Penguin Random House’s exit from self-publishing is also an admission of defeat: The giant self-publishing market essentially now falls largely to Amazon.”

Contact Kathlene Carney at Carney & Associates for a free consultation to discuss how our media relations services can help with your self-published book’s publicity needs.