New Client Spotlight: Ara the Star Engineer

We are proud to be conducting a national book publicity tour for Ara the Star Engineer, by Komal Singh and other thinkers and tinkers at Google.

Komal, a Google engineering program manager, was taken aback when her four-year old daughter proclaimed, “Engineers are boys.” So she decided to do something about it: team up with peers and leaders at Google to bust that bias for all kids.

The result is an appealing, timely children’s picture book. Ara the Star Engineer, published by Page Two Books, will be released this fall to coincide with the International Day of the Girl Child.

Ara is already receiving rave reviews from educators, CEOs and authors dedicated to helping the next generation of scientists. Advance praise includes:
  • Geena Davis, Founder and Chair, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media: “We’ve always said ‘If she can see it, she can be it’. With this story, girls can see leaders and be inspired to become one. A book for all ages and genders!”
  • Debra Sterling, CEO of GoldieBlox: “The world needs more girls in tech and curious, young Ara provides a delightful entry point. This book is a beautifully illustrated adventure highlighting diverse, real-life engineer role models sure to inspire future STEM stars.”
  • Eric Schmidt, Former Executive Chairman and former CEO of Google: “Ara and her friends are more than just characters; they are models for girls and boys to follow, if they are curious about the world–and want to build a better one.”
  • Hadi Partovi, CEO of Code.org: “Ara’s story can inspire a whole new generation of girls to become engineers, coders, or computer scientists. Our world needs more girls like Ara.”
  • Linda Liukas, Author of “Hello Ruby” book series: “Stories help us understand ourselves, each other and the world around us. In a more and more technical world we need stories like Ara’s to help us bring up the next generation of problem solvers.”
  • Rachel Ignotofsky, Author of “Women in Science” and “Women in Sports”: “This book is beautifully drawn and supports a great cause! It is so important to encourage our young girls to become leaders in STEM fields– and this book does just that. A great bedtime story for any little engineer-to-be.”

All profits from the book sales will be donated to charities encouraging women’s and girls’ participation in STEM fields. This book is not an official Google product but a grassroots, passion project of Google employees in their personal capacity striving for an equitable future for all girls.

We look forward to promoting this exceptional and vital children’s book.

Are you an author looking for a book publicist, an expert looking for a PR firm, or a small business in need of publicity? Whether you’re looking for a San Francisco book publicist or a national PR campaign, please contact Kathlene Carney for a free consultation to find out how our publicity services can contribute to 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.