Guest Post & Giveaway: A Publicist*s Dream by Amy Green of Bethany House Publishers

We're back with Amy Green of Bethany House Publishers to give us more insight in the publishing world, from a publisher's side with "A Publicist's Dream: How to Help Authors."  Welcome back, Amy! 


"A Publicist's Dream: How to Help Authors"

I love chatting with readers, so I’m delighted to be here today talking about books, authors, and the behind-the-scenes of marketing. I’m Bethany House’s fiction publicist, which essentially means I do the grab-bag marketing tasks of anything not paid advertising—sending out review copies, planning contests, scheduling book tours, running our social media, setting up interviews, and generally being excited about our novels.


Because of this, I’m sometimes asked by enthusiastic readers (my favorite kind!) what they can do to promote authors and their books. And do I ever have answers for you. Some are obvious, some are less so, but all of them matter to help Christian fiction get out there to the world.

Like Everything!
Okay, that’s an exaggeration. But the more you like and comment on posts from authors’ pages, the more other people who will see it. So, even if you already have a book and thus the announcement of a giveaway is totally irrelevant to you, like the post. It’s a simple way to connect the author with more people.

Pro tip! For your favorite authors, the ones you want to sure to keep up with—or maybe a publisher called Bethany House who often posts giveaways and such—go to their Facebook page under their cover photo where it says “Following.” From there, click on “See First in Your Newsfeed.” That’s your way of signaling to Facebook that you’d prefer that they show you what the page posts instead of only doing so occasionally when they feel like it.
Answer Questions

This is also social-media specific. Authors and publishers will often include questions in their posts…so respond to them, even if it’s just a quick word or sentence. Because nobody wants to feel like that lonely kid in the high school cafeteria who no one wants to talk to.

Review Graciously

I’m not going to say you should only ever leave glowing, five-star reviews…but if the book just wasn’t your style, I’d say pass on reviewing it altogether instead of trashing it. No matter what, when you say things about a book on a blog or Goodreads or a retailer site, phrase things as if the author will read it (they often do!).

Of course, this is also assuming you review books, which you should! Even a one-sentence Amazon review or Goodreads rating can really help authors.

Be Understanding

This one’s especially for those who have interactions with me, or with other publishing people. Sometimes I’m behind and will forget to respond in a timely way or at all (it’s okay to prompt me). Sometimes I might accidentally come across as terse or rude. Sometimes you’ll hear a rule (no entrants outside the US, for example) and not know why it’s there (it costs us about $13 more in shipping to even mail a book to Canada, and that would kill our marketing budget).

Remember—the person on the other end of the book/FB account/email is a person too, even if you’ve never seen them.


Pray

I’ve gotten some great feedback to the prompts for prayer that go up on the first Sunday of the month on bethanyfiction.com, asking readers to join in praying for authors, their careers, and their books. But don’t limit yourself to that, of course! When think of an author—even seeing a book on your shelf—use it as a reminder to pray.

- to be continued . . .

About Amy

Amy Green is the fiction publicist at Bethany House. Her typical day might involve planning book tours, handling media requests, interacting with reviewers, answering author questions about marketing, and other tasks designed to introduce readers to great books. Outside of work, you can find her playing board games, baking bread, and bravely weathering Minnesota winters. She blogs every Thursday at bethanyfiction.com—feel free to stop by and comment anytime!

TO CONNECT WITH AMY:  Blogfacebook


Stay tune for "A Publicist's Dream" Part 2 tomorrow. 



Welcome to the "Summer Giveaways" on Just Commonly. There will be multiple prizes and will run through the month of July.  For full list of prizes, head to announcement post. (Click on the image above.)  For this post, leave a comment for Amy, and be sure to enter the entry on the rafflecopter.

One commentator from all of Amy's guest posts will also be randomly chosen to receive a choice of a book from my stash.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
                                                                                                                                           




CONVERSATION

30 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tip about Facebook notifications. I love connecting with authors and am so thrilled when they actually respond personally. I know everyone is busy and has a life, so that's why it means so much to me and is never expected here. I remember the first time my favorite children's author asked to be my friend. Talk about fangirl response!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks for the wonderful reminders. I like it when I respond to an author and they respond back. I especially love the idea of prayer.
    quilting dash lady at Comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great tips! I love helping authors and reviewing books. It took me a while to get into writing reviews, but now that I understand how much it helps, I do it for every book I read!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Just like Heidi I review EVERY book I read. I'm been doing it for several years now. Most all of mine are four and five star. I make a point to only read books I know I'm going to enjoy and authors I know about. Friend recommended books are how I try new author because they know what I like. There are too many mean one and two star reviews. One blogger I've particularly noticed rarely if ever gives a book anything above a three!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think you gave some great tips! I definitely need to be better about reviewing every book I read :P I tend to procrastinate until I don't even remember what I wanted to say about it lol

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great tips!! Thanks for taking the time to do this...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Enjoyed reading your tips. Thank you Amy. Blessings

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's great to help authors by promoting their books... especially good Christian books.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great tips! Thank you for taking the time to share them (now I must go get a Facebook account and help my favorite authors!)!!! Can't wait to hear/read part 2! XD

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ooh, I'm going to have to remember these! I love helping promote my favorite books/authors ;). Thank you for these tips, Amy!

    ~ Savannah | Scattered Scribblings

    ReplyDelete
  11. Amy, thank you for sharing these tips!

    ReplyDelete
  12. In the Internet world, it's so easy to forget that there's people on the other side of this communication because you don't see them face to face. So this is a good reminder to be kind and gracious in all that we say and do. I love to support Christian authors by praying for them and hope to be encouraging them by supporting their books and spreading the word. Thanks for the insight and wisdom.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am notoriously bad at leaving reviews. I will read the book and talk about it with friends. Sometimes I make writing a review so difficult. I feel that they must be a paragraph and written a certain way.

    ReplyDelete
  14. These are good reminders. I find it fairly easy to interact with authors on Facebook and their blogs. It's getting easier to write reviews. I used to use the excuse, "I'm a reader, not a writer" but then I learned how important reviews are to the authors. I really love their books so I can take a few minutes to write a good review and post it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for your post! Gives me plenty to think about as I'm reading....

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is a great reminder to support Christian authors! I have seen Christian novels in the forefront at stores lately, and so glad. It's nice to know that even a short review can be beneficial.
    Dianna

    ReplyDelete
  17. Good FB tips. I am growing less and less find of FB except for author support purposes.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks for these great tips! I especially like the reminder to pray... "When you think of an author—even seeing a book on your shelf—use it as a reminder to pray."

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks for the tips! I've been doing more and more reviewing, especially if I've loved the book.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love to find out more about books and authors through interviews, Q&A, and reviews. I also try to participate in them as much as I can. It helps to know if will enjoy a book going into it. Now days pinching pennies you can't afford to be just buying every book not knowing.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks for the tips and taking the time to give us the ideas!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Great tips, Amy. And you have never, ever been rude in your responses, just for the record. We authors appreciate very much all you're doing for our books at BHP.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I love that you added prayer. SO important. :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. I sometimes feel like if I comment on one author's fb page too often, they'll think I'm a stalker! I seem to connect better with some authors better than others but how much is too much?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Just had heard how important it is to review books. Never knew it was so important but try to do it now.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I have found so many new and talented authors by reviewing books. Rarely do I find a book that just doesn't suit me, but I have been able to leave a discreet review in the past.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thanks for the tips! I'm already doing a lot of those, so I'm glad to know that I can help in some small way! I'm also relieved to know that even short reviews can help authors because sometimes I just can't come up with the most eloquent way to express how a book made me feel. 😉

    ReplyDelete