Media, Ojai Wordfest, Press Releases, Social Media, Susan Hellman

Working with the Media & Chula the Salsera Dog

     How do these two topics relate? You’ll see at the end of the blog.

     The last workshop I attended at Ojai’s Wordfest was given by Susan Hart Hellman, a freelance writer and an editor. She knows how to put on a presentation, it was at the Casa Barranca Winery. We received a wine tasting, very nice hor d’oeuvres in an intimate setting for $5. The podium was a large wine barrel but that only added to the ambience.
     Her perspective on publishing is that even when you’re with an agent, the author ends up doing the work on marketing and promotion, an opinion generally accepted by authors-they don’t like it, but it’s part of the deal.Susan handed us a nice color file folder, labeled with her name, date, and event. Inside were copies of a draft press release and one that was press ready. The differences? One of them (draft) had the hook (the word, sentence which captures the attention) buried in the third paragraph. The other had a good opening line and title:

      First Female Mason, Subject of 19th Century Paris Novel

     Maria Deraisme, the first female to fight for and gain membership into the all male Mason Order is the subject of Sofia Gabel’s debut novel, A Woman’s Way, set amid Paris’ 1871 civil uprising, where Maria’s role in the quest for human equality earns her a place in front of a firing squad.

     The first paragraph needs to have the hook, title, author, publisher and setting (I left the publisher out and her love interest Victor Hugo in 2nd paragraph). Remember, press, radio and talk shows get several if not hundreds of new authors sending them press releases and asking for the opportunity  to be interviewed.With the title “First Female Mason…” in the email subject line, it might get a media person’s attention. It might also make for an interesting author interview. The point is that it rises above the rest of the 100+ emails. The subject line should contain a buzzword.

     After the title for the subject line and the press release is polished, they go into one of your colorful, labeled file folders with your name, book title, date: Mona Alvarado Frazier, Mariposa Hearts, March 24, 2011. Besides this press release you can include an author’s photo, book review quotes, contact info and your CV. Keep it short. Viola (can’t find the accent mark) and you have an instant press kit to leave with the media.

     So now, what is the connection for the two titles above? Chula the Salsera is the hook and I wanted you to read the post. Now go get your glass of wine or favorite bev and click on the video. I guarantee you’ll like the music and be amazed.

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