Book publicity expert Amanda Skofstad offers advice for new authors

I’m here with Amanda scoffs dad assistant director for media relations at the University of Notre Dame Amanda has served as publicist for Ave Maria press and publicity director for eerdmans publishing company she holds an MFA in creative writing and literature from the bennington writing seminars Thank You Amanda for joining us today thank you very much for having me so what advice would you give to authors who are just earlier in their writing career yeah I think it’s really fun to work with authors who are are starting out and I think when I think about some of the authors who really made it happen for themselves straight out of the gates I think they have a few traits and and so the sort of traits that I would recommend one would just is be curious on the best ideas are typically stolen you know observe what’s working for people whose work and writing and audience you admire and resonate with and work out how you can adapt that to your own content so a kind of endless openness to learning and observing and and figuring out ways to tie what you’re doing to successful practices and models that are out there um I would also say that the really successful early first-time authors are really flexible they’re willing to roll and try new things they listen closely to their editors and marketing staff and they listen to their audience and they come back with that information to the marketing and editorial staff um and they’re willing to try anything switch I have to say is a really hard thing to do because the whole exercise of being an author putting yourself out there putting your writing out there is such a vulnerable thing and so to be flexible and open in that moment is an extra challenge I think and but I think that it does pay dividends and maybe the third trait would be just planned to be really active and that that means listing everybody you know who’s connected to media your organization’s your denomination your educational institutions plan to write some content you know offering content editors that’s all ready to go and being willing to reshape that doing offense or lists like five things I wish I had known about X topic before blight disaster and now I’m bringing it to you those sorts of articles that sort of content is really wonderful and also just gathering contact information like when you meet people when you’re standing in front of when you when you give a talk to an audience have a mechanism for staying in contact with the people that you spoke to you so you can go back to them later and say here’s more of that good stuff what do you think where are you at where should we move on and and probably also be realistic this is really important you know ask the publishing house what are you projecting as first year sales and an understanding from the get-go what what are the goals and how are we measuring those and and what is our plan what is our joint plan as an author and publishing staff for getting there and being planning to block some time out where possible but also not over committing yourself where where there’s a million things you can do but an upper limit of what you really have to give it as a person and what works with you as as an author I’m in terms of introversion and extraversion and and I would say one other thing is is the ability to overcome the shyness and anxiety that authors and writers feel about promoting their own work being able to separate this art from the artists and understanding that it’s not exactly self promotion you’re excited about the content there’s a reason you’re writing about this stuff and you really are excited about that reason and it isn’t just about self-promotion it’s about promoting this idea this thing that is burning in your belly and that you can’t wait to tell people about it well Amanda that’s wonderful advice thank you so much for sharing the benefits of all of your experience that concludes our interview and we’ll certainly look forward to hearing from you in January for our talk on book publicity well thanks for the opportunity brain

so let's see the advance is zero editorial let's talk about marketing and publicity so publicity is at a publishing house you will be assigned a publicist when you're brand new you don't get a lot of either of these things okay just be aware unless your your…
I have two gentlemen here with me from Algonquin books Michael take ins and Craig poplars Craig poplars I want to read his bio first Craig poplars a 1989 Appalachian State graduate of history in English his first job out of college was was with sonico products was…