Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of books do you promote?
I work with scholars, subject matter experts, and publishers of non-fiction books whose work is of interest to both academics and mainstream readers.
“Subject-matter experts” can be a nebulous term, because it encompasses a variety of individuals. A subject matter expert can be a writer with several degrees after their name, or they can be someone who possesses a valuable lived experience. The point is, their book demonstrates mastery. I am also hired by publishers, authors and other organizations to strategically consult on campaigns.
Why do you do this work?
Even before I loved my way through my only public relations class at Marist College, my instinct has long been to share with people things that move, excite and help me learn. Relating to the public is also one of the most effective ways to inform and excite and working with authors and publishers allows me to do just that.
What do you do for authors and publishers?
I work with authors to design and implement a promotional plan that introduces the ideas inside their book. Hopefully, they sell many books, have fun in the process, and are ultimately able to connect with readers whose lives are enriched by their work.
How is your approach different?
My approach is characterized by my insatiable curiosity, voracious consumption of all types of information and experiences, and on being relational in my work. I have a keen interest in improving systems and processes and am always learning how to make things better—myself included. I am continuously refining my methods, improving, tweaking, adapting, making mistakes, and innovating how I work with authors, publishers, and subcontractors.
What kind of subcontractors do you work with?
Long before I read Company of One by Paul Jarvis (which, by the way, is excellent and a good example of a subject expert), I began subcontracting parts of my work to talented copy editors, proofreaders, graphic and web designers, researchers, and filmmakers, among others. I collaborate with talented people in these complementary fields to support my author’s promotional projects.
How do you add value?
I am trained to answer this question in very narrow terms: “media coverage”. Today, my work scopes are informed by a roadmap that starts with a strategy and the creation of campaign goals from which tactics are assigned. This process begins by talking with the author, first and foremost, and then partnering with them, reading their book, and taking the time to understand and create a series of tactics that form the basis of our work together.
Although my work scope can shrink and grow as the project progresses, it is anchored in a plan we’ve created together.
How are you involved in the book publishing industry?
I’ve been serving on the board of PubWest and on the Conference Committee since 2020, and in 2022, I joined the Advisory Board for Publishing Professionals Network (PPN). I’m also a founding member of The Robin Seaman Award, serving on its taskforce from 2019-2021 and I am a new non-clinical member of The Psychotherapy Institute (TPI).
In 2021, I cycled off the Reading Partners Bay Area Board so I could work in a more tangible way as a volunteer. When I was in grade school, I was a student who needed extra help with reading and comprehension, so the mission work of Reading Partners –pairing tutors with elementary school students learning to read– is very close to my heart.
What are you reading?
My favorite question, always. Too much and not enough. On most days, I am reading and listening to 4-5 books at a time. I start most days listening to The New York Times Audio app. Our mail carrier must curse my name. I subscribe to a ton of print media, among them: The Wall Street Journal, Sunday New York Times, Vanity Fair, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Deem, New York Magazine, and The Nation. My first boss, the late John F. Henderson of Rubenstein Associates, modeled something very important way back in 1996: effective and interesting PR people read. They listen and watch, too.
How do you spend your downtime?
Down time? What’s that? Ha! When I do have it: I love watching independent and foreign films. I enjoy going to the local Alameda Movie Theater on Park Street with the big, black reclining chairs and a tub of popcorn. I love getting lost in the cookbook section of bookstores. Being part of a few book clubs is life-giving. Above all else, I have grown to cherish the rides to and from my kids’ volleyball and soccer practices and tournaments. Friday nights in our house are also fun because my husband is our beloved entertainment czar and creates a wonderful environment for quality family time.