Holly from Viking Penguin reports that KMPS’ Don Riggs (in Seattle) is retiring as of this Friday. Too bad for us, since Riggs often booked both fiction and nonfiction authors.
Tolly Moseley of Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists posts about the importance of following media stories, timing and finding story angles — useful information for non-publicists and a good reminder for publicists too.
Copyblogger posts about how to write copy that will attract attention and get people to follow through. Granted, the issue is more applicable to ads with a few words than books with hundreds of thousands, but there are many times when we do have to be succint: on web sites, in press material, in query letters, etc.
Yesterday GalleyCat posted some a list of some “unboring” book blogs.
And a friend who attended the recent PCNY / Publicity Club of New York online media lunch passed on a list of some media blogs:
– Business Week’s BlogSpotting
– HuffPo’s Eat The Press
– MediaPost’s Just an Online Minute
– New York’s Daily Intelligencer
– Portfolio’s Mixed Media
Depending on what kinds of books you work on, you may be pitching these bloggers or you may just be following these sites. Of course, it goes without saying that you need to be familiar with the blogs if you are pitching them. Also, keep in mind that some blogs have multiple writers who regularly post, each with a different “beat,” so make sure you pitch the right person. Sometimes the best — or only — way to pitch a blog is to use a Comments or Contact form on the site. Use it. If an email isn’t listed, it isn’t listed for a reason — it’s not an oversight. Although it may be a little inconvenient for us, we need to contact bloggers (or any media person, really) on their terms.
On Friday I posted some instructions on how to set up an RSS reader. Here are some book review and literary blogs you can add to your reader to start off. These are only a handful of important media/publishing blogs out there, but you can add these first and then add one or two (or more) sites a day to your reader.
- http://blogs.suntimes.com/bookroom/ (Chicago Sun-Times book blog)
- http://books.beloblog.com/ (Dallas Morning News book blog)
- http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/jacketcopy/ (Los Angeles Times book blog)
- http://www.boston.com/ae/books/blog/ (Boston Globe book blog)
- http://papercuts.blogs.nytimes.com/ (New York Times Book Review book blog)
- http://blog.washingtonpost.com/shortstack/ (Washington Post book blog)
To find more blogs, check each site’s blogroll (the list of web sites usually on the right side of a blog). My blogroll, which is on the bottom right side of this page, includes all the media, publishing and some miscellaneous blogs that I regularly follow.
Holly from Viking Penguin just pointed out that the LA Observed blog is a great way to keep tabs on LA media.
I think I just read probably the 375th post about SXSW — that’s the South by Southwest festival in Austin — pretty much all of which mentioned blogging, social networking, gadgets, laptops, feeds, you name it. This was a music festival. (I wonder what they’ll be discussing at a technology convention like TED — time machines??)
Avant Guild weighed in on SXSW in yesterday’s newsletter: “You owe it to yourself to start learning about and using outlets like blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and anything else that allows you to spread the word and create conversation about the great work you’re doing.”
As a publicist, before you even consider following blogs, know that without an RSS reader you will not be able to do so. An RSS reader allows you to read newsfeeds, all in one place, from blogs and other websites (print, radio, TV) — it’s like going to the library to read all of your magazines, except this library is online. (RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication.)
Setting up an RSS reader really doesn’t take much time, but I know there are a lot of you who want to do it but haven’t yet gotten around to it, so just follow the links in my posts (second and final part to come on Monday) and you’ll be set up in a couple minutes.
There are three main ways to set up an RSS reader:
1. Bloglines: Click here to register.
2. Google Reader: Click here for more information. (You can use your existing Google / GMail account to log in.)
3. Your browser: You’ll notice that many websites have an orange button with squiggly white lines. If you click on the button, that site’s feed is automatically sent to the RSS reader built into your web browser. It’s simpler because you needn’t add individual URLs to a reader, but it’s less flexible because you can only access your feeds on the one computer. (With Bloglines and Google, you can log in from any computer — or cell phone with web access.)
I personally have Bloglines, but only because I was copying someone else. I know people who prefer Bloglines, others who prefer Google, and still others who find that the simplicity of adding sites to their browser’s reader far outweighs the lack of portability. Do whatever works best for you — it’s important that you set up and use a reader. How you get there doesn’t much matter.
On Monday I’ll list some websites you can start adding to your reader.
Maureen from Penguin Books pointed out an interesting article in AdAge about whether web advertising works. (The short answer: it can — for the right product — but read the article for more details.)
As publicists, one of the issues we face is how to keep tabs on various blogs / websites. What’s your brower’s start page and which sites do you follow during the day? Duncan Riley from TechCrunch talks about how he keeps up with his sites.