Suzanne Pfefferle, publicist for Pelican Publishing Company, contacted me about a blog tour for one of her authors. I agreed to participate and she agreed to be interviewed!
In these tough economic times, what can authors/illustrators do to help the publicity department promote their books?
There are several ways an author can generate publicity for their book on a limited budget. The first thing they should do is create a website, begin a blog, or join a social network. Everyone is online these days, so creating a presence on the web is a great way to generate buzz for a book.
It also allows anyone interested in the book to get a glimpse of cover art, a summary of the book, information on when it will be published, and a chance to know a little bit more about the author.
Authors should also begin spreading the word about their book by looking for contacts in their local media, such as book review editors, who might be interested in writing a story on a local author. It would help to develop a relationship with local bookstores, which will make it easier to set up signings once the book is published. They may want to consider printing business cards, postcards, or book marks with an image of the book. One of my authors is creating a downloadable bookmark for his website, which is clever and 100% free! Even if the author has a publicist, she should certainly make every effort to promote herself as well, and spread the word about her new book.
Also, I would encourage authors to organize some sort of presentation for bookstore signings or community events. Whether it is a speech, a power point presentation, or even a puppet show, it’s always good to be prepared.
After a book is published how long does the publicity department stay active?
Pelican Publishing Company’s Promotion Department continues to promote the book actively for months. But in a way, we never stop. If there is a chance to promote a book that was published years ago, we will embrace the opportunity. Since we publish backlist titles, we will rarely let a book go out of print. Pelican makes a lifetime commitment toward promoting and selling the book.
Once the book is published, the author usually has signings set up for the following months. This is a great excuse for us to contact the local media to notify them about the event. Long afterwards, we continue to pitch the book around certain holidays, anniversary dates, or to announce that the book has been reprinted in a new format.
The minute a contract is signed, we begin developing a relationship with the author. The relationship grows over the course of the publishing process, and we continue to help him out in any way that we can.
When and why did you become involved in children’s literature?
I have always been an avid reader with a special interest in children’s books. Because my background is in English and art, I truly appreciate the illustrations and love the lighthearted text. Pelican publishes wonderful children’s books, which is one of the many reasons why I am absolutely thrilled to be here. One day I hope to write my own!
Name some of your favorite children’s books.
The Giving Tree, Velveteen Rabbit, The Littlest Angel, and Horton Hears a Who are just a few of my favorite children’s books, but I would have to say that my most cherished book is Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary. I still have my original copy and I admit to reading it recently when I needed a little boost of confidence.
What is your favorite dessert and why?
Oh my goodness, where do I start? I have an insatiable sweet tooth, so it’s hard to pick just one. Really anything with a lot of icing, but Pillsbury cinnamon rolls, chocolate chip cookies, and peanut butter pie are probably my top three desserts. The list could go on!
Suzanne works for Pelican Publishing Company where she handles author/book publicity. While pursuing a career in publishing, she composed art columns for Where Y’at Magazine and the New Orleans edition of TRAVELHOST, in addition to a variety of other articles. The native New Orleanian enjoys traveling and running.