Founder of PR by the Book, Marika Flatt, is a “connector” by nature, is a past-president of Women Communicators of Austin, serves as an Expert for Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), is listed on Twitter’s Women in Publishing (#womeninpublishing) and has served on the selection committee for the Texas Book Festival. Marika has been a regular speaker in the book industry since the late ’90s for organizations such as: Digital Book World, IBPA’s Publishing University, Book Expo America, and Writers League of Texas, among others. We’re so lucky that Marika took the time out of her busy schedule to share her expertise.
Have you always wanted to work in this field? I had worked very hard in college to do many internships in the field of TV. Once I graduated from college, I stumbled upon an opportunity to work as a book publicist at a small firm, and it was the perfect job for me, combining books, PR, and media.
What do you like best about your work? Here at PR by the Book, we love helping authors find their audience. If a book is well written, it has an audience, and it’s our job to find those readers, buyers, and consumers.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to succeed in your professional industry? We work very hard, need to build thick skin when it comes to dealing with media outlets, and have to be tenacious with our follow-up.
What is one (or more) fascinating insight you’ve gleaned from working in the industry? Book publicity is always changing. PR by the Book celebrated 20 years last October, so we have worked hard to stay ahead of all of the curves in this industry. It is amazing to see how bookstagrammars on Instagram have become one of the most influential types of media for a book launch. We spend a lot of time reaching out to these influencers for our virtual book tours.
As an expert in your field, what advice would you give to published authors? Think about how you will publicize your book when you are writing it. Do not spend your entire budget before you get to publicity. If you are not promoting your book, it will sit on the proverbial shelf.
What advice would you give to unpublished authors? Build up your brand by chipping away at what you need to do week by week. Become a member of our Author to Influencer Accelerator.
What is one (or more) cautionary “pearl” you’d like to share? Learn to build a strategy for how you can promote your book and focus on one thing per week. We teach this in our Author to influencer Accelerator Program.
What do you think is the biggest reason someone doesn’t get their book published? There are many reasons for this. It’s very difficult to get a book agent these days, and if someone is not able to land an agent, and does not do the work to find a hybrid publisher or decide to self-publish, their book will not reach publication.
What do you like to see on an author’s platform? Engagement is extremely important. It is even more important than number of followers or likes.
How do you suggest authors (published and non-published) build their platform, including social media and website? Work with us! We have an entire digital team that can help others build their social media platforms from start to finish. We also have workshops about this in our Author to Influencer Accelerator Program.
Do you speak at conferences or conduct trainings? If so, where can we learn more? Yes, find more information at www.prbythebook.com.
What book uplifts you? I love a great beach read that unravels complicated relationships with a little suspense thrown in.
Image Courtesy of Pr By the Book