Tag Archives: writing

The Rise of the Book Sherpa

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My life as a publicist has evolved over the years often being guided and shaped by the unique needs of my clients. For the last year, I’ve had the great fortune to work with a variety of authors and teachers steeped in the new consciousness arena. They are thoughtful, creative, generous people who I am privileged to know and support.

My career has had a strong literary component beginning with earning my bachelor of fine arts degree in Writing, Literature and Publishing from Emerson College in Boston, MA. I was a story analyst for film companies in Los Angeles, a freelance writer in Austin and always a publicist in some way or another. The thread throughout has been a deep passion for storytelling. Later I was a founding member of Texas Writers Month and was the PR Director for the Texas Book Festival founded and chaired by First Lady Laura Bush.

So when my clients started asking me to help with shaping their book ideas and editing book proposals I found myself being drawn into a new area of business that has quickly become a passion. But what would I call myself? An editor? A ghostwriter? A writing consultant? Nope. My forte is helping authors get to the top of their personal literary summits– helping writers with books that have been climbing for months, sometimes years. Like a sherpa, I come in when you have a concept, ideas, notes and the willingness to do some focused work for two days. So what am I? I am your Book Sherpa. Here’s what you can expect:

– Two days focused on discussing your book idea, reviewing your pages and notes and developing a book outline

– I will interview you based on this outline and your responses will be inputed into dictation software which will become the basis of your first draft

– We will work together to complete a book proposal ready for agents and/or publishers

So, do you have a book in you just waiting to come out? Are you a teacher, an expert, or do you have an extraordinary story to share? Let me help. I’ll be your personal guide to climbing that creative mountain path. Give me two days, and you’ll walk away with the beginning of a new chapter, and the perfect view!

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Filed under Public Relations, publicity, Uncategorized

Can Blogging Kill You?

exhausted-worker

Great post from my friend and colleague Nettie Hartsock answering the question, “Can Blogging Kill You?” in response to M.J. Rose in her article “Is Blogging Right for You?” recently published in Writer’s Digest.

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Filed under blogging, journalism, social media

THE Most Important Skill for a Publicist

Writing. Period. The End.

Just kidding… I have a bit more to say on the topic. Over the years I have counseled dozens of young people interested in pursuing a career in public relations or some form of marketing communications. The number one question I get asked is: “What is the most important skill I need to have in order to get a job?” My answer is always the same: “Can you write?”

Believe it or not, writing does not come naturally to most people. In fact, some people hate writing so much, they would rather do their neighbors’ tax returns than write an article even on an interesting topic. For me, I have always loved writing. I wrote my first “book” when I was nine years old. It was called “Albert the Blue Alligator” and I still have it– and it’s still pretty good.

I chose to attend Emerson College in Boston, MA because it is a communications school that puts great emphasis on one’s ability to communicate effectively. In fact, the school motto is ” Expression Necessary to Evolution.” So true.

So why does a PR person need to know how to write? Don’t they spend most of their time networking, hooking up with journalists, building their contacts lists, going to events and making phone calls? No. That’s some of what a publicist does, but that’s not the whole enchilada.

A lot of what happens includes developing messages, working with clients on how to communicate what it is they want to say, and writing a variety of written documents for both internal and external use. There are press releases, Q&As, talking points, media advisories, pitch letters, e-mail communications, etc. All of these activities require a person to be an outstanding writer.

Spending time honing your writing skills lets a potential employer or client know that you can get up to speed on new topics quickly; assimilate complex information and relate that to a general audience; understand a variety of audiences; and can create messages that speak authentically and accurately about your product or business. Being a good writer means you are a good strategist, researcher, and overall great communicator.

PR people have to understand and apply basic journalistic principles in writing press releases. This tells a journalist that she’s working with a pro– someone who understands the meat of a good story, not just someone interested in hawking a product, service or initiative.

Some great writers’ resources for PR people include:

The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr.

The Associated Press Stylebook

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