When The Writer Doesn't Agree With the Message the Publisher & Publicist Are Creating
By Sherri Rosen
Remember when you were young and friends would play Telephone? After careful deliberation you would whisper a well-crafted sentence into a friend’s ear, watch her giggle as she whispers it into her friend’s ear, and so on. Finally, when your sentence has gone around the ring the last person in line announces what they’ve heard—“I date Stephen even though he’s messy and smells!”—that is exactly not what you whispered. To everyone’s great amusement, you then share your original sentence—“I hate spaghetti and meatballs!”
In publishing and publicity, the game of Telephone can re-emerge in ways that are less than amusing. What the author intended to say, the publisher restated with the tiniest twist. What the publisher than told the publicist was refashioned with yet another tiny twist, and by the time the public hears about your book the original punch and message of your masterpiece is lost.
As an author, you might have more insight and intuition into your book’s target market than you think. Don’t be too modest. Trust your gut. Follow your instincts.
When it comes to your public platform, clear, concise communication can be key to success. Publicity is an art of precision. Good verbs, nouns, and limited adjectives can do more than save you time and money. They can save your book. Use them when communicating with the powers that be.
If you are an author, it is important to be honest with both your publicist and publisher about your vision for your platform. Who are you trying to reach? Why do you want to reach them? What is the best way to reach them effectively?
Don’t be afraid to hurt feelings. They’re the pros, after all. Step up and politely voice your concerns. Share where you think your publicist could best invest. Voice ways you think marketing can be improved. Express ideas for new approaches and methods. You are, after all, a writer. You just might be the best thing for your book.
Sherri Rosen Publicity began in New York City in the summer of 1999. Since then, we have designed and implemented publicity for many wonderful clients. They include authors, healers, educators, dancers, spiritual groups, artists and environmental spokespeople. You can also follow Sherri on Twitter.