FIRST THOUGHT: Read Between the Lines
Do you ever use a product without realizing you have no clue how it’s made? Take the stuff we read, for instance, like a book. Someone writes it and a publisher puts it on paper and then it’s probably put in a box and shipped somewhere, right? But there’s so much more to it. There are plenty of details in between that are just as essential as the writing itself. Editors weed out the gobbledygook. Designers give the story a visual point of view. Marketers and public-relations experts get the word out to readers and retailers that the book actually exists. Nearly every type of business involves such intricacies and hard work that we often simply don’t consider. Today, I tip my hat to all those ladies working behind the scenes to create and bring to market some of my favorite things.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: $35,000 Less
As women fight for equality, we are inundated with obstacles, including the all-too-common occurrences of prejudice and intimidation. And the publishing industry isn’t immune to such sexism, from instances of sexual harassment to the overwhelming wage gap. According to Publishers Weekly, women are the backbone of the publishing industry, yet women earn an average of $35,000 less than men in the publishing biz. Part of this is because men often hold the highest positions. This inequality at some of the world’s biggest publishing companies has led many women in the industry to embrace careers at smaller, independent publishers or, like the true boss ladies they are, to simply start their own dang publishing companies.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Marika Flatt, Co-founder of PR by the Book
One woman who is successfully doing her own thing in the publishing world is the enterprising Marika Flatt, co-founder of PR by the Book, which offers an array of services to help authors find their audience.
If there’s one thing Marika knows inside and out, it’s media. She began her career while still in school, reporting for her college newspaper, producing stories for her college television station, working with an NBC affiliate in Dallas and even hosting several cable TV shows. Later, her expertise in broadcast journalism solidified, Marika went on to lead the publicity team at a book-publicity firm for nearly a decade, excelling at driving major publicity campaigns with poise and proficiency.
Her track record of getting authors noticed has led to Marika earning a number of accolades, including the coveted Gold Bulldog Award for one PR campaign that garnered exposure in more than 700 media outlets. Not bad, Marika! By 2002, Marika felt confident and knowledgeable enough to engage her entrepreneurial spirit and launch PR by the Book, which has since launched successful campaigns for hundreds of authors and publishers, helping them grow their brands and readership the world over.
Marika and her team help authors in a number of ways, and ensure every publicity campaign includes a targeted strategy designed with a specific book in mind. For instance, for the DK Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guides, which feature in-depth travel info about locales around the world, PR by the Book developed a robust media list; dispatched comprehensive press kits about the guides; individually pitched travel bloggers, writers and editors; generated a blog tour with giveaways and more.
Pushing PR campaigns isn’t Marika’s only passion. As an expert media maven, she’s also been a travel writer and is the travel editor for Texas Lifestyle Magazine. For Marika, it’s all about helping others discover something new, sharing an adventure that is sure to be one for the books!
QUITE THE QUOTE
One author who certainly knows a heck of a lot about publishing is the esteemed J.K. Rowling. Regarding the publishing process, she said:
“What’s the worst that could happen? Everyone turned me down. Big deal.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.