2015 Book Trends To Watch For

2015 Trends

photo credit

By Cori Cagide, Publicist

 

A recent post on Huffington Post Books had me reminiscing on some of the interesting trends I’ve witnessed in the world of books over the last year. I think we’re finally beyond vampires and werewolves, and barely made it through that random Amish vampire thriller stage that had floated around as a potential trend for 2014.

GirlOnline2014 seemed to be the year of books-to-movies, particularly dystopian thrillers – we had The Hunger Games 3, the first of the Divergent series and others that made it to the box office this past year and proved to be wildly successful yet again (even more of a reason for them to continue splitting up series into more and more movies to spin into cinema gold). It was also the year of short stories that help to bridge some gaps in the book, or in the case of some, keep readers from going insane until the release of the next book in the series. Veronica Roth’s Four proved to be wildly successful, and many other authors have followed suit.

We also saw a lot of political and presidential theme books, timed perfectly with the November election. It was also the year of the rising YouTube stars – Michelle Phan’s “Makeup” and Grace Helbig’s “Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grownup” were published in October. “The Pointless Book” by 21-year-old YouTube star Alfie Deyes hit shelves in September and his girlfriend and fellow YouTube celeb Zoe Sugg’s book, “Girl Online,” was published in November and became a bestseller almost instantly.

Continue reading

Posted in publishing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MEDIA CONNECT’s Favorite Books of 2014

2014books

photo credit

 

Here at MEDIA CONNECT books are our jobs. That doesn’t mean, however, that we don’t enjoy reading in our downtime as well. In fact, outside of working hours, many of us are voracious readers, always on the hunt for the next great read.

In that spirit, here are some of our favorites from the past year:

 

giveyouthesunI’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson. Beautifully written, a John Green spiderweb centering around- what else? The process of growing up. First love. Loss of a mother. Grief. Topics that can be easily overwrought. However, Nelson’s writing carries her all the way through, tackling LGBT material in a delicate way. Didn’t necessarily have to love all the characters to appreciate the prose, and that’s the kind of story I always have to heed praise to. One of those books that I read on the train, in bed, on the couch, and felt like it was the end of something when I finished. I’ll be attached to it for years to come and that is the best reception a book can give you.

–Lindsey Hall, Associate Publicist

 

 

 

 

lookingforalaskaWhile it’s hard to pick just one book that touched your heart in the last year, if I think of a book that made me think, that made me see the world a little differently after I put it down, and that made me take a deeper look at myself, that book is Looking For Alaska by John Green. I find myself investing in each character he writes about, which makes his work wonderful to dive into. I loved how the main character, Pudge, was obsessed with famous last words. I loved that Alaska had her own world and pulled not only Pudge, but the readers into it as well. It’s a great story about growing up, about the “great perhaps,” and has universal themes that extend beyond the average young adult story. Also, being born in the nineties, I always appreciate good labyrinth symbolism. Aside from the plot, John Green’s writing is brave and honest, which are two of the best qualities I think a writer can have. I’d recommend it to anyone.

Anna Patrick, Digital Publicist and Social Media Strategist

Continue reading

Posted in publishing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

6 Things To Tweet During #NaNoWriMo

Shield-Nano-Side-Blue-Brown-RGB-HiRes

photo credit

By Anna Patrick, Digital Publicist and Social Media Strategist

 

For many hopeful authors November 1st means more than just Halloween candy clearance sales. It means more than Q4 deadlines at work, or the first month of the holiday season. November 1st marks the start of NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, where writers endeavor to write an entire 50,000-word novel in one month.

This sleepless, caffeine-addled, frenzied event costs writers about 1,667 words per day for the ultimate chance to get their full novel out of their head and onto digital paper – along with hundreds of thousands of fellow writers as a constant support system. The program was founded by Chris Baty in 1999, and it started with four writers from the San Francisco Bay area. Last year nearly 400,000 writers participated.

The sense of community can be particularly felt on social media, specifically on Twitter. #NaNoWriMo trended nationally for nearly the entire month, and millions of tweets went out describing how close (or how far) participating writers were from the finish line, offering words of encouragement for other writers, or even revealing one or two sentences they had written that day that they were proud of.

The event has grown so much that parody Twitter accounts have popped up, such as the popular @NaNoWriMo_txt, which parodies some of the more outlandish or hilarious things that are said in NaNoWriMo forums or other tweets.

Continue reading

Posted in Social Media | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

4 Ways Authors Can Use Pinterest To Maximize Book Publicity

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 11.21.03 AM

photo credit

By Anna Patrick, Digital Publicist and Social Media Strategist

The following set of best practice tips appeared in the the latest edition of the MEDIA CONNECT newsletter. To view our fall newsletter or to subscribe for future editions, click here.

 

Pinterest has been hailed as the fastest growing social media platform of the last year, rivaling Instagram, by outlets such a Business Insider, CNN and Mashable. Content sharing on Pinterest jumped to 19.2 percent just this time last year, and is continuing to see a usage spike.

With this kind of popularity, more and more authors — and readers — are finding their way to Pinterest. Broken down, Pinterest is essentially a virtual pinboard, which allows users to “pin” images found on the web that can hyperlink back to websites.

Here are a few ways that authors can use Twitter to maximize book publicity:

 

Don’t neglect your “About” section. This is a critical element of your profile that will help Pinners identify and follow you. Be sure to include your name or penname, your titles, genres, and a compelling short description of your title(s). Make sure to add your author website URL as well as your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Create multiple pinboards for your book. Instead of just creating one general board for all things related to your book, breaking up boards will help you gain a broader following by expanding your pins across multiple boards with different subjects. Pinterest categorizes all pinboards by subject, such as “Film, Music & Books,” “Quotes,” “Travel,” “Art” and more. For example, create a pinboard of quotes from your book, a board of “places” (locations or settings) where scenes in your book take place, articles and reviews about your book, and a board of upcoming cover art or fan art.

 

Continue reading

Posted in Social Media | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

MEDIA CONNECT Interview Series: King Kaufman of SiriusXM Radio

The following interview with King Kaufman appeared in the the latest edition of the MEDIA CONNECT newsletter. To view our fall newsletter or to subscribe for future editions, click here.

King Kaufman is the host of CONTENT IS KING, broadcast weekdays 6-7 pm ET on Sirius 93, XM 208, SiriusXM. He is also the Writing Program Manager for BleacherReport and has also written for The New York Times, the San Francisco Examiner and Salon.com. His work has been anthologized in “Top of the Order: 25 Writers Pick Their Favorite Baseball Player of All Time” (Da Capo, 2010), “Afterwords: Stories and Reports From 9/11 and Beyond” (Washington Square, 2002), “Iron Mike: A Mike Tyson Reader” (Da Capo, 2002) and “Dialogues: An Argument Rhetoric and Reader, 4th Edition” (Longman, 2003). He graduated from Berkeley with a history degree and a master’s in journalism.

 

kingkaufMEDIA CONNECT: What book are you reading right now?
King Kaufman: THOSE GUYS HAVE ALL THE FUN. I’m a little late to it, I know. I’m listening to it.

 

MC: What’s your biggest pet peeve when working with publicists?
KK: Calling me on the phone if I haven’t specifically asked them to do so or told them it’s OK to do so. This rarely happens, but I hate it when it does.

 

MC: What types of books are you tired of covering? What are you hoping to do more of?
KK: I’m interested in books that explain process, how things happen. I enjoyed Jason Kendall’s THROWBACK, even though his personality shined through as abrasive and unpleasant, because he took the reader through what a catcher is thinking and how he approaches the game. “If I see the batter’s moved his back foot up two inches, I’ll know…”

Continue reading

Posted in Public Relations | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MEDIA CONNECT Interview Series: Alexander Kaufman of HuffPo Business

The following interview with Alexander Kaufman appeared in the the latest edition of the MEDIA CONNECT newsletter. To view our fall newsletter or to subscribe for future editions, click here.

Alexander C. Kaufman is an associate editor on The Huffington Post’s business desk. Previously, he worked as a staff reporter at the International Business Times, The Wrap and The Boston Globe.

 

AKaufmanMC: What book are you reading right now?
Alexander C. Kaufman: I’m reading THE POWERHOUSE by Steve LeVine, a journalist at Quartz. I’m also reading Haruki Murakami’s NORWEGIAN WOOD. I just finished THE WILD SHEEP CHASE by Murakami, so I’m really into him right now.

 

MC: When you’re not at the office, what do you like to do?
AK: I like to read, go for hikes, practice meditation, drink beer in pubs with my friends, cook, take pictures, and eat exotic foods.

Continue reading

Posted in Public Relations | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

MEDIA CONNECT Interview Series: Elisha Hartwig of Mashable

The following interview with Elisha Hartwig appeared in the the latest edition of the MEDIA CONNECT newsletter. To view our fall newsletter or to subscribe for future editions, click here.

Elisha Hartwig is an Associate Editor at Mashable’s New York City headquarters, where she researches and writes branded content. She graduated with degrees in both English literature and Spanish literature from the University of Oregon. After graduation, she moved to Madrid for one year where she taught English and traveled extensively before moving to New York. Follow her @ElishaHartwig.

 

EHartwigMEDIA CONNECT: What book are you reading right now?
ELISHA HARTWIG: I am reading SUPER SAD TRUE LOVE STORY by Gary Shteyngart

 

MC: When you’re not at the office, what do you like to do?
EH: I’m probably at home reading, running or binge-watching a new television show – although traveling is my favorite hobby.

Continue reading

Posted in Public Relations, publishing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

MEDIA CONNECT Interview Series: Jason Katzman, Editor at Skyhorse Publishing

The following interview with Rob Kirkpatrick appeared in the the latest edition of the MEDIA CONNECT newsletter. To view our fall newsletter or to subscribe for future editions, click here.

Jason Katzman currently works for Skyhorse Publishing, mainly on their sports (Sports Publishing) and science fiction (Night Shade Book, Talos Press) imprints, and is located in New York City. He has edited several New York Times bestsellers.

 

JasonKatzmanMEDIA CONNECT: What inspired you to want to become an editor?
JASON KATZMAN: I really didn’t know what I wanted to do until I had already graduated college. That’s when I spent all my time reading and writing. I always enjoyed helping family and friends on various projects, so felt that being able to work on the written word, use my creative intuitiveness, and help bring special projects to the masses was a role I’d do well in. Once I got my foot in the door I knew that this was my career, and I haven’t looked back since.

Continue reading

Posted in publishing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MEDIA CONNECT Interview Series: Rob Kirkpatrick, Senior Editor at Thomas Dunne Books

The following interview with Rob Kirkpatrick appeared in the the latest edition of the MEDIA CONNECT newsletter. To view our fall newsletter or to subscribe for future editions, click here.

Rob Kirkpatrick is Senior Editor with Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press, where he focuses primarily in narrative nonfiction. He has been in the book publishing industry for sixteen years and has also held senior acquisition positions with Lyons Press and Greenwood Press. Rob’s titles have made numerous bestseller lists and year-end lists and won several awards. He is also the author of his own books, including 1969: The Year Everything Changed.

 

kirkpatrickMEDIA CONNECT: What inspired you to want to become an editor?
Rob Kirkpatrick: I think I’ve wanted to be involved in publishing, in one way or another, ever since I was in elementary school. Back then, my dream job would have been to write Star Wars spinoffs like Alan Dean Foster and Brian Daley were doing at the time. I remember asking my fourth grade teacher if she knew the address to Random House.

 

MC: How has the editorial field changed during your career?
RK: The fall of Borders and the rise of ebooks have changed the industry greatly. And everything has changed since 2008, of course.

 

MC: As an acquiring editor do you look at the author’s work or platform first?
RK: Absolutely, especially as I acquire primarily nonfiction. I remember a proposal I received several years ago for a book from an author whose most recent book had sold quite modestly. I would have needed a way to position the author and his next book more effectively. The proposal neglected to mention what the author did for a living, so I inquired. The agent, an experienced one, asked me, “Why do you need to know?” That response floored me and still does. An author’s profession and platform are always relevant when trying to plan how to publish his or her book.

 

MC: What are some of the favorite books you’ve edited over the years?
RK: It’s hard to narrow your own list down, and of course a book can be among your favorites for different reasons. But several highlights include: SHRINKAGE by Bryan Bishop, THE WRECKING CREW by Kent Hartman, BIG HAIR AND PLASTIC GRASS by Dan Epstein, PRODIGAL FATHER, PAGAN SON by LT Menginie and Kerrie Droban, THE PEASANT PRINCE by Alex Storozynski, THE KENNEDY CHRONICLES by Kennedy, and STRANGE TRIBE by John Hemingway.

Continue reading

Posted in publishing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Author Q&A: Founder and CEO of SCOTTeVEST Shares His Small Business Success Story In Debut Book

“You’re so full of crap,” said Mark Cuban to the equally brash Scott Jordan, CEO of SCOTTeVEST, on ABC-TV’s Shark Tank. What Scott Jordan is really full of is passion, energy, ideas, and pockets – all of which are topics in his new book, Pocket Man: The Unauthorized Autobiography of a Passionate, Personal Promoter Who Created A $50 Million Pocket Empire, just released on Amazon yesterday.

SCOTTeVEST

Pocket Man takes us through not only what really happened on Shark Tank (he turned down a million-dollar offer for a portion of his company) but in real life. He made the leap to entrepreneur by following through on an idea that was ripe for its time in the year 2000 – developing clothing so people can wear or carry their electronic devices. Wearable tech.  Simple yet significant, his inventive product has yielded $50 million in revenue. INC magazine recognized his cutting-edge company to be one of the fastest-growing companies in America.

In the following Q&A, Jordan shows us what happens when one follows his passion all the way to the bank while inventing a cool, practical product that serves the needs of our technology-engaged society.

Continue reading

Posted in Media, publishing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment