Early BEA 2015 Buzz and Preparation


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By Cori Cagide, Publicist

The London Book Fair has wrapped, and before you know it, Book Expo America (BEA) 2015 will be upon us.

A bulk of the authors and panels were announced last month, and more information keeps trickling in on what the reigning theme will be and where all the hot book signings are. In years past it was dystopian fiction, while last year John Green pretty much stole the show (shocker).

This year the opening day spotlight will include a conversation with multiple award-winning novelist Jonathan Franzen, to discuss his new book Purity (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, September 2015). Franzen will be joined by Laura Miller, co-founder of Salon.com and frequent contributor to the New York Times book review.

My first BEA was super overwhelming. Last year, however, I was fortunate enough to attend the BEA Blogger’s conference, which was wonderful. It gave me a chance to get a feel for the space and pretty much put my feelers out on opening day. The blogger’s conference is something that’s sure to get better and better as time goes on, so I anticipate that they will be ramping up that this year as well.

If I learned anything from last year’s BEA, it’s this: come prepared and have an agenda.

It’s easy to get distracted as you walk among the thousands of booths that line the floor. Make sure you have a game plan and do your best to stick to it. Of course, free book samples and galleys are always hard to resist, but do your best to at the very least outline places that you need to stop. It’s helpful if you map it out, too, so that you can get a better feel for the floor and what makes the most sense in terms of time and what you’re looking for.

Be sure to check out the “My BEA Show Planner” section on the BEA homepage to search authors, exhibitors, book signings and even a floor plan. You can also create your own personal schedule, which you can connect with the BEA app on the day-of. (I’m hoping they update the app this year, as I found last year’s quite difficult to navigate and ultimately not very useful). It’s best to go old-school just in case and keep your agenda on pen and paper. I know how archaic that sounds but it is a writer’s conference – everyone will have a notebook and, I’m sure, a strong collection of pens and pencils.

So, what am I looking forward to this year? Well, to name just some:

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MEDIA CONNECT Interview Series: Sally Haldorson of 800-CEO-Read


The following Q&A appeared in the the latest edition of the MEDIA CONNECT newsletter. To subscribe for future editions, click here.


MEDIA CONNECT: What business topics currently interest you the most?

Sally Haldorson: I believe what makes all of the curated content on our In the Books site unique to us, including our Jack Covert Selects reviews and Staff Picks, is that our entire staff simply loves books. So we offer a perspective mix of business book expertise, quality service, and a love of literary fiction and non-fiction that informs which books we think all readers will respond to. Work is a central part of most people’s lives, so we believe the best business books appeal to the general population because they talk about the humans in the center of all things business — and I find the genre really exciting for that reason. This all means our company tends to gravitate toward social science, leadership, productivity, organizational design and change, and cultural analysis in our favorite titles.



MC: What’s the most common mistake publicists make when approaching you?

SH: While we are a business content provider, we are also a retailer, so we always hope publicists and editors make that connection for themselves. While we choose to review plenty of books that we don’t sell a ton of and won’t make our Bestseller List simply because we love writing about them, we also need to get pitched those books whose authors are avid speakers or have a large platform, so we can help them with the sales and logistics side as well. It’s something that is very helpful to us and to authors, but many publicists miss because they’re just looking at the promotional side.


MC: Do you like receiving galleys? Do you prefer physical or e-versions of a book?
 We absolutely prefer receiving physical copies. Our sales and editorial staff has stacks and stacks of books on their desks, and seeing the book visually can help keep it front of mind; an email or eBook just doesn’t do that: the black print on white paper all looks the same and there isn’t much to visually or viscerally sustain our attention when the books arrive some three months ahead of their publish date.

MC: What is your policy on running byline articles or guest blogs?
 We are actually in the process of changing the focus of our Thinker in Residence series to include an author article for the first installment in that series (it has until this point been a review from us). But, in general, we prefer to write original material, or feature articles or blogs tucked within an analytical piece one of our staff members write. However, we do have New Releases and Excerpts sections on In the Books content site for publisher-provided copy, and of course, we curate the ChangeThis site which publishes six manifestos by the public each month.

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6 Ways Authors Can Optimize Their LinkedIn Profiles


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 subscribe for future editions, click here.


Few know that LinkedIn is older than Twitter and Facebook. While some authors are quick to write off LinkedIn, it is important to remember that, like Twitter and Facebook, your LinkedInn profile is an opportunity to further connect with your audience.

As an author, you can use LinkedIn to target a specific market and audience, promote your work, and to join networks with other authors or potential readers with similar interests who might choose to share your book with their audiences.

Guy Kawasaki said to think of any social media profile you may have as an ad. This is especially true of LinkedIn, where via your main profile or your LinkedIn blog you can essentially make a professional advertisement for your book. The purpose of your LinkedIn page is to convince people to invest their time in your personal story — to check out your page, and to perhaps check out your book, too.


Pay attention to detail in your bio. Make sure your profile includes as much detail as possible. Put a small book synopsis and general information — including a purchase link — in your “Summary” section.

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Anti-GMO Activism is at its Prime, Mate: Jane Goodall and Steven Druker in The Huffington Post

Jane Goodall and Alexander Kaufman

Jane Goodall and Alexander Kaufman

photo by Emily Labes

By Emily Labes, Associate Publicist

From the moment that Dame Jane Goodall entered the room, affably declaring that she just realized that she had forgotten to comb her hair today, she commanded the attention of everyone present. As soft-spoken as she is passionate, anyone who has had the privilege of hearing her speak will inevitably wind up as transfixed as a Kindergartener during story time.  It’s almost impossible not to pay attention when she speaks. Yesterday, during an interview with The Huffington Post, her messages were twofold and equally important: it’s time to ban GMOs from the global market, and it’s time to put the heart back in science.

The MEDIA CONNECT team has had the great privilege of working with Steven M. Druker, a respected public interest attorney, the Executive Director of the Alliance for Bio-Integrity, and author of the new book, Altered Genes, Twisted Truth; How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public (Clear River Press, 2015). Druker has found a great friend and supporter in Goodall, who even wrote the book’s foreward, declaring it to be “one of the most important books of the last 50 years.” Yesterday morning, Druker and Goodall sat down with Alexander Kaufman, a reporter from The Huffington Post, and I was fortunate enough to get to sit in on the interview.

Although she spends roughly 300 days a year on the road, Goodall is incredibly generous with what little free time she does have, particularly when it’s to promote a cause about which she cares deeply. So when she graciously volunteered to donate the only free hour she had during her New York City trip to do a media appearance with Druker, we all knew how lucky we were. As soon as they embraced, it became evident how much they genuinely enjoy each other’s company and respect one another.

The pair chatted amicably with the crew as they were given mics and directions on where to look when answering questions. Kaufman dove right in, asking why Druker and Goodall so staunchly opposed GMOs, and what alternatives they would suggest to combat the problems that GMOs purportedly solve. He seemed to take an almost decidedly pro-GMO stance, but Druker and Goodall effortlessly and eloquently answered every question, recalling an impressive amount of dates, data, quotes, and anecdotes in a manner that would have impressed even the most diligent AP History students.

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Author Q&A: Howard Schatz’s Books Capture 1,100 Best Images out of 4 Million


All photos credited to Howard Schatz


You have not truly seen the world until you have witnessed the illuminating photography of Howard Schatz.

The internationally critically-acclaimed, award-winning photographer is one of the most prolific artists of his time. His new two-book set, Schatz Images: 25 Years, (Glitterati, June 2015) captures breathtaking images that will fascinate those who love original, cutting-edge photographs.

Perhaps Vanity Editor-in-Chief said it best:

“Howard Schatz is so versatile that this volume at times seems like the work of a dozen photographers, Weegee, Avedon, Penn, Beaton, Newton, and Goude, among them. He has affection for his subjects—athletes, dancers, models, actors, pregnant moms, and interesting nobodies—and it shows in every remarkable image. Sometimes funny, often dramatic, he is a master both of the quiet portrait and the explosive surprise.”

Schatz_Anthology_2_Final_Page_200Schatz’s work ranges from dance, underwater studies, athletes, fashion and beauty, actors, models and their moms, motion studies, botanical, and pregnancy to “liquid light” studies.

His work has been published in 20 books and exhibited in numerous galleries and museum exhibitions worldwide and is contained in innumerable private collections. His images are regularly featured in illustrious publications such as The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Time, Sport Illustrated, Vogue, GQ, and The New Yorker. Schatz has worked with such prominent clients as Ralph Lauren, Escada, Sergio, Nike, Reebok, Sony, and Mercedes-Benz, and he’s won nearly every award in his field.

Prior to becoming a photographer as he neared age 50, the scientist-turned-artist was an internationally renowned ophthalmologist and Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of California Medical Center in San Francisco.


The following is a Q and A with the legendary, masterful photographer:

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What to Do When You Can’t Finish a Book


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By Adrienne Fontaine, Senior Publicist


I’m in a lull. The last book that I read in its entirety was Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland, which I highly recommend. Since then, I’ve been stuck on page 384 of Remembrance of Things Past, page 80 of Artemis Cooper’s biography of Patrick Lee Fermor, and page 112 of Look Homeward Angel.

It’s not a good sign when I’m reading more than one book at a time. It typically means that I’ve not been able to concentrate long enough to finish the books or that they just aren’t grabbing my attention. Proust is obviously time-consuming and verbose, but I can’t explain why the biography of a world traveler or a classic like Look Homeward Angel haven’t been able to drawn me in.

It could be that my daily news diet is making my brain too full or that TV and movies have won me over. But now I’m at an impasse.

I’ve digested all the news I can stomach and I’m suffering from sensory overload thanks to Mad Men and House of Cards. When I get in this state, I like to read literary criticism and listen to podcasts. Book reviews can keep me from wasting my time and help me discover the next book that I’ll actually sit down and read from cover to cover. Podcasts are great when I no longer want to stare at a screen and are also useful when I’m having trouble sleeping.

When you just can’t finish that book, or watch one more episode, check out some of these book reviewers and podcasts:

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Curling up with a Good Game for the Opening of Book Season


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By David Hahn, Managing Director


Isn’t Opening Day of Book Season great? The anticipation. The feel of the opening page.  The cheap ticket that still gives you in a box seat with a close up view. The promise of something great!

And the best thing about Book Season is that it never ends! Talk about the never-ending summer. Your team is always in the playoff race. If you’re suffering through a losing streak, you can switch genres. If a game is out of reach and going very badly, you can end the game anytime you want. And no one cares! You don’t have to pretend to be the coach…you are the coach. You get to pick out the team each time.

Yes, Book Season is special.

Every book offers the potential of a perfect game; a walk off home run; a twist you didn’t see coming, a rookie you’ve never heard of coming in and blowing you away with his talent. Every game offers the potential of a bicycle kick going in for a goal, a series of one touch passes building up to a perfect cross, a header going into the upper right off a corner kick, a diving save by the goalie of a penalty kick just when the game was getting a bit boring. And best of all, each game has a play you’ve never seen before!

Oh. And is it international? You bet! You can watch a game in every part of the world 24-hours a day. And you don’t need any sort of package. Sometimes the game doesn’t translate as well in other countries, but it’s there for the taking.

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To Con A Mockingbird


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By Dee Donavanik, Publicity Director


Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is perhaps my favorite book of all time. The Pulitzer Prize winning novel has become a modern classic, and rightfully so. Most of us are familiar with the adventures of Scout Finch, her brother Jem and friend Dill, and the wisdom imparted upon them their father Atticus. The book does a brilliant job of bringing attention to difficult issues such as rape, race, and inequality while telling the tale through the eyes of an innocent child. Many readers saw themselves in Scout and idolized Atticus as a hero.

So when news broke that Lee would be publishing a sequel of sorts, legions of the book’s fans, including myself, were brimming with anticipation for the opportunity to revisit our beloved characters.

According to The New York Times, “The narrative of Go Set a Watchman unfolds in the 1950s, 20 years after To Kill a Mockingbird, as Scout travels to Maycomb to visit her aging father Atticus Finch.”

Not set to publish until mid-July, the book is already in high-demand. The book has earned so many pre-orders pouring in it has already achieved best-selling status.

Once the excitement died down a bit, fans started raising questions and something didn’t quite add up.

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Will ‘YouTubers’ Decide the 2016 Presidential Election?

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By Nicole Martineau, Publicist


In January, the White House announced that YouTube personalities, like education blogger Hank Green, YouTube comedian GloZell Green, and 19-year-old style and beauty vlogger Bethany Mota, were scheduled to interview President Barack Obama in the days following the State of the Union. According to The Hollywood Reporter, while Obama has been participating in Google+ Hangouts with the public, and on occasion YouTubers, for quite some time now, this is the first time the interviewers were flown to Washington, DC to interview the President in-person at the White House.

It was immediately clear that some members of the media were baffled by this new approach.

The most buzzed-about reaction came from CNN Senior White House Correspondent, Jim Acosta, who asked White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest the following during a daily briefing: 

Just noticing that these folks who are going to be conducting these interviews are not professional journalists, they’re people who post videos on YouTube, and I’m just curious, was ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’ or ‘David After Dentist’ not available?

For those unfamiliar with those titles, “Charlie Bit My Finger” and “David After Dentist” were two wildly popular videos on YouTube, arguably the first videos to ever go viral on the Internet.

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10 “Spring Cleaning” Must-Reads

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By Cori Cagide, Publicist


Spring is almost in the air! After having our fair share of snow this Winter season, I think I can speak for everybody in the northeast when I say, “Bring on the warmer weather!”

With warmer weather and sunny skies also comes our seasonal desire to start fresh. Whether that means kicking your workout regimen into high gear for the Summer, shedding winter coats for light raincoats, or day dreaming about your next beach visit at work (not me, of course), tis’ the season for Spring cleaning!

Spring cleaning doesn’t necessarily mean swapping out your seasonal clothes or finally being able to open the windows for some fresh air without developing hypothermia – it can also mean updating your reading list. While you’re at it, why don’t you add some literature to that list that will be adapted into a movie this Summer.


Here’s my top 10 picks for must-read books for Summer 2015 (these selections were pulled from a longer list on Buzzfeed):


In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, by Nathaniel Philbrick

Okay, let me start off by saying the most important thing – Chris Hemsworth. *Swoon* Based on the book that inspired Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, In the Heart of the Sea is the true story about the tragedy that fell upon the Whaleship Essex in 1819. Twenty crew members aboard the ship left Nantucket bound for the South Pacific. While on their journey, the ship was attacked by a sperm whale, leaving the crew members to survive horrific weather, avoid starvation and disease, and rely on drastic measures to survive for over 90 days at sea. This is sure to be a Titanic-esque film, equally as exciting of a movie as it is a heart-racing read.

Release Date: March 13th

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy & Charlotte Riley

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