Tag Archives: Tarnished Trophies

The Finish Line – The End of a Book Tour

She hears the hoof prints, she teeters on the edge/this is a race, a line she refuses to cross –Debbie Okun Hill from the poem “The Finish Line” – Tarnished Trophies (Black Moss Press)

Merry-go-round at West Edmonton Mall, Canada

Merry-go-round at West Edmonton Mall, Canada

An author’s life is like a merry-go-round! I wouldn’t call it glamorous but it can be exciting! You grab onto the book tour reins and hope you don’t get too dizzy and fall off the saddle. When I started this literary journey, all I wanted to do was to explore the creative world through the comforts of my home. However, the reality is that once your book is published, you are often thrust outside your comfort zone and into the business field where, if you are not careful, you can lose sight of who you are or where you are going. Below are some lessons I learned along the way:

1) Everyone has a unique voice that deserves to be heard. We are all special in our own way. Be kind to each other.

On the Great Canadian PoeTrain Tour to Vancouver. Special thanks to the League of Canadian Poets and the Canada Council for the Arts and it's Poetry Reading Tour.

On the Great Canadian PoeTrain Tour to Vancouver. Special thanks to the League of Canadian Poets, the Canada Council for the Arts and it’s Canada Reading Tour program.

2) It is impossible to please everyone. Even the best writers have a critic. If someone doesn’t like you or your work, listen to what they have to say and then move on. You will eventually learn who you can turn to for support.

3) It is impossible to do everything. Budget your time and focus on your most important tasks first.

4) Roll with the flow. Perfection is unrealistic. We are not robots but human beings who can and do make mistakes.

5) Take time to make new friends. We learn from each other.

6) Hold onto your true friends. They will always be there for you.

7) Take time to breath.

8) Continue to find time to read and write.

9) Be yourself.

As my book tour draws to a close, you may find me hibernating behind my computer. But first, there are a number of blog posts I still wish to share….people I’ve met and experiences I’ve had. Thank you for your patience in advance. It’s been a crazy month.

Book Tours – Are You Ready?

“Breathing/so darn difficult, slow motion/craving oxygen, another bottle/quick, so much confusion/like sucking air through straws” – Debbie Okun Hill*

Roll out the suitcases. The spring 2015 book tour season has arrived. For some poetic bookworms, the thought of planning a tour produces adverse reactions similar to climbing Mount Everest. Breathing is so darn difficult!

STOP HERE! Organizing a book tour can be a steep learning curve!

STOP HERE! Organizing a book tour can be a steep learning curve! P.S. This is not Mount Everest but a mountain range in western Canada.

Not everyone likes an adventure, no matter how small. However, if you are a published author, you will need to decide whether a book tour should be part of your marketing plan. A tour can help create awareness of your book and reach markets that you normally wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise. Keep in mind, travelling is time consuming. Planning and promotions also cut into your reading and writing time. Your friends and family may question your absence at normal gatherings.

Below are some tips I have learned on my journey! I do not profess to be an expert. Other authors may have other views based on their experiences. I welcome your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section at the end of this article. Let’s call it an exchange of ideas!

Plan Ahead: Start planning your tour as soon as your manuscript is accepted by a publisher. Your release date can change so don’t carve anything into your day timer until the books are in your hands. However, you can create a list of contacts and map out a rough route. Get a feel for the deadlines and what various reading groups may be looking for. 

Put your plan in writing: What do you wish to accomplish? Is your goal to sell books or to create awareness of you as an author? This will help you to stay focused.

Nail down your audience: Who will buy your book and where can you find them? Are they writers or are they readers and book buyers? How can you reach them? Think outside the box. Local library book discussion groups are often overlooked. Some writers have found success at festivals, arts shows, church gatherings, and local service groups.  Much of it depends on the type of book you have written.

Create a list of possible locations: Book tours can be local, provincial, national or international in scope. If you are a first time author, start small in your hometown or place of residence then expand outwards as you become more experienced.

Decide on a budget: Unless you are a well-known author or are a member of a professional writing organization (ie: League of Canadian Poets or Writers’ Union of Canada) it is unlikely that your publisher will have a travel budget for you.

Seek out funding sources: Both the League of Canadian Poets and the Writers’ Union of Canada has funding available for reading fees and travel. Check out their websites for additional information. Applications must be submitted well in advance. Thus, the need to be organized and to plan ahead. Another option: start your own slush fund by saving your nickels, cutting out daily expenses such as coffee at the local shop or scaling back your cell phone charges.

All Aboard! Consider travelling with a group! Photo courtesy: The Great Canadian PoeTrain Tour website.

All Aboard! Consider travelling with a group! Photo courtesy: The Great Canadian PoeTrain Tour website.

Treat your tour as a vacation: The cost of travel will often outweigh the revenue generated from book sales and royalties. If you consider your travels as a vacation, then your expectations are more realistic and your disappointments are lower.

Treat your tour as a business: This may contradict the above tip but like with all businesses, you still need to keep tabs on your budget. Also, be professional and courteous to your host or anyone else who helps you. This is not the time to burn bridges. 

Lighten the load: Work with various literary groups. For poets, there are numerous reading series and organizations who welcome readers to their events. Sometimes all it takes is quick e-mail expressing your interest. Some writers insist on a traditional snail-mailed letter, followed by a phone call. Experiment to determine what works best for you. Also, consider networking at open mic events. Most literary events will have a regular audience as well as a marketing plan in place.

Find a travelling buddy: Find a compatible travelling friend to share travel and accommodation expenses with you. For example, a writing friend organizes duel readings so that his writer-wife may also be featured at the same venue and time. Make sure you travel well together or the trip will be frustrating for both individuals.

Tour as a group: Watch for opportunities to travel with other writers. Often there are group discounts for rooms, flights, trains, buses. You will have to share the limelight with others, but in doing so you will gain valuable friendships that can last a long time.

Be flexible: Travelling can be challenging and sometimes flights get cancelled or readers become ill. Consider the weather-related problems associated with travelling during winter months, especially in Canada. A sense of humour is helpful. If possible have a back-up plan.

Expect the unexpected. Have a sense of humour and roll with it.

Expect the unexpected. Have a sense of humour and roll with it.

Remember to promote the tour: Even though your publisher and/or reading host may advertise the event, be prepared to do some of your own promotions via traditional local media and your own social media networks.  Where possible coordinate your efforts so everyone is aware of what is going on. Use of attractive graphics and photos will draw the reader’s eye to your message.

Learn from your mistakes: Mistakes happen. Learn to deal positively with those set-backs. Some venues will generate more sales or a larger audience than others. Discover what works for you. When you fall, get up and move forward.

Learn to Say No: Know your limitations: financially and emotionally. Determine what works for you.

Have fun: Planning a book tour is time-consuming but it can also be fun. Enjoy the journey. Should you decide to pick up the challenge and climb Mount Everest, remember: “Crampons on boots/one step in front of the other*….”  Let’s go….

Announcing my Spring 2015 book tour here.

Draw attention to your book tour with promotional graphics!

Draw attention to your book tour with promotional graphics!

See my 2014 travels here.

*from the poem “Reaching the Summit”, Tarnished Trophies (Black Moss Press, 2014) Reprinted with the author’s permission: Copyright ©2014 Debbie Okun Hill.

Spotted in London, Canada: A weekend of WORDS

Bravo to the driving force behind words: The Literary and Creative Arts Festival held October 24 to 26 at Museum London, the London Public Library, Western University and the Covent Garden Market in London, Ontario, Canada. More information about the festival can be found on their official website here.

For those interested in poetry, check out #PoetryLab starting tonight (Sunday, October 26 at 5:30 p.m.) at the Museum London, Theatre. It is the closing event for the festival.

Sunday, October 26 in London, Ontario

Sunday, October 26 in London, Ontario

Laurie D. Graham’s Rove (Hagios Press) was a 2014 Finalist, Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, for best first book of poetry published by a Canadian in the preceding year. Her poem suite “Settler Education” was shortlisted for the 2014 CBC Poetry Prize. If you missed Laurie at the Book Fair, see her at tonight’s Poetry Lab event.

Laurie D. Graham’s Rove (Hagios Press) was a 2014 Finalist, Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, for best first book of poetry published by a Canadian in the preceding year. Her poem suite “Settler Education” was shortlisted for the 2014 CBC Poetry Prize. If you missed Laurie at the Book Fair, see her at tonight’s Poetry Lab event.

book_fair_wordfest_2014

Below are some snapshots of the Book Fair held yesterday (Saturday, October 25) at Covent Garden Market!

Local Authors’ Book Fair at Covet Garden Market in London.

Local Authors’ Book Fair at Covent Garden Market in London.

Sarnia’s historical fiction writer Bob McCarthy shares information about his latest book Case 66: Travesty of Justice – the Elizabeth Workman Story (Quinn Riley Press)

Sarnia’s historical fiction writer Bob McCarthy shares information about his latest book Case 666: Travesty of Justice – the Elizabeth Workman Story (Quinn Riley Press) http://robemcca.wix.com/bobmccarthy#!case-666/cuw9

 

Harmonia Press specializes in work by well-known London poet Andreas Gripp. Also featured is work by Carrie Lee Connel, Dorothy Nielsen and Gregory Wm. Gunn.

Harmonia Press specializes in work by well-known London poet Andreas Gripp. Also featured are works by Carrie Lee Connel, Dorothy Nielsen and Gregory Wm. Gunn.

PHOTO CUTLINE: Copies of Tarnished Trophies (Black Moss Press) by Debbie Okun Hill were spotted at one of the Book Fair tables.

Copies of Tarnished Trophies (Black Moss Press) by Debbie Okun Hill were spotted at one of the Book Fair tables.

Watch this blog for more literary news, reviews, and profiles. In the meantime, support your local Ontario arts community. Check out future events here.

Being Your Own Publicist – Book Promotion is a Full-time Job

         The literary race is on and I’m starting to feel like one of my poetic sports characters trapped inside my Tarnished Trophies book. There’s little time to sit on a soccer field and pick “word” dandelions. You need to step out of your comfort zone and be on tour. No time to snuggle on the couch and read a book for fun. You have no free moment. You need to attend readings, present workshops, socialize and network. Who has time to plant phrases onto a page and watch them flourish into a poetic book bouquet? You need to explore blogging then expand your followers on other social media venues.          .

Spotted in Thunder Bay, Ontario: Book launch and reading posters featuring Northwestern Ontario writers.  Well-designed digital and traditional posters can work together to help publicize an upcoming event.

Spotted in Thunder Bay, Ontario: Book launch and reading posters featuring Northwestern Ontario writers. Well-designed digital and traditional print posters can work together to help publicize an upcoming event.

           That dreaded stopwatch is ticking. Will your book be ranked in the Top 10? The Top 100? Will anyone read it? Does anyone care?

            If your goal is to write a bestseller, the odds are against you. Not only must the product, your book, be well written, but you must be prepared to spend not hours but months promoting your work. I read that producing a book is 5 percent of the labour but promoting it is 95 percent. In fact, promotional work should begin long before the book is published. Often it’s a smart idea to draft a promotional strategy before you write the manuscript. During those first three months after publication, promotional activity is definitely a full-time job.

             Part of the reason is that you have a limited window of time to prove yourself especially if you are a first-time author. Bookstores will usually display your literary masterpiece for about three months before they decide to keep it on the shelf or return it to the distributor. That is if you are lucky to have a distributor and if a bookstore decides to stock your prized volume

           The competition is fierce with new and more seasoned writers ready to snatch the reader’s dollars and push for your space on the virtual or local bookstore shelf.

            If you are a Canadian poet, did you know that at this moment there are 5,912 poetry books listed on Amazon.ca? That number includes 579 poetry anthologies and 5,596 Canadian poetry books.

            Chapters.indigo.ca showed results for 101,448 poetry books of which 4000 were Canadian and 128 had a sports theme. The competition for fiction and non-fiction work is much higher.

            Many writers dream of writing a book and seeing it published. However, how many of those writers dream of promoting their work? Based on informal data gleamed from my writing friends, only a handful are comfortable with promotional work. Most introverted writers dread publicity, see it as bragging and so they shy away from it. But why write a book, if you’re not willing to share it?

            If you are self-published and do nothing to promote your work, you may end up with boxes of unsold books in your closet. What are you going to do with them? I’ve heard several horror stories from novice writers who self-published their books without considering the market or target audience. It proved to be a financial blunder.

            If you are working with a traditional publisher, you may also have that added pressure to sell-sell-sell or your next manuscript may be rejected. If you thought securing a publisher is tough, consider how difficult it would be to attract a publisher when your first book flops. There are many hungry authors waving manuscripts on the sidelines.

            So, what are you waiting for? Confused about where to start?

Brainstorming at the Waverley Library in Thunder Bay: Every media kit should include a question and answer sheet, approximately 2 pages long but no more than 4 pages. What questions do you think the media would ask an author during an interview?

Brainstorming at the Waverley Library in Thunder Bay: Every media kit should include a question and answer sheet, approximately 2 pages long but no more than 4 pages. What questions do you think the media would ask an author during an interview?

            There’s an abundance of free information to sift through on the internet. Some authors opt to hire an experienced publicist but that can be exorbitant. Much knowledge can be derived from books.

            Did you know on Amazon.ca, there is a staggering 14,421 results for “How to Write a Book” compared with 980 results for “How to Promote a Book”? Does this mean that that there are more people interested in buying literature on writing versus promoting? If that is the case, learning all the promotional trade secrets could work to your advantage.

            Even if you’re an experienced publicist, you must keep an open mind to changing marketing trends. Thanks to NOWW (Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop), I was asked to make a presentation on “Being Your Own Publicist” at the Waverley Library in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. It forced me to examine my current promotional strategies and to realize why some strategies were no longer working. The key has always been to set some promotional goals and to determine what makes your work unique. However the methods, for attracting a targeted audience, are always evolving especially with the rapid changes with social media.

            You never know where your promotions will lead you until you try. For a fleeting second last week, Amazon.ca ranked my Tarnished Trophies as #53 in the poetry books. I had to pinch myself until I noticed that the ranking was based on a one hour interval. Some authors use this sales surge on a slow business day to boast their rankings. Is this ethical or a marketing ploy?

            For me, a book’s success doesn’t always hinge on where it ranks on a bestsellers list. These lists usually record stats for a specific period of time: sometimes a month, a week, a day or even less. The stats don’t record the cumulative sales over a lifetime. In fact, bulk sales and books sold at readings or to libraries are not factored into the total. Does the public know this?

            So relax and take all your promotions in stride. Enjoy the journey and the people you meet along the way. Often those experiences are more rewarding than striving to be number one.

        Coming soon to this blog: more literary highlights from Thunder Bay, Ottawa, Toronto, Sarnia, London and St. Catharine’s.

 

Make book promotion fun! Explore your creative side. Iron-on an image of your book cover on t-shirts, sweat shirts, canvas bags or hats. To keep costs down, special iron-on paper may be purchased from a local stationery or craft store. A dollar store may also carry inexpensive display frames or stands that can be used at book fairs and/or readings.

Make book promotion fun! Explore your creative side. Iron-on an image of your book cover on t-shirts, sweat shirts, canvas bags or hats. To keep costs down, special iron-on paper may be purchased from a local stationery or craft store. A dollar store may also carry inexpensive display frames or stands that can be used at book fairs and/or readings.

Happy Father’s Day: When Sports and Poetry Collide

Happy Father's Day: When Sports and Poetry Collide!

Okay, I admit it. I’m not very athletic but I love a challenge and I love my athletic family. Two years ago, I was invited to create a “Postcard Secret” for a special exhibition at a local historical site. The challenge was to reveal a secret and to marry it with an image. This was my first attempt at using Photoshop Elements 7.0. Of course, I didn’t exactly follow the challenge instructions by revealing a secret but I discovered that poetry is more than words on a page or sound shared during an open mic reading. It can also be art displayed on a wall, on a bus, on a sports arena banner, or on a Father’s Day card. To all the athletic husbands who are also wonderful dads, may you discover that a little poetry isn’t so bad after all!

Sarnia’s “Books and Biscotti” Celebrates Italian Heritage with New Anthologies – June 22, 2014

Below is information released today by the Dante Club Sarnia:

Three new books will be officially launched in Sarnia on Sunday, June 22, 2014 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Dante Club in Sarnia.

Three new books will be officially launched in Sarnia on Sunday, June 22, 2014 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Dante Club in Sarnia.

Two new Italian-themed anthologies featuring the work of established and emerging Italian Canadian writers and a sports-themed poetry collection will be locally launched and showcased as part of this year’s “Books and Biscotti” event, Sunday, June 22, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Dante Club, 1330 London Road (side entrance hall) in Sarnia.

All three books (Italian Canadians at Table (Guernica Editions) co-edited by Bright’s Grove’s Delia De Santis and Toronto’s Loretta Gatto-White, Conspicuous Accents (Longbridge) edited by Montrealer Licia Canton, and Tarnished Trophies (Black Moss Press) by Lambton County poet Debbie Okun Hill) were published by prominent traditional publishers and include the work of local writers.

Hosted by the Dante Club in conjunction with the Italo-Canadian Cultural Club/Laziali di Sarnia and the Association of Italian Canadian Writers (AICW), this free community presentation will also pay tribute to Italian Heritage month.

Published by Guernica Editions

Published by Guernica Editions

The first anthology Italian Canadians at Table: A Narrative Feast in Five Courses is a passionate literary feast of poetry and prose exploring Italian Canadians’ food culture. The 268-page trade book was co-edited by De Santis, a well-known editor and short story writer, and Gatto-White, an educator turned food writer, blogger, photographer and freelance journalist.

The audience will hear work from De Santis as well as Bolton writer Glenn Carley, Venera Fazio (the prominent Bright’s Grove co-editor of the Sweet Lemons book series) and Joseph Farina, (a Sarnia lawyer and author of two poetry books: The Cancer Chronicles and The Ghosts of Water Street).

Published by Londbridge

Published by Longbridge

The second anthology Conspicuous Accents: Accenti Magazine’s Finest Stories of the First Ten Years is a compilation of the best stories published in Accenti since the launch of the magazine in 2003. According to Canton, “there are 42 stories in the book. Most of them are winners or finalists in the annual Accenti writing contest.”

The book was recently launched in Montreal during the 16th Blue Metropolis Montreal International Literary Festival and at Toronto’s Columbus Centre. It was also showcased in Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver and on June 22 will be presented in Edmonton and Sarnia. Canton/De Santis will share one of her stories from this collection.

“Although our main goal is to celebrate Italian Canadian writing and to introduce new books to our local community,” said De Santis, one of the co-organizers for the annual event, “we often balance the afternoon with other local emerging talent.”

Published by Black Moss Press

Published by Black Moss Press

The Sunday event will also include the Sarnia launch of Tarnished Trophies, a collection of 50 sports-themed poetry by award-winning Lambton County writer and former Spoken Word co-host Debbie Okun Hill. All guest authors and editors will be available for book signing. Entertainment will be provided by local musician Christopher Molyneaux. Phyllis Humby, local columnist and award-winning crime writer, will MC.

The Dante Italo Canadian Club was formed by a group of new Italian immigrants on  April 10, 1958, in the City of Sarnia. AICW is a national organization that brings together a community of writers, critics, academics, and other artists who promote Italian-Canadian literature and culture.

SPOTLIGHT EDITORS IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER

Editor Licia Canton

Editor Licia Canton

Montrealer Licia Canton is the author of Almond Wine and Fertility (2008), short stories for women and their men. She is also a literary translator and critic, and founding editor-in-chief of Accenti Magazine. She is (co)editor of eight anthologies of creative and critical writing, including two (2012) volumes on the internment of Italian Canadians. Her most recent publication is Conspicuous Accents (Longbridge 2014): 42 stories by 35 authors. A member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, she has served on the board of the Quebec Writers’ Federation. She is president of the Association of Italian Canadian Writers (2010-14). She holds a Ph.D. from Université de Montréal. www.accenti.ca

Co-Editor Delia De Santis

Co-Editor Delia De Santis

Delia De Santis’ short stories have appeared in literary magazines in Canada, United States, England, and Italy, and in several anthologies. She is co-editor of the anthologies Sweet Lemons (Legas, 2004), Writing Beyond History (Cusmano, 2006), Strange Peregrinations (The Frank Iacobucci Centre for Italian Canadian Studies, 2007) and Sweet Lemons 2 (Legas, 2010). She is the author of the collection Fast Forward and Other Stories and co-editor of the latest anthology, Italian Canadians At Table.

Co-editor Loretta Gatto-White

Co-editor Loretta Gatto-White

Loretta Gatto-White holds an Honours B.A. in Visual Arts and a Bachelor of Education. She writes food columns, freelance feature magazine articles on food and travel as well as profiles. In 2010, her column, Food for Thought won second place for Best Specialty Column in the Atlantic Community Newspaper Awards. Her essays and poems have appeared in the anthologies, Sweet Lemons 2; international writings with a Sicilian accent (Legas Press, New York, 2010) , Christmas Chaos ( Prairie Dog Publishing, Edmonton 2010), Behind Barbed Wire (Guernica Editions, 2012) and Beer and Butter Tarts: a Canadian Literary Food Journal (Stained Pages Press, 2013).  Her premiere anthology, Italian Canadians at Table, co-edited with Delia De Santis , was released by Guernica Editions, Toronto, in 2013.

SPOTLIGHT READERS/PERFORMERS IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER

Glenn Carley

Glenn Carley

Glenn Carley likes to write sometimes and sometimes he does.  Behold…the innocenti…..behold the disdain….behold the as if…..behold the who cares?   Behold the armour akimbo.  Behold the laughter and behold that sacred things abound, when they can be seen and when they can be gotten to. He resides in Bolton.

Joseph A. Farina

Joseph A. Farina

Joseph A. Farina is a practicing lawyer in Sarnia, Ontario and an award winning poet. He has had two books of poetry:  The Cancer Chronicles and Ghosts of Water Street published by Serengeti Press. His poetry has appeared  in poetry journals and magazines throughout Canada and the USA, notably Quills Canadian Poetry Magazine, The Windsor Review, Tower Poetry, Feile-Festa, Mobius, Boxcar Poetry Review, Ascent Aspirations, Arabesque Review, and Philadelphia Poets.

Venera Fazio

Venera Fazio

Venera Fazio is former President of the AICW, who was born in Sicily and now lives in Bright’s Grove, ON. Before dedicating herself to writing and editing, she worked as a social worker (MSW). She has co-edited six anthologies on her culture of origin including the recent Descant issue Sicily: Land of Forgotten Dreams. With Delia De Santis, she is currently working on an anthology highlighting Italian Canadian writers. Her poetry and prose have been published in literary magazines in Canada, the US and Italy.

Debbie Okun Hill

Debbie Okun Hill

Debbie Okun Hill is Past President of The Ontario Poetry Society and for eight years was a co-host of Sarnia’s Spoken Word event. Her poems have been recently published in Descant, Existere, The Literary Review of Canada, Vallum, and The Windsor Review. She has read her work throughout Ontario including the Fringe Stage of the 2011 Eden Mills Writers’ Festival. Tarnished Trophies (Black Moss Press, 2014) is her first full collection of poems.

Christopher Molyneaux

Christopher Molyneaux

Christopher Molyneaux has loved music from a very young age. He began singing and playing piano by ear after hearing “Free Falling” by Tom Petty on the radio when he was 9 years old. He has since picked up the alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, playing for the St Clair Secondary School Senior Band, St Clair Jazz Band and the Lambton County Honours Jazz Band. He is currently studying Jazz Performance at Humber College in Toronto.                                                     

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Why Bother with a Media Release?

Call me a dinosaur! When I first started working in public relations, one of my first tasks was to write a media release. I would compose the draft release using an electric typewriter, and then a secretary would re-type it into a final format, photocopy it onto 100 sheets of business letterhead, and then stuff the releases into envelopes with a stamp for snail-mailing. The year Canada Post went on strike, my boss and I spent the day travelling through the city to hand deliver each and every release.

Today, news can be facebooked and twittered, blogged and text messaged. Some might even want to pick up the phone and call. I still prefer the old-fashioned media release in e-mail format! These are my reasons:

Sample Media Release Page 1 of 2 2014-06-04 2329311. You control the content and you have one (sometimes two pages) to tell your story the way you would prefer it to be told. (The media have the right to re-work the information to suit their needs but some media outlets may use the release the same way as it is presented. So why not write it your way and take your chances?)

2. You can ensure that all names, dates, titles, etc. are accurate. (Reporters are human. It is easier to write a story if the information is written down and has already been double checked for spelling, etc.)

3. It helps the reporter. (Anything you can do to save time for the reporter is greatly appreciated. Most reporters work on a tight deadline. Make their job easier by providing them with as much detail as you think they may need. They will still ask questions, but it makes their life easier.)

Sample Media Release Page 2 of 2 2014-06-04 2331194. It helps those media outlets with limited staff. (It is difficult to produce a product with limited human resources. If the release is perfectly written, some outlets will use it as filler instead of out-of-town stories or other material that may require additional time to compile.)

 

5. It serves as an advertisement for the publisher. (The publisher’s logo should be prominent.)

Above is a sample of a two-page media release that was recently distributed! Feel free to use it as a guideline for your own book tour and/or reading. Please note there should be a margin around the edge of the media release. My scanner chopped it off.

Oh…by the way….I have a new book out…and I’m going on tour….A media release gives the author some credibility, allows him/her to move forward in a more positive light. For the introverted, shy writer, the release places most of the bragging in the publisher’s hands.

bmplogo

MEDIA RELEASE

Lambton County Poet Embarks on First Book Tour

Sarnia, Ontario – June 3, 2014 – Award-winning Lambton County poet Debbie Okun Hill travels to Toronto this weekend as part of a whirlwind schedule to showcase Tarnished Trophies, her first full collection of poetry by a trade publisher. As a new full member of the League of Canadian Poets, she will read with other professional poets, Friday afternoon during the League’s 48th Annual Poetry Festival and Conference.

Tarnished Trophies (Black Moss Press 2014)

Tarnished Trophies (Black Moss Press 2014)

Published by nationally renowned literary publisher Black Moss Press, Okun Hill’s 88-page book poetically explores the light and shadow of the sports world. According to John B. Lee, the Poet Laureate of the city of Brantford “these poems are not without humour…and the bittersweet is not too sweet, not too bitter.” Sarnia author Norma West Linder adds “the judicial use of original metaphor makes this collection a rewarding experience for the reader.”
Okun Hill’s book tour began in mid-May when she participated in The Ontario Poetry Society’s Springtime Poetry Soiree in Cobourg. Last weekend she was in Cobalt for the Spring Pulse Poetry Festival. Readings in Stratford, Ottawa, Camlachie, and London have also been confirmed with additional readings planned for Hamilton, North Bay, Thunder Bay, Winnipeg and possibly the east and west coasts.
In Sarnia, her book will be launched with two Italian-Canadian anthologies as part of the

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Lambton County Poet Embarks on Tour (…Continued from page 1)
Books and Biscotti literary/cultural event to be held Sunday, June 22. More details will be released soon by the Dante Club in conjunction with the Italo-Canadian Cultural Club/Laziali di Sarnia and Association of Italian-Canadian Writers. This October, Okun Hill will also be one of four spotlight readers featured in Sarnia’s Bluewater Reading series.
“All my life I’ve wanted to write a novel,” said Okun Hill, a former journalist and communication specialist “however, when I started writing short stories my mentors kept insisting I was a poet.” She finally listened and after 11 years of refining her craft and being involved with the Lambton County writing scene as a co-host of Sarnia’s Spoken Word event and later as an Executive Member of the Ontario Poetry Society, a provincial grassroots poetry organization, her dreams of having a book published by a traditional publisher were realized.
It took 3 ½ years to see her sports manuscript (most of it written between 2006 and 2011) in book format. She worked with both a professional editor and designer from Windsor. The cover features the work of Toronto artist Olena Kassian.
As part of Black Moss Press’s First Line Poetry Series, Tarnished Trophies will be distributed in Canada and the U.S. by Fitzhenry & Whiteside and on-line with Amazon.ca. In Sarnia the books are already available at The Book Keeper and may be borrowed through the Lambton County Library.
Since it was founded in 1969, Black Moss Press has built a national reputation for its contribution to Canadian literature. Black Moss has published more than 400 first editions and introduced more than 100 new authors to the Canadian literary scene.
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To set up a media interview contact: ???????????? (insert name, e-mail and phone number here)

For review copies, contact ?????????? (insert name, e-mail, and phone number)

A book synopsis, short review, bio and photos available upon request.