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imagesWe coupled up with superstar booker Ashley Bernardi, principal of Nardi Media, to talk about her work with authors and some lessons she’s gleaned from what really sells books to how authors can approach media themselves. (Though, we’ll be honest, it’s a heck of a lot easier with Ashley in your corner.) Here’s what she had to say.

1) What are the challenges authors face in getting booked on radio/television?

One of the main challenges that authors face is making the pitch relevant to the news cycle. We can overcome this challenge by using recent data, statistics, and research on the subject that was written about about to make the pitch buzzier and more relevant to the news cycle. Producers and reporters are fact-driven, so if we can present them with facts that tie in news of the day/week/month, and use the author and book as a jumping off point for a conversation about it — we usually see traction. I always try to use numbers, data, demographics, and more, to tie in a pitch. Sometimes the pitch is not just about the book itself – but where the author grew up, where he/she is based, and more. There is so much we can work with and that’s the best part about the process!

2) What can authors do to make themselves more attractive media candidates, and get a producer’s interest or attention? What are the most important “ingredients” to include in one’s pitch?

The approach to pitching radio and television varies, as well as the particular show you are pitching. Know who you are pitching and what the show has covered recently. Remember that a producer/reporter will do research on you, so it’s your job to do research on their show. What has been covered recently? Any pieces or segments that you liked or stood out to you? Is there a connection to your book or subject matter?

Another important factor is the pitch itself. You can and should specify and tailor a press advisory based off what a show covers. I usually never work with one generic press advisory. If you give a broad blanket advisory to every single national radio and television show, you won’t see results. But if you can tailor press advisories to specifically what a show covers (health, finance, etc), you’ll see results.

The most important ingredients to a broadcast pitch: Pre-existing video of the author(s) in an interview setting, street credibility (ie prior media placements in print, online, TV, radio), a pitch tailored specifically to what the show covers or has been covering, and making it newsworthy using recent statistics and data.

3) What kind of interviews are most effective? Does it always need to be a national media hit to cause an impact?
Obviously a national television or radio hit creates a big buzz and a wide range of exposure, but don’t discount the local radio stations, especially NPR affiliates. People who listen to NPR read books. I’ve had book authors do local interviews with NPR affiliates around the country, and they’ll see their book sales and Amazon ratings increase just from one radio interview alone.
There is also a huge added bonus to television and radio in today’s media world: online exposure. Nearly every television and radio segment now gets published online – which is a whole new audience reached!

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December might entice those on the East Coast to kick into hibernation mode but we’ve been having an unusually warm winter season. Why not head out to hang with some of your favorite authors while giving back at the same time? Here’s a mini guide to some upcoming literary holiday parties in the city:

Wednesday, December 9th at 8pm
Riverhead Books Holiday Party 2015
The Brooklyn Brewery
79 N 11th St, Brooklyn

Join Riverhead Books family & friends in supporting Libraries Without Borders, providing books and Idea Boxes to Syrian Refugees. $15 gets you unlimited beer + baked goods by Riverhead authors + raffle prizes + Photo Booth with Booker Prize winner, Marlon James.

Wednesday, December 16th at 6:30pm
PEN “Freedom To Write” MINGLE
Solas (Upstairs at 232 East 9th Street)
FREE (but rsvp required by 12/14 at

If you aren’t a member of PEN American Center, I’d suggest taking a look at all the wonderful things they do for the literary world at home and abroad. From assisting imprisoned writers to celebrating some of the best works in literature with their numerous awards, the PEN crowd is a welcoming and caring bunch.
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By Melissa X. Golebiowski

This book cover for bestselling authors Nicola Kraus & Emma McLauglin’s (authors of The Nanny Diaries) latest release, out today, How To Be A Grown Up, shows us what it’s like to walk in two shoes at once. The novel’s heroine, Rory McGovern, finds herself juggling both single parenthood and a full time career after her actor husband decides to walk and leave her solo.

Rory, newly in her forties, finds herself working for two twentysomethings at a luxury lifestyle site for kids, JeuneBug. (Of course, no one at the company but Rory has any children of their own.) Rory has her feet in two different worlds; will she fall flat on her face or come up with a successful game plan?

The cover shoes are reflective of two completely different styles but come with an interesting backstory.

The Chuck behind the Converse brand was Chuck Taylor, a high school basketball player who fell in love with Converse All Stars and became an extremely successful traveling salesmen of the shoe by specially selling them to high school and college basketball teams. With a successful athletic branding behind the shoe, Converse also became the official training shoe for the military during WWII.

Keeping with the theme of battle, high heels were actually a part of the 16th Century Persian soldier’s uniform. When riding horseback, the heels dug comfortably into the stirrups and enabled the warriors to stand up & shoot as they rode in to fight. The high heel was originally created for this purpose and gained popularity in many horse riding cultures. Women picked up the high heel habit in the 1600’s when they started adopting male fashion. Fast forward to the present and it’s a staple of female fashion today.

We have a feeling that with this kind of footwear in tow, Rory will come up a solid strategy to conquer the odds.

Read the New York Times Book Review
Say hi to Emma and Nicola.

It’s expensive to launch a “successful” book, whether the investment is the publisher’s, yours, or a combination of both. And by successful, I’m not even talking about New York Times bestsellers, whose successes seem as much the result of a quantifiable financial investment as they are the result of unquantifiable variables like reader enthusiasm and sheer serendipity. By successful, I’m referring to any book that earns out its publisher’s investment and sells through its first printing. Any author who’s gotten that far should be immensely proud.

Here are some of the most critical costs I’ve seen responsible for creating a successful book:

*Print run (the number of books printed)
*Co-op (exhibition or shelf space the publisher is buying, whether at Barnes and Noble or, to offer your book exposure to browsers. Involved explanation here.)
*Marketing & publicity (ranging from advertising to a freelance publicist)
*Buying back books (for events or giveaway/review purposes)

For authors who receive an advance in the tens of thousands of dollars, a robust first print run, co-op, or hefty publicity/events support isn’t likely. And even the rare, proactive publicist who works with you at your publishing house…his/her efforts may simply not translate. If your hope is to exceed expectations and give your book a real shot on the market, you will need to find ways to supplement what’s lacking in the publisher’s investment.

Here are some ways to properly prioritize your time and energy that won’t cost you a dime, excluding gas money.
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National work/family expert and speaker Scott Behson has penned a first book, The Working Dad’s Survival Guide: How to Succeed at Work and at Home with the intention to help out dads who feel as if providing for their families and being present fathers is an impossible task. While Scott recognizes that the burden of work and family falls heaviest on working women, he also realizes that working men generally receive less support from their peers and institutions. With his book, Scott hopes to aid fathers and raise awareness. The Working Dad’s Survival Guide is out from Motivational Press today and has already been met with open arms by fathers and the people who care about them – It’s currently Amazon’s #1 new release for career advice!

For a taste of the book, check out Scott’s articles covering topics ranging from saving money, to negotiating for workplace flexibility that will be useful for a new dad or any father who has been contending with his work and familial responsibilities (50% of working dads say that they struggle with work and family balance). Even those who feel like they can handle their responsibilities may find new insights from Scott’s articles and The Working Dad’s Survival Guide.

Scott has been an advocate for working fathers for numerous years, speaking at events such as the White House Summit on Working Families. We hope The Working Dad’s Survival Guide is the first step in a larger conversation concerning working dads.

By Cadeem Lalor

Bio: Scott Behson, PhD, is a Professor of Management at Fairleigh Dickinson University and a national expert in work and family issues. Scott also founded and runs the popular blog, Fathers, Work, and Family, dedicated to helping working fathers and encouraging more supportive workplaces. He writes regularly for the Harvard Business Review Online, Huffington Post and the Good Men Project, and has also written for Time and the Wall Street Journal. Scott has appeared on MSNBC, CBS This Morning, Fox News and Bloomberg Radio, as well as NPR’s Morning Edition, Radio Times, and All Things Considered. His book, The Working Dad’s Survival Guide: How to Succeed at Work and at Home, comes out today. Contact him @ScottBehson.

FDU headshot


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We’re excited to announce that our friends at Full Fathom Five have launched a contest in celebration of author T.A. Maclagan’s new young adult spy thriller, They Call Me Alexandra Gastone, publishing May 20th!

Here is your chance to become an online sleuth and enter to win the grand prize of FOURTEEN books from eleven great young adult book authors.

All you have to do to be in to win is visit the website of each participating author and discover all 10 clues. Each author has hidden their clue in a two truths and a lie blog post. The numerical clue is somewhere within their “lie statement.” Some quick detective work (Hint: Check the author’s bio page) and you’ll be able to identify the lie and unlock the clue. Add the numerical clues from all 10 authors together and you’ll have the number code needed to unlock your rafflecopter entry!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

All details about the YA DASH can be found here.

Be sure to join the authors on twitter for some more truth or lie fun! Tweet your own truth of lie with the hashtags #yadash and #truthorlie. Can you catch the authors in their lies? Can they catch you in yours?


Updated YA DASH for Facebook 2

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There’s a whole lot of noise about crowdfunding out there, and in recent years, it’s permeated the publishing industry–happily so, since there are more writers wanting to publish than ever before and fewer agents and publishers willing to take the financial risk. Publishing crowdfunding models from Kickstarter to Pubslush (which we wrote about here) to Publishizer (more in a minute) give writers the resources to bring their books to market in unconventional, effective, and creative ways.

Unfortunately, crowdfunding sites have a bad PR problem: first, there’s the desperation factor, the very public admission that you need financial assistance in order to publish because you weren’t given a traditional book deal. (Hopefully Seth Godin has done something to improve upon that image!) And then, if you’re lucky and talented enough to succeed in your publishing campaign, you may have to contend with some serious slack for it.

I was introduced to the very smart and affable young CEO of crowdfunding site, Publishizer, about a year ago. Publishizer’s modus operandi is to give authors the “freedom” they want to publish, freedom that is as much financially-driven as it is creative. Since my business is with authors who are published with commercial houses, it wasn’t the crowdfunding piece (though I was certainly impressed by it) that compelled me. It was the potential of agents and publishers to work with Publishizer purely from a pre-orders standpoint. Some of Publishizer’s authors have raised $20,000-$30,000 in pre-orders; enough not only to produce a print run of books, but to fly around the world  promoting them. As publishing sometimes seems to gallop at an elephant’s speed, you remember those revelatory, re-energizing conversations when you can see yourself at the brink of something new and even earth-shattering for your industry.

Yesterday, the hope I’d harbored for Publishizer came true when a romance author of Full Fathom Five Digital set a campaign live on its site–the very first time Publishizer has launched a preorders campaign for 1) a novelist and 2) an author who already has a publisher in place. In less than 48 hours, The Absolute Novels Campaign has raised over $500, and by the time you read this, it may have broken 6. I am in love with this campaign–because of Publishizer’s design and seamless user experience, because SJ’s story is a real one and a tearjerker, and because the gift options she’s created for those who pre-order the book are brilliantly branded and creative. No doubt there will be haters. But I’m personally wishing SJ and the other authors on Publishizer all success.

Echo Bridge

Today, we’re here to chat with Kristen O’Toole, author of the just-released YA novel Echo Bridge, from new publishing imprint Full Fathom Five Digital.  In Echo Bridge, high school theater star Courtney Valance’s picturesque life is envied by all her peers–until one night she turns up missing, her clothes washed up on the river bank. All of us at Lucinda Literary loved this book so much–it’s not everyday we read YA novels delivered in such a deeply thoughtful and mature tone–that we had to invite Kristen to tell us how it all came about.

We found the characters and themes explored in Echo Bridge to be, um, very mature–not for the soft of stomach. Is the sort of subject matter you deal with in your novel typical of the genre, or were you striving for something more darkly realistic? 

Oh, boy–I think the moment someone tries to define a genre, an exception to that definition is born! YA contains multitudes. I kept my own teenage taste in mind while I was writing Echo Bridge, and I had a pretty dark turn of mind back then (I have lightened up a lot with age). I was a little unsure about the tone at first, until I remembered one of the first YA books I ever read: Die Softly by Christopher Pike. I got it as a present for my 11th birthday. Even within Pike’s oeuvre, it’s a doozy.

Echo Bridge itself is so eloquently described, it really brings that setting to life.  Is there a real-life ‘Echo Bridge’ or other landmark where you hung out as a teen?

There is a real Echo Bridge! It’s in Newton, MA, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. My parents took me there a few times as a kid, and later I heard from friends who lived nearby that it was an after-dark meeting place. I grew up in a different town and my teen-dirtbag hangouts were closer to home. We had our own secret spot on the Charles River near my high school, though it wasn’t as picturesque as Echo Bridge.

What is high school popularity all about anyway? Why, at that period in our lives, is the need to be popular so all-encompassing? What ‘kid’ were you in high school?
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The leaves may be falling outside, but here in downtown Manhattan, our projects are in full bloom!  Check out a few of the exciting things happening this season:

Full Fathom Five Digital

FFFWe’re thrilled to announce that Lucinda Literary has partnered with Full Fathom Five Digital, the new digital imprint from the publishing company of best-selling author James Frey. FFF will be releasing one new title every week in the genres of New Adult, fantasy, YA, horror, and more. Essentially anything page-turning and edgy! First up is a tantalizing romance from Amanda Black, which FFF scooped up when it first published to massive success as fanfiction. The Apartment debuts October 1st.

Beyond releasing one ebook a week, which has never before been done in publishing, we are also experimenting with something more unusual: announcing titles at the very moment they go on sale. (If you belong to the FFF Street Team, you’ll find out earlier, and you can Insta or snapchat FFF’s secret book jackets to all of your friends.)

OK, we’re almost done, promise, we’re just really excited.

Now through November 30th, FFF is accepting submissions for their $10,000 Fiction Contest! Four finalists will receive an offer for a publishing deal with FFF Digital, and a Grand Prize Winner will receive a deal plus a $10,000 cash prize. Non-finalists are still eligible to receive an offer for a digital publishing contract.

Watch out world, FFF is going to be a publishing game-changer.

And on the traditional side of things, we are psyched to be working on two heart-pounding novels…

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In the past few years, I’ve seen young people in their twenties walk in the door and out, full of excitement and fear and earnestness and hunger. Each person–now counting 12–has taught me something fundamental. Some have displayed the occupational hazards of our digitally inundated world: poor grammar and spelling; the haphazard reply; even neglecting to acknowledge emails at all. The best have taught me the beauty of a short, respectful email of acknowledgment, a new social media tool, the pleasure of an exclamation mark.

Because an internship or entry-level job can be the first building block of one’s career, I thought it might be helpful to remember some dos and don’ts–the things that matter, to many of us.

Don’t Check Facebook and your texts all day long. A little break now and then is fine, but try to do this when stepping away from your desk after you’ve completed a task.
Don’t forget a handwritten thank you note after an in-person interview, a heartfelt email thank you when you accept an internship offer, and a written thank you when the internship has ended.
Don’t ask for a promotion too early. Six months, unless you’ve been told a different timeline, is appropriate. When you have “the conversation,” come prepared with reasons for why you should be promoted, and have a number in mind as well as a polite way to inquire about the number your boss has in mind. Most importantly, have the conversation in person, but only after asking your boss in advance for a good time to talk. You want to give your boss a chance to prepare too!
Don’t forget a pen and paper to take notes if you’re called in to your boss’ office.
Don’t make promises you can’t keep: if you mention taking care of work later from home or over the weekend, commit to delivering on this promise.
Don’t sneak out at the end of the day. Your boss should respect your leaving on time.
Don’t offer someone senior to you as a job reference unless you’ve previously cleared it with that person. You don’t want to catch anyone by surprise!
Don’t shy away from taking initiative when you know you’ve mastered something and can do it well.

Do prioritize responding to emails. Even if you’re overwhelmed and can’t humanly get on top of all the tasks flying at you, confirm receipt of an email and state when you plan to be working on whatever is being asked of you if it’s not something you can get to right away.
Do jot that task down on paper, or use a helpful task management system like Asana to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
Do arrive ten minutes early and leave ten minutes late. Everyone notices small acts of diligence like these.
Do re-read emails to any third party you’re corresponding with before sending off, particularly if spelling or grammar is an issue for you. If you’re responsible for a company’s social media feeds, this rule applies doubly; and if you’re unsure about grammar or syntax etc., Google the correct language first.
Do run a draft by the person you report to: a letter, a tweet, etc. Until your supervisor authorizes you to do otherwise, sending a draft should be your MO.
Do err on the side of apology. Even when you know you’re right but are called out for an error, even when the mistake seems so small it’s not worth acknowledging, apologizing shows respect.
Do ask if you can grab coffee or lunch for others you’re working for. These little things count, and show awareness and humility.
Do dress for the job. This is your job. Even if you’re working at home, get out of your pajamas.
Do call your boss or swing by if you have a quick question. Too many emails with questions don’t help anyone’s workload!
Do ask if there’s anything else you can do when you’ve finished your daily tasks.
Do go the extra mile to check in every month to ask if there’s anything you can do to improve.
Do show general curiosity and ask questions about anything you’re unclear on or anything about the trade. You’re there to learn.

Do you measure up to our “Do” list? Or know someone who would? Great, because we’re hiring! Part-time intern positions are now available at our New York City office.

What was your greatest internship lesson?