Rebeca Seitz

Rebeca Seitz is Founder and President of Glass Road Public Relations. A freelance writer for several years, Rebeca cut her publicity teeth as the first dedicated publicist for the fiction division of Thomas Nelson Publishers. In 2005, Rebeca resigned from Thomas Nelson and opened the doors of GRPR, the only publicity firm of its kind in the country dedicated solely to representing works of entertainment created from a Christian worldview. In 2007, Rebeca published her first novel, Prints Charming, with Thomas Nelson Publishers. 2008 saw the release of her next two novels, Sisters, Ink and Coming Unglued, from B&H Publishing Group, the publishing division of LifeWay. Her next two books, Scrapping Plans and Perfect Piece will release in 2009 from B&H. Rebeca is also the founding president of Glass Slipper Productions, an event management company. Rebeca makes her home at Storybook Farm in southwest Kentucky with her husband, Charles, their son, Anderson, and their soon-to-be-born daughter, Ella - where they are significantly outnumbered by the fish, turtles, barn cats, deer, raccoons, and other assorted southern wildlife.

Literary Publicity—Getting The Word Out About Your Book

A Publicity Phenomenon
It’s a good time to be an optometrist. Sarah Palin’s appearance on the national political scene has sparked thousands of phone calls to optometrists by customers wanting to order Sarah’s glasses. As of this writing, they’re available only by back order.

We publicists sit back and smile at the phenomenon. A month ago, millions of people walked into their optometrist’s office, spent half an hour looking at and trying on frames, and then settled on a pair they probably forgot about ten minutes after leaving the doctor’s office. Four weeks later, those same individuals couldn’t care less about the hundred frames available—they only want the style Sarah Palin wears and that everyone is talking about.

So how can you get the public talking about your book like they’re talking about Mrs. Palin’s glasses? That’s where a publicity strategist can be handy to have. In today’s media-saturated world, the possibilities for getting your book into the public forum are nearly endless. That vast array of possibilities demands a purposeful, selective approach to publicity created by an expert familiar with the media landscape.

Some Possibilities
Product Pairing

For instance, some books can be paired with products that serve the same target audience. Let’s say you write novels with main characters who quilt. (Jennifer Chiavarini’s books fit this description.) What a boon for Jennifer’s sales if everyone who buys a certain type of quilting thread or a certain brand of quilting fabric also gets—for a nominal fee—a copy of Jennifer’s book!

Targeted Media Placement
Sometimes product pairing isn’t an option. In this case, it’s important to know the characteristics of your target audience. Are they stay-at-home moms? Several magazines, Web sites, radio stations, and television shows speak to that audience. Guys who like to hunt? Women who like to cook? Women who like to hunt and cook?

Target Audience Gathering Spots
Where does your target audience gather to learn about their products? Christian music festivals? Art shows? Rest stops? Conferences? Conventions? Airport elite centers? Partnerships and product placement opportunities are available at nearly every venue in which people congregate.

Help! Too Much Info!!
At this point, you may be feeling overwhelmed. How can you know the best place to take your book? All you wanted to do was write a great story, and you’ve worked very hard to do just

that. Even if you manage to figure out where your book should be promoted, what

steps do you take to introduce your book into that field? When do you find time to take action? By the time you spend hours on your strategy, you could probably have written another great story! (Or done your grocery shopping, paid the bills, cleaned the house, gone to your day job, and saved mankind.)

That’s why literary publicists are ready to help you. We spend all day every day learning about markets and methods for

publicizing books. Years of trial and error have taught us what works, what’s worth risking a try, and what would be a waste of time and money.

Lots of Heart, Little Dough
“But, Rebeca,” you say, “I don’t have thousands of dollars for a publicist. Now what?” Good news—most literary publicity firms exist because they love authors and are dedicated to helping them succeed with the tools they have. We recognize that—especially if you write fiction—both your budget and your publishing house’s budget are probably one zillionth of 1 percent of the grocery budget for a family of four.

Perhaps, though, you and your publishing house could afford to purchase a plan from a publicity firm. This option allows you to have an expert read your story, assess its potential in the marketplace, and develop a targeted course of action that could then be implemented by you and/or your publishing house.

Or maybe an inhouse publicist has developed a fabulous plan for your book but simply doesn't have the time to implement it. How about hiring a publicity assistant to help? Some firms hire out their PAs for this purpose and will even throw in consultations throughout the length of the campaign.

Another option for small budgets is to pick one method of getting the word out and spend time and money on only that. Blog tours are a good choice because they cost you only the postage to mail books (hopefully your publishing house will supply the books) and the time to package books.

Keep It in Perspective
At the end of the day, the important thing from a publicity perspective is to make sure news of your book’s release is delivered to the appropriate audience, in the appropriate way, at the appropriate time. Choosing the scale at which those tasks are completed depends on the budget and time of both you and your publishing house. If you’re not sure what options are open to you, simply contact a publicity firm and ask. Most of us are very happy to chat with you about your book (We talk about books all day! That’s why we’re in this gig!) and what can be done to promote it.

If you’d like to contact Glass Road, just shoot me an e-mail at, or call (615) 986-9516. I’d love to hear from you!

Glass Road PR