DISCLAIMER: This interview was provided by Roger Charlie to Infinite House of Books without any compensation; however, the administrator of Infinite House of Books has endorsed this individual on the Roger Charlie Website. This information provided as required by the Federal Trade Commission.
Samantha Lien is owner of Roger Charlie, a company that specializes in publicity and management for creative professionals – particularly authors, musicians and small businesses. Through her years of experience in marketing and management for a variety of industries, she has curated an abundant network of contacts in the music and literary world, and loves working to support those who value a more personal approach through communications so that they can stay focused on their craft.
At what point do you think an author is ready to promote, and if ready, what should an author do to take that step?
Great question! And so important because you want to get the most bang for your book when you’re spending your hard-earned money on promotions.
There are really five best times to hire a publicist to promote your title:
● If you have a book that is scheduled to be published in the near future (generally, 3-6 months). This means your book has been edited, ready-for-print and officially scheduled for a release date. The lead time gives us time to do all of the legwork on the front end so that coverage and events roll-out right around launch.
● If you already have a book that you published within the last year and you want to drum up some new exposure and interest in your title.
● If your book has been published within the last year and a recent national headline has brought the subject matter to the forefront of discussion. This makes your book topical and of great interest to the general public.
● If your title is undergoing a reprint – this is a great time to alert outlets about the re-release and to share a new cover or angle on your story.
● If you have a business where your book would be a great selling tool or aid in awareness of your company and it’s mission.
I would also stress it’s so important to shop around and find someone that’s a best fit for you. Publicity is really a team effort, and you’ll want to make sure you’re comfortable with whomever you choose to work.
How does an author benefit from working with a promotion partner versus working on the author’s own?
Really what it boils down to is time. Publicity is a full time job, and just as authors spend their hours pouring their creative ideas and stories onto blank pages for us all to enjoy, we spend our time crafting quality pitches and relevant angles to appeal to an audience best-suited for their book, and developing and maintaining relationships with media, bloggers, bookstores and other organizations who will help in sharing the story.
I’ve spoken with a handful of authors who say it’s so easy to promote someone else’s content, but they have an extremely difficult time doing that for themselves. I think the old adage is true that “it takes a village.” I hate to see someone burnt out on doing it all on their own when they can hire someone like me to focus on what we do best so that authors (and other creative professionals) can do the same.
What made you decide to go into book promotion?
It all came about really naturally, actually! I was just finishing up my Masters in Business and Entertainment Management at University of Colorado – Denver and had a family member that is a published author recommend a literary publicity firm to me. She had worked with them for a few years and constantly raved about how wonderful they are (and they are!), and she thought I would be a great fit for their team. I called the founder, and a week later, flew to meet her and her team in New York City at Book Expo America. I ended up staying with the firm just under four years, and just recently branched out on my own in January so that I could further expand into offering publicity for two more passions of mine – music and small business.
Are there any type of books that you prefer to promote, and if so, why?
I’m all over the place, and honestly – it’s more that I prefer to promote authors who are passionate about their project. That sounds like an easy answer, because who isn’t passionate about their writing, right? But when that drive is truly there, I really think that it translates and influences the direction of my efforts, too. Success abounds when everyone has a positive attitude and is willing to think outside of the box to promote their book!
What do you feel is unique about your approach?
I think I just answered that in your question above! I really value a distinctly personal approach in promotion, and love working with those who feel the same.
Do you personally have thoughts on the influence and power of words?
Words really have the power to change how people view the world around them. I mean, look at all of the ways there are for us all to connect through conversation – especially online!
It’s so easy to get sucked into what someone else puts out there (even in 140 characters on Twitter) and often forget what your own perception is.
Ultimately, I think it’s essential to really know what you stand for and who you are so you can take in the positive, shield yourself from the negative, and most importantly, know how your own words can impact those who you come in contact with everyday. I really admire those who choose to deliver their message in such a unique way – like through stories or musical lyrics – that offer up such significance in our lives.
Did that just sound like a Miss America answer? Haha! 🙂
How can people find out more?
I’d love to hear from you! In addition to publicity for authors, I also support musicians and small business, so stop by Roger Charlie, and if you or someone you know might benefit from my services, definitely get in touch and we can talk! My e-mail is Sam@RogerCharlie.com.
You can also find me on social media, and I’d love to connect!
Thank you so much for hosting me for an interview, Shannon!