What I love about the Internet is the way it instantly connects you to people you may have never met without it living in other places. @BookSparksPR is one of those great people I’ve online when I inquired about writing for SheKnows.com. Crystal comes up with great digital campaigns for a diverse and talented group of female authors and really makes use of social media to bring books into every day conversation.
Location: Phoenix, AZ – but I service clients all over the US (and one in Canada!)
Vocation: BookSparksPR (book publicity)
1. What is the benefit of having your own business over being with a larger firm?
For years I worked in corporate and agency PR, and I loved it. The creative people, the atmosphere, the water cooler and lunches with co-workers, the client meetings, the benefits package. There’s a lot to be said about that. However, nothing beats the flexibility and freedom of having your own business, setting your own hours, your own pace. Enjoying a mental health Monday or a Friday afternoon at the movies. It’s liberating!
2. How did you transition from corporate clients to representing authors and books?
I still have some corporate clients and do business PR (through BizSparksPR, the other division of my agency), but at the moment I have a lovely roster of authors that I am really enjoying working with. I’m passionate about books and stories and always have been - and so I’m thrilled to work with so many different authors. It sort of fell into my lap really… I took some out-of-the box approaches to book publicity – particularly online – and people responded and suddenly I was representing several authors.
3. What has been your favorite campaign you came up with this year?
This is so very hard to say – like picking your favorite child! I really loved working with debut author Sarah Pekkanen on her novel, The Opposite of Me. I was thrilled to be part of launching that book (along with Sarah and several very talented people!). I’m so happy that Sarah is in like her 5th printing now and signed another two book deal. I also am very proud of my clients Liz and Lisa (behind the popular ChickLitisnot Dead blog) because they’ve completed a second manuscript which is fabulous and are searching for an agent. They have come so far with their blog and writing in the last year – they are all over the place and I love seeing that! And I’d be remiss not to mention Allison Winn Scotch who I adore and who is so generous to readers and writers. And then, of course, there’s Christine Lemmon who is so inspiring! Her book was an Indie Excellence Award finalist and she is a lovely person. For Mother’s Day, I worked on a fun promotion of Irene Zutell’s Pieces of Happily Ever After with the help of the lovely Emily Giffin. Can I just say all of them? I could go on and on!
4. Do you think it is essential for authors to have an online social profile?
No, I don’t. There are several authors who do not and who do just fine. I think it’s a great way to reach readers and promote your book and build your readership - and also support other writers and readers. It’s exciting and effective – but not essential. Well, maybe a little essential. It’s certainly a lot of fun connecting with the book community – readers, writers, reviewers, book bloggers, and other authors.
5. How do you manage to juggle so many amazing projects and write too?
Oh my… well, I have a great team of people who help make it all happen. A wonderful co-worker who I met online and adore, a couple of fabulous, very beautiful, smart and savvy interns from Arizona State University (Go Devils!). So many authors who are so very supportive of my work and of each other. My lovely babysitter who my kids adore! A supportive family. My writing definitely takes the back-burner – as I’m too busy promoting other people’s writing. But I’ll get there… and when I do, I know a network of women authors who will be cheering me on!