Kim Weiss Publishing Services

A case of premature e-promotion? Green books are worth it.

July 23, 2008 at 8:58 pm

Kermit was right. It’s good to be green.

But my question is, what took us so long? There’s something that’s been puzzling me for a very long time. 


Remember that word? It was hip. It was in the mainstream. People drove economy cars. Caring about the environment mattered.

Or so we thought.

That was then and this is now. Somewhere in between waiting for rationed gas on lines in the 70’s and the current European prices of petrol, America developed amnesia.

People downsized to economy cars. Slowed down to 55 mph and shared rides. Conserved wherever they could. What happened in between?

Fast forward to the edge of the 20th century and suddenly cars of bloated proportions became the trophies of the well to do and the seemingly hip. An economy car upgrade was a six cylinder engine and if you wanted real power, eight. Weren’t we done with that mentality?

Regression. How sad.

We slipped into pre -ECOLOGY mentality, forgot all we had learned about saving the planet and commenced to waste, waste, waste. We even forgot the word.

Even moving to Florida from Oregon in the late 70’s was baffling.

For the entire four years of my residence in the majestic northwest, recycling had been a fact of life for a long time. (Oregon’s has always been ahead of the environmental curve. Ask them how long they’ve been green).

In my former life as a publicist to things besides the world of books, I got to work on the “new” recycling programs instated in Florida. That was in the early 90’s. 

Wow. It only took Florida about twenty years to catch on.

And, now it’s 2008 and the word “ecology” has disappeared and everything has suddenly become fashionably “green.” 

We’re paying attention to mileage on our cars again. Deja vu.

Recycling like bandits. Carrying canvas bags to Whole Foods. Even Publix.  And, the blessed HOV lane with Prius privileges. 

We’re bandying about words like sustainable. Our light bulbs are environmentally friendly.  Our carbon footprint is important. (I’m still trying to get what exactly that means) People seem to care again.

It’s the same old story. Hit folks in their pocketbooks and they wake up from their comas like bears out of hibernation. 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for environmental conservation, consciousness, renewal, whatever you want to call it. Always have been.

I just wonder how when we’re fat and happy and gasoline is flowing like liquid gold through our engines, we can forget where we come from. In the most primal sense.

I hope we have better sense this time around. If, in fact, Mother Nature has granted us that time.

So, now that I’m done ranting, I can segue into the real theme of this blog post. Premature e-promotion.

It’s all about The Green Beauty Guide.

And, I’m tremendously excited about promoting this book, even months before it’s on your bookstore shelves. (You know what to do, sneak a peek at amazon now).

No, Julia Roberts is not in endorsing this book, but I am. And I’ve talked to the distinguished author, Julie Gabriel, and she’s the real deal. She’s detailed everything you’ll need to know about what to apply to your face, body and hair without contracting a fatal disease. Don’t be scared. But, be armed with good information. 

The Green Beauty Guide also contains recipes to whip up some healthy creams and potions for yourself. Based in the UK, Julie’s also coming out with her own green beauty line, Petite Marie Organics, which is safe for both mom and baby. Put me on your list for cosmetic guinea pigs, Julie! (I hear she’s looking for a distributor in the U.S.)

You’ll be hearing more about this one. That’s a promise.

What I remember when I get to promote a book like this is that, I’m  the lucky one. Supporting a good book, and a good cause makes it all worthwhile. 

May you be green with envy.

That’s all for now.

Have a peek at the beautiful author with the beautiful green book…Julie Gabriel

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What to write about…?

July 22, 2008 at 10:00 pm

…asks Mochi, senior publicity assistant at KWTB&B

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If you like rejection, become a book publicist

July 21, 2008 at 8:21 pm

I often remark that the perfect profession for someone with ADHD, is publicity. At any given time, in the book business, you have to store a shelf or two of books in your brain.  

Have you ever heard jazz chanteuse, Diane Krall sing the line “I know a little bit about a lotta things…” from an old Peggy Lee song circa 1940’s? Well, instead of finishing that line with the written lyric, “but I don’t know enough about you,”  it could easily end with “then I must be in the publicity department of HCI!” Much less musical, but so true.

No kidding. We are the quick studies. The mercurial minds that, when it comes to our work, go only so deep. Although we read every one of our assigned books from cover to cover (wink, wink), we skim off what we need to know and transform that information into clever talking points.

How could we do it any other way? When we represent doctors with diet books, for example, we couldn’t pretend to speak in sound bytes what took them years to master in med school. But we do create the perfect opening for them to tell their own stories. We whet the appetite of the reporter or producer and whenever possible, let the true expert take over. 

It’s our job think quickly. Should our media contact not buy one book idea that we’re pitching, we need to quickly upsell them another. It sounds a lot like sales, doesn’t it? Well guess what…?

As for rejection, just today, one of my authors was turned down for a spot on CBS: The Early Show.

Why? Because, he was actually too good for the spot planned for this Friday, wasn’t local, and deserved more attention.

They’d be sure to use him in August.

Could they show his book anyway on the screen? Excerpt it on their website?  They’ll see. That means no.  

I’m shameless. But, you knew that already. If I’m going to be rejected, I’m not going down without a fight. Ask my friends at Publishers Weekly. Sorry guys, just doing my job.

You remember the Today Show post? Oh, I forgot to mention that the day it aired, it was pre-empted on the entire west coast by Wimbledon. Not to mention it was on the fourth “Kathy Lee” hour. (That would be in publicity terms, the inverse opposite to coveted drive time exposure)

See how delicate this business is?

Allright, have I talked you out of going into book publicity? Publicity in general?

Why we pr people are crazy enough to do this work day in day out, year after year is simple. We’re nuts. But we’re nuts about challenges. Nuts about excitement. Nuts about the books we’re selling, at least some of the time.  And, the adrenalin rush of the big booking makes it all worthwhile.

It’s true that we can affect sales. We like to claim the big successes but aren’t above pointing fingers elsewhere when the publicity doesn’t work. Things like… it was bad distribution at the store level. What could we do?

Or as I like to put it, we are in the business of dragging horses to water but not necessarily making them drink. That job would fall under the jurisdiction of sales. Poor sods. 

They are crazier than we are.

So moms and dads, when you’re observing that child of yours who can’t seem to sit still in class. Who talks a blue streak, is always into something, and flat out makes you dizzy, remember, there’s hope. Just feed him/her some books along the way, teach them to speak well, smile, and then — point them in the direction of PUBLICITY. 

You might just have a natural.

                                        out-of-season northern tree – just because I’m crazy

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So, you want to join a book club?

July 20, 2008 at 2:33 pm

How about a book club that spans the globe? 

You may have noticed that I have a nifty button on my blog called “Shelfari.”  It’s your connection to the book club you’ve always wanted to join. And, as with most virtual ventures, clothing is optional.

What is it you like to read?  Wouldn’t you like to “talk” to others with the same taste in books? Perhaps you’d like to dip your toe in an area you’ve never read before. Shelfari makes it easy by connecting you to genres like:

adventure, biography, classics, family, fantasy, fiction,  philosophy, humor, mystery, romance (ooh la, la), science fiction, young adult, and much, much more. 

(I just wrote Shelfari to ask, where the heck’s the self-help?!)

Then you can hook up to groups of readers talking about all kinds of things. You don’t have to prepare brownies. Worry about whether to serve tea or wine, or both. Best of all, you won’t need to vacuum. Your guests will be somewhere in the computer ethers.

And, you get to create and update your own “shelf” of books. People will then send you comments and invite you to be engaged in conversation about books you have in common. Of course, you only have to respond if you want to. 

As I try to carve out more reading time, I am slowly building my Shelfari shelf. You can take a peek at the 13 titles on it by putting my name in the search area. You may find your other nerdy friends lurking there, too.

If you’re a reader, and I’m guessing you are if you’re reading this blog, see what you think. If you join, please link to me and show me what you are reading. I’m ready for a good book and maybe you’ll help me make my next choice.

So far, I’m not counting books at the office and manuscripts as book club fare. That could change.

Wishing you literary adventures and I especially hope you’re reading most of your summer books on some fabulous beach. Turn up the books and the ipod down. Gotta go. I still have sand between my toes.

(Reminder – move away from the computer for a healthy dose of fresh air from time to time. I include you as I wag a finger at myself . All those beach pictures, someone’s gotta take them!)

Wanted: Readers 

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It’s that time of the month…iphone camera mania

July 18, 2008 at 6:57 am

Another Florida sunset, prelude to the full moon…please don’t be alarmed Californians…that orange sky is not fire…just pure sunset



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