Kim Weiss Publishing Services

Fly on the wall: the celebrated galley letter for book publicity

June 25, 2009 at 12:46 pm


Ok kids, today I’m sharing  with you a hot-off-the-press galley letter that will be inserted inside of advanced readers’ copies of a very cool fall diet book (see title below). Its  purpose is to  catch the early attention of hungry media and inspire them to talk about the book in their respective newspapers, magazines, blogs, tv and radio shows. When the book is released in September, plans for story coverage will have been confirmed, decided and ready for yours, the consumers’, eyes.

Besides being a very smart and comprehensive book, this one is optimely timed given the latest research on how salt negatively affects our health and our waistlines. (Although the letter’s going out a tad later than I hoped — so we will miss some long-lead media. Take a lesson, Maria.)

Have a peek. Hopefully, you’ll glean something of value in its structure and content and at the very least, YOU will learn about this book – courtesy of my shameless promotion department! This letter’s a bit longer than some of the rest, but I think it works. Oh, I must give credit to the book’s editor, Allison Janse, who gave me the words. She’s hot stuff. Thanks, Allison!

Discover Your Hidden Diet De-Railers and Belly-Bloaters


How Salt Makes You Fat and the 4-Week Plan to

DROP a Size & GET HEALTHIER with Simple Low-Sodium Swaps

Tammy Lakatos Shames, R.D., Lyssie Lakatos, R.D. – The Nutrition Twins

ISBN: 0-75741351-5 – $15.95 – September/October

The Secret to Skinny

June 2009

Dear Colleague,

If your scale won’t budge and you’ve said good-bye to your skinny jeans, you could be sabotaging your diet, unknowingly eating one thing that is plugging you up, bloating you out, and packing on the pounds, despite your good intentions and all the stomach crunches you can stand.

As the Nutrition Twins explain in their new book, THE SECRET TO SKINNY: How Salt Makes You Fat and the 4-Week Plan to DROP A SIZE & GET HEALTHIER with Simple Low-Sodium Swaps (HCI Books — $15.95), the culprit is salt, and it’s everywhere, especially in the “health-conscious” and “diet” foods we dutifully eat. No longer flying under the radar, recent research proves that high-salt diets are associated with more fat cells on the body. Even worse, salt causes your fat cells to become denser. Given that the average American consumes twice the amount the human body, this leads weight gain, bloating, and the inability to lose the stubborn pounds.  Until now…

As demonstrated time and again with their clients, the Nutrition Twins show you how to drop the salt and drop a size—or more—with the side benefits of improving your blood pressure, heart function, skin tone, and overall energy level. Their four-week salt-slashing diet is built around key foods—Anti-Bloaters, Flushers, and Slimmers—foods that get and keep you lean by ridding your body of excess salt and revving your metabolism for maximum fat burning. They also expose the Bloaters, Pluggers, Chubbers, and Flabbers –the everyday foods that are derailing your efforts. They’ll show you:

  • Simple “salternatives” and food swaps that subtract pounds and add years to your life
  • How to trick your taste buds to crave less salt
  • Two weeks of menu plans, plus delicious low-sodium recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks
  • Quick-fix cures for a “salt hangover” and the bloat that goes with it
  • The 10-Day Jumpstart Plan that drops pounds fast!

Get ready to say hello to your jeans again, because the secret to skinny is out!


Lyssie Lakatos, R.D., and Tammy Lakatos Shames, R.D., own a nutrition counseling practice in New York City. They have been featured regularly as the nutrition experts on The Discovery Health Channel, The Learning Channel, and the Oxygen Network, and been featured in Good Housekeeping, Vogue, People, and Women’s Health. Visit:

The Nutrition Twins

The Nutrition Twins

Please contact me, for an author interview, a review copy or excerpts at:

Kim Weiss – HCI Books

(800) 851-9100 ext. 212


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Fly on the wall: planning a teen memoir campaign

June 24, 2009 at 9:40 am

LTW Chelsey Emily Marni

Aren’t they gorgeous?

These are the teen girls who have written the first three memoirs in our Louder Than Words series, launching this September.

The question is: how do we best reach the teen girls that we know are going to love these books.

How it happens here in this scaled down pr department is to first have a picture of how to get the word out there and then ask different pr strategists to present their ideas and help me bring them to fruition. My thought: organize a book series launch by getting the girls to participate in a webcast where they can interact with their audience live on a computer screen near you. Tell a little about their story, take questions from kids via chat boxes, twitter, and Facebook.

Sell books.

Sounds ideally like an entertaining and effective approach, but experts are warning me about how these young women may not take to the live webcast environment as naturally as say, paid actresses! Of course there’ll be none of them involved but in order for this to work, the content must be engaging. As engaging as the Louder Than Words books are, that doesn’t necessarily translate into the same for their authors.

Media training? Well,  maybe…we’ll see. I’d hate to rob the young authors of their authenticity by teaching too many tricks at this stage, but, will put this on the list of things to consider.

Then there’s the technical part of the project.

For that, I’ve inquired with a couple of tech-y firms who specialize in these types of things. I listened to one of the sales guys at a webcast/web design company until my eyes glazed over. My aptitude for this medium is gnat-sized. However you slice the webcast pie, it’s expensive. In the many thousands of dollars range. So, the next course of action is to get the IT dept. at HCI to translate and make an assessment.


We’re at the tip of the iceberg of planning. We know we’re late, but we have a lot of confidence in the books. There’ll be some trade exposure in Publishers Weekly and plenty of book samples at the ALA conference in July where librarians from around the country convene. These books have library written all over them.

For a little background, each girl’s story focuses on an issue: one’s mother died and father was murdered (Chelsey), one suffered from a nervous condition that caused her to pull all her hair out (Marni), and one missed an entire year of school thanks to the Nile virus (Emily).

These are true stories.

We’ve searched for a long time for teen books actually written by teens and I think we hit the jackpot.

I’ll keep you posted as the book campaign unfolds.

p.s. look for a lot of action on MySpace, FB and Twitter in the coming months.


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Blogging in from Pittsburgh

June 22, 2009 at 9:41 am

Pittsburgh. Steel town. Not any more.


the sisters three

It’s the last day of my long-ish weekend here having witnessed the high school graduation of my dear niece, Emma.  The one who sprouted from a wee little cherub to a five foot ten powerhouse of brains, beauty and personality.


I came from the suffocating heat of 95 degree South Florida just in time for the delicious aftermath of dramatic and somewhat damaging Pittsburgh rains (a la the new globally shifty weather patterns). After a reported four inches of rain in just a few hours, I basked in daytime temps of a perfect 75 and evenings in the 60’s. I won’t see those again in Florida for what will feel like years. I’m thankful.

This town amazes me. Just blocks from both sisters’ homes in Highland Park, my sister and I can go walking for an hour (maybe 45 minutes for most people — she’s a slow walker) and be in the woods the entire time. My first northern treat was the viewing of a wild turkey. The massive (and my sister calls “stupid”) bird winged its way across the street into the trees of the actual park that Highland Park is named for. A wild turkey, fancy that, stupid or not, the only turkeys you’ll find by that name in Florida (I’m sure you see this coming) are on the label of a whiskey bottle and in the state cabinet.

Bird crazy as I am, I got to see red ones, yellow ones, crimson-winged black ones and the bird that calls to my childhood, the common robin-red-breast. Just another brown bird here among the twittery little sparrows, the robin’s a wow for me.

No screeching wild green parrots on the telephone wires here. Or in cages in living rooms like some places I know.

The charming houses are old and big. The towering buildings downtown are new and shiny. Some old and majestic with history lingering in the artifices. The neighborhoods are trendy. There’s a small town feeling in a fairly big expanse. It’s community in its mostly successful expression.

I love that you can access wilderness to the left and big city digs to the right in Pittsburgh. That you can still buy a great big house for a song. There’s diversity in the people here. There’s efficient mass transit.

And, there’s my sisters.

Long time residents of this western Pennsylvania hamlet (ok, so I’m stretching the poetry  a little) my sisters have created enviable lifestyles here. With families in tow, they’ve dug in their heels and after forays in Eugene  and Philadelphia, these Jersey girls have made Pittsburgh home. When I visit, they extend that comfort to me.

This morning, one sister said, “you know, you can stay, don’t you?”


As much as I’d love to share America’s most liveable city with them (as voted for the third time), I’m waiting for Pittsburgh to become oceanfront property and for the sun to make a more permanent commitment to this town.

All told, except for this lucky, lucky weekend, Pittsburgh is gray.

It was red and black yesterday at my niece’s graduation. It was black and gold for both last November’s Superbowl victory and the recent Stanley Cup win for the Penguins (formerly blue and white until 1980) but gray is the color of my sisters’ true love town.

Thank you for sharing the multi-faceted joys of Pittsburgh with me but I’m afraid the sunshine deprivation on a permanent basis would kill me.

Congratulations, Emma, on your rite of passage from high school to college. Thank you sisters for making me feel at home. And, to the rest of my familial cast of Pittsburgh characters, thanks for giving me something to blog about.

Back in Florida with more writing/publishing musings tomorrow.

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iphoto fun – weekend respite – ahhhh

June 20, 2009 at 8:36 am


(courtesy of the ORIGINAL iphone circa 2007)

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Fly on the wall: evolution of a book cover

June 19, 2009 at 11:48 am


So much is taken for granted when we pick up a book.  We comment on the cover and often are attracted by it or remark on its lack of appeal.  Just like in most areas of the book making process (no, not that book making process!) we are ignorant of the steps taken to get that cover on the book. I thought it would be fun to share the evolution of a book cover with you.

For starters, the covers I will show you are for the second in the “Crazy Aunt Purl” book series which is based on the wildy popular blog by Laurie Perry (blogmistress extraordinaire)

Here’s that cover:

Exhibit "A"

Exhibit "A"

Ok, now that we’ve got that established, let’s take a look at some of the versions that led up to Laurie Perry’s book, Home is Where the Wine Is. You’ll have to wait until January to buy it in the store, (but no one ever said you couldn’t pre-order it online… ).

First, the editor on the book (Allison Janse) and HCI’s art director (Larissa Henoch) meet to discuss the concept of the book.  Their goal is to create a kick-ass, show-stopping cover that calls to you from the bookshelf even from a distance. They want it to say “hold me, caress me,buy me, buy me, buy two!” Then they want it to relate to the first book, provide a thread of continuity so people will remember the first book when viewing the second.

Next, Larissa and her team mock up a variety of visual ideas and present them to that gnarly team of HCI staff called the editorial committee.  You already know that I have a seat in that room and get to call out my vote for or against.  Our opinions are so subjective when it comes to cover art that I find the review process sometimes startling. Taste is a very funny thing.

Here’s some early examples (pretend the covers are strewn across a blond laminated wood conference table):

Kinda cute
Kinda cute

Remember, we want the image to be attractive, relevant to the book’s content and of course, the type must be clear, readable and familiar…

Getting closer
Getting closer

Oh, I forgot to mention that sometimes the buyers of the books on the store level are privy to the cover choice. The sales folks show some samples and get their feedback. After all, if they don’t think they can sell it, we’d better go back to the virtual drawing board…

Ah, the little black dress...perfect, we have a winner!
Ah, the little black dress…perfect, we have a winner!

So, there you have it. You were just a fly on the wall of a cover meeting. If you preferred one of the losing covers, I apologize, but that will show you what I was talking about when I suggested the taste is subjective.

Oh, and I mustn’t forget to mention, authors of these books DO have a say when it comes to their cover.

Happy authors make for happiness all around. Laurie Perry is a pussycat.

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