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Monday, March 23, 2015

Interview With Tor Associate Publicist Adynah Johnson



1.      What do you enjoy most about promoting books to the media? I love books; they are not only the repositories of human knowledge but also gateways into the varied perspectives of human beings. Books allow you to travel into the depths of your own imagination through words; which is an extraordinary thing! I truly enjoy the process of book promoting. What I enjoy most is working on the finished product, disseminating the book to media and bloggers and connecting and networking with reviewers. Additionally, working within a science-fiction and fantasy imprint the books we publish are the epitome of the combined realities of the conscious, subconscious and the unconscious mind(s) which makes for great fiction!

2.      What do you love about being in book publishing? I have always been interested in books, reading, creative writing and literature and had no idea that there was a way for these interests to coalesce. Publishing is the amalgamation of the all of these creative interests that I have always had  and what I love about book publishing specifically is that I pretty much get paid for reading, writing and working with extraordinarily talented authors who are putting forth fantastic ideas into the world.

3.      How can publishers work better with their authors to help build their author brands? I think overall publishers can work better with their authors by assisting with social media strengthening, which Tor/Forge most certainly does! We work with our authors on the social media front in many ways. We post their book reviews on our Twitter feed, author event photos on our Instagram Page, and the same for Face Book. We of course have a Tor.com which is publisher neutral, but we give our Science Fiction and Fantasy author’s coverage as well; anything from excerpts to posting reviews from external sources. The digital shift impacts the publicist is various ways; one way is now instead of being lambasted because of constant phone calls to media, our primary source of communication is email and now the use of Twitter and Facebook as mentioned, gives us greater insight into what is current, and who the power players are in book reviewing.

4.      What do you find is the key to generating media coverage for a book? The key to generating great media coverage for a book is utilizing time as best as one can. As a publicist time is very important. From the moment a Galley or ARC is put on our desk, the clock is ticking. We know we have 4-5 months (if we’re lucky) to disseminate a book to a curated media list which can consist of long lead print publications, perennial bloggers, digital magazines or freelance editors and writers. Another key to generating media coverage is focusing on the books topic and who the author is. I can’t stress this enough, every aspect of the author is significant. We ask questions such as; which publication(s) have reviewed the author before, where do they live and of course what the book is about, all of these facets creates a market for where and who to push the book to.

5.      What type of books do you promote? What have been some of the more successful ones? Tor/Forge Books is the primary imprint of Tom Doherty Associates LLC publishing company. It is noted for its science fiction and fantasy titles, and publishes the online science fiction magazine Tor.com. Some of our highly notable authors include: Kevin J. Anderson, Orson Scott Card, John Scalzi, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Steven Gould, Brian Herbert and Brandon Sanderson and that’s just scratching the surface! There are many debut authors who are making fantastic headlines and are sure to be noted and celebrated as influential science fiction, fantasy, thriller and mystery authors in the coming years!

6.      How do you see book publicity changing in the coming years? Book publicity is changing based on who is reviewing books. Magazines and News Papers are not publishing books at the same rate they used to. Book publicity can largely be found online. Online publications are one aspect but we are seeing that bloggers are holding considerable clout in the way books are reviewed, and how they are bought.  Book publicity is also changing in the way an author interacts with readers. Platforms like Goodreads and again book blog tours have become just as significant as physical book tours where an author travels from city to city. Publishes are seeing that there are tons of ways for authors to gain coverage purely through online initiatives.

7.      How about insights in changes in book publishing and how Tor is keeping up or even leading the way?  Tor has won the Locus Magazine poll for best science fiction publisher for 20 consecutive years since 1988 and is described on its website as "the most successful science fiction and fantasy publisher in the world." Tor is leading science fiction publishing by being authentically interested in its books and authors. Everyone who works at Tor is uniquely crafted with Geek DNA. We are passionate about our books, and passionate about what they represent. Science Fiction threads various categories of the human experience and that is something that is always conscious at Tor.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

1 comment:

  1. Hello Adynah,

    As you probably know, the Sci-fy channel covers a very wide range of matter, from the paranormal to cryptozoology to straight sci-fi.

    Do you think Tor would consider a book that has paranormal aspects with some "end of days," metaphysical aspects that science can be used to theorize or prove, or do you think Tor would reject a book with these aspects in favor of more traditional sci-fi stories and subgenres?

    Thanks for your insightful post. :)

    Kirsten Schuder

    ReplyDelete