Saturday, May 2, 2020

Interview With Author Hilary JM Topper, MPA

 Branding in a Digital World: How to Take an Integrated Marketing Approach to Building a Business by [Hilary JM Topper MPA]
1. What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a book?
In 2009, I wrote and published my first book, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Social Media but were afraid to ask – building business using consumer generated media. Every year, thereafter, I would think about re-writing that book. About six years ago, I started teaching a course at Hofstra University called, Digital Communications. During the course, I asked the students to build a brand out of their passion. After teaching for several years, I had an “aha” moment - why not write a book to help students, entrepreneurs, and small business owners? This book helps to set a business apart from their competition by focusing on one’s passion.

2. What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted reader?
The book is a do-it-yourself workbook. It shows the reader how to build an integrated marketing plan and implement that plan. I’ve included chapters on popular social networking sites, how to build an ambassador program, working with influencers, how to write a blog, and more. There’s a chapter on search engine optimization and the newest social media site, TikTok, and how to use it to build your brand. I even have a whole section dedicated to non-profit organizations and their use of digital communications along with how to deal with a crisis on social media.  The target audience is someone who wants a career change, an entrepreneur, or a small business owner.

3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? What should remain with them long after putting it down?
I hope that readers know that I understand how to market a product or service and that this book will help them learn from an expert. In terms of what should remain with them after they put the book down -- The most important thing is to prepare a plan. Once you have that plan and know who your buyer personas are, then you know how to market and set yourself apart from your competitors.

4. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers?
The process is long and tedious at times, but once it’s finished, it is rewarding. I compare this process to a triathlon or an Ironman. You spend long hours training and then when the big day comes and you cross the finish line, you feel a sense of accomplishment.

5. What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?
Personally, I love reading hard copy books. I’m distracted by digital versions. However, I do see that digital books is where trends seem to be heading.
6. What great challenges did you have in writing your book?
I think the hardest part for me was going back and finding all the research to put in the end notes. (I kept messing up the numbers and had to go back and redo several times. That became very frustrating.)

7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?
If you want to change careers or you are an entrepreneur who wants to start a business, this book will help get you to where you want to be. If you are a small business owner, this book will help you position your business in a different way so that you can outsmart and outlast your competition.

Hilary is chief curator of and She is also a podcaster at In addition, she is an Adjunct Professor at Hofstra University. Topper is the CEO of HJMT Public Relations, Inc. She is In her free time, she coordinates a running group and a triathlon club, WeRTriathletes. For more info, please check out:


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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2020. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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