Monday, February 12, 2018

7 Questions For: Public Relations Expert Wiley Saichek

Wiley Saichek began working in the book industry while he was still a student, providing online publicity support for novelists Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and Suzy McKee Charnas, assisting at a local used bookstore, volunteering for The Book Report Network's chat rooms and message boards on AOL, and interning in Tor/Forge's publicity and editorial departments.

From 2002-2013, Saichek spearheaded online publicity campaigns for The Book Report Network's AuthorsOnTheWeb division while also managing freelance publicity projects. He left to establish Saichek Publicity in August 2013.

And Now Wiley Saichek faces the 7 Questions:

Question Seven: What are your top three favorite books?

In adult fiction my favorite authors are Agatha Christie and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (started as a fan; she's been friend and client for many years).

In the younger reader’s space I will go with Beverly Cleary’s Ramona the Brave, Ann M. Martin’s Ten Kids, No Pets, and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (if we consider this book YA, which I am for this interview).

Question Six: Could you give us your take on a strategy to market one of your three favorite books if it were being published this year?

Pretending To Kill a Mockingbird  was being published this year and is not the classic we recognize today, I would work to get review copies to the leading publications/websites/blogs/podcasts/broadcast outlets that cover children’s & YA fiction, as well as adult fiction because of the crossover appeal. Outside of the book world I would approach outlets and organizations that cover progressive politics, Civil Rights, other racial issues, and law throughout the country, and particularly in the South. I'd consider approaching select churches as well. I would work to place excerpts and arrange interviews and op-eds/guest posts at these outlets too, and liaise with the publisher on the book tour.

I would want to get schools — middle school, junior high, and high school talking about the book by arranging in-person and/or Skype visits with Harper Lee.

In addition to the above I would advise on the author’s website, newsletter, and social media profiles, and weigh in on advertising opportunities.

Question Five: What are the typical services you provide and what results can an author reasonably expect?

My chief service is outreach. My goal is to help authors and publishers stay connected with current readers and find new readers by securing coverage (via publications, websites, blogs, and podcasts and other broadcast outlets, etc.), exploring partnerships, and helping authors maximize their online presence. I specialize in online promotion but for some campaigns I now weave in “traditional” publicity approaches. I see my role as filling in the cracks and expanding on what is being done in-house and what the author is planning to do.

I work to secure various forms of coverage, such as reviews, excerpt spotlights, giveaways, guest blogs, and interviews. Depending on the campaign in question, I also help arrange and promote appearances.

In addition to outreach services, I provide consulting services for authors who wish to handle their own publicity/marketing efforts.

When an author queries me, I first ask to see a copy of their book and ask what they know about their publisher’s in-house publicity/marketing plans.

Question Four: What sort of author and/or project(s) would you most like to work with?

I am a genre fiction reader, so I love being able to work on great books in the mystery, suspense, thriller, horror, SF/Fantasy, and historical fiction fields for adult, teen, and children’s audiences.

I love working with authors who understand the publishing process and see marketing and publicity as an ongoing, long-term endeavor.

Question Three: What is your favorite thing about what you do? What is your least favorite thing?

My favorite thing is letting people know about great books.

My least favorite thing is to have to tell clients things they are not going to like to hear.

Question Two: What one bit of wisdom would you impart to a writer marketing their book? (feel free to include as many other bits of wisdom as you like)

To try to view the marketing and publicity process as an adventure and/or a puzzle. Results may not — and probably will not — be instantaneous. My suggestion is to focus on writing the best book they can and be open to promoting it, but not obsess over the attention other authors are getting.

Question One: If you could have lunch with any writer, living or dead, who would it be? Why?

Agatha Christie. Besides being a fascinating person, she was notoriously shy. I would have loved to have been her publicist! I like to think she would have welcomed the ability to interact with her readers and to promote her books via email interviews and guest posts along with (extremely) select in-person promotions!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for interviewing me, and for everything you do!

    All best,


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