Tuesday, June 19, 2018

7 Questions For: Public Relations Expert Joshua Redlich

Josh Redlich is a Publicist for Random House Children's Books, where he works with authors like Mary Pope Osborne, Louis Sachar, Jay Kristoff, Gennifer Choldenko and Marisha Pessl to promote their works. He formerly worked at Sterling Publishing on titles ranging from children's picture books to adult nonfiction.

Josh is also the Chair of the Young to Publishing Group (YPG) and Co-Chair of the Publisher's Publicity Association (PPA) planning committees.

And Now Joshua Redlich faces the 7 Questions:

Question Seven: What are your top three favorite books?

This is NOT an easy question. I have a lot more than three. But if I had to choose . . . well, I’d probably cheat and give three series instead.

1. Harry Potter by . . . what’s her name again?
2. The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede
3. The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss

(And the Oz books and His Dark Materials and Mistborn and The Chronicles of Narnia and Red Rising and Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell and The Phantom Tollbooth and The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine and The Inquisitor’s Tale and The Night Circus and Uprooted . . .)

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?

For a book I love as much as these, I would probably do a special media mailing of some sort, way in advance of the book’s release. I’d include nice packaging, and maybe an author letter and some sort of book-related swag to make it stand out from all the other book mail they receive each day and really drive home that this is a book worth their attention. I’d also try to arrange a lot of in-person meetings with media personnel so I can tell them about the book face-to-face.

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

As a publicist, my job is twofold: media outreach (which includes drafting press materials, sending out ARC and finished book mailings to media personnel, and extensive follow up in pursuit of book reviews and features) and events (which includes everything from a launch event and local school visits to national tours and festival and con appearances).

As for results? That’s a tricky question. In truth, an author can’t really expect anything. Those in media who handle book coverage receive far more books a day than they are able to feature, so there’s never a guarantee that a particular book will be featured, and probably a much larger chance that it won’t be.

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

I’m a total fantasy nerd (if my list of “three’ favorites didn’t give that away), and that’s what I love to work on, too. But I can get behind just about any children’s books (YA in particular), and I enjoy working on graphic novels, too.

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

There is A LOT I love about my job, not least of which is that I get to talk about books all day. I get to spread the word about books I love and help them find readers, which will never stop being exciting. And I get to work with a host of really incredible authors, like Mary Pope Osborne, whose Magic Tree House series I read when I was 6, and Rachel Hartman, whose Seraphina is another favorite of mine.

My least favorite thing about my job? It starts at 9am… 

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)

Build your social presence. We live in a digital world, and the best way to reach the parents, children, teachers, librarians, and other potential book buyers is to go where they are—online! Maintaining an active social media account is time consuming, but it is definitely worthwhile. Twitter is my preferred social platform, though illustrators should definitely be on Instagram, as well. Google can probably provide better tips on how to grow your social presence that I can, but I would recommend engaging with other members of the literary world (authors, book bloggers, etc.) and sharing their news as well as your own. You won’t get followers by only talking about your own book.

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

J.K. Rowling. I would not be in children’s book publishing today if it wasn’t for her and Harry Potter. (But don’t ask me what I’d say to her. I’d probably just stare open-mouthed, drool a little, and then ask her to sign my Harry Potter yarmulke, which I wore just about every day from age 13 to 22.)

1 comment:

  1. What fun to "meet" Mr. Redlich, who has been kindly sending me ARCs to review for a while! Interesting that he loves fantasy so much, when from my perspective there almost seems to be a disproportionately large amount of it published. And yes, a nice package with a book and some swag would definitely encourage me to move something to the top of my pile, and would definitely make it easier to tweet about. Thanks for such an interesting look into the life of someone who gets to sleep in and go to work at 9 a.m.! ; )


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