Forests, Alligators, Battlefields – How to tell the world about national parks and my book

Rowe Copeland
Rowe Copeland

As I’m writing this, several politicians have announced their candidacy for president of the United States. The election will occur on Tuesday November 8, 2016. That’s over a year and a half from now.

But you know what else is happening next year? The National Park Service is turning 100 years old. We’ll be celebrating all year, though the official date is August 25, 2016.

My book, Forests, Alligators, Battlefields will also be coming out in April, 2016. How can I even hope to get any coverage? I need a book publicist.

Right now I’ve got an editor, a consultant and a book designer. It wasn’t easy to settle on a book publicist, especially since I’m adamant that I wanted to meet everyone I hired. So no Nooo York publicist.

Also, unlike an editor or book designer, it’s not as easy to evaluate the work of a publicist. I had read some horror stories about publicists who promised the moon but didn’t deliver. Of course, no one can promise that you’ll get on NPR’s Fresh Air or in my case, in Backpacker Magazine.

But a book publicist should help me get book reviews, get into bookstores and outdoor stores where I don’t have contacts and find me opportunities for guest blogs. This is kind of the minimum. But with my book, I want someone who would like my book and enjoy publicizing it.

I contacted four regional publicists. One was not enthusiastic and not in the outdoors at all. Two looked promising but all they kept telling me is how busy they were and books from independent publishers were sooo hard to market. That kind of attitude was not a good start for a relationship.

Rowe Copeland, the Book Concierge, was very enthusiastic. She had worked with Andra Watkins who wrote Not without my Father, about her walk on the Natchez Parkway. Rowe had even been in Ocmulgee National Monument. This is her full-time business. We seemed to click.

Greenville sculpture
Greenville sculpture

We met in Greenville, SC, where she lives. It’s a pleasant town and easy to get to from Asheville, not a requirement but a nice bonus. The pig is one of many interesting features in downtown Greenville.

It’s not too early to hire a publicist, given that the good ones get booked up. You certainly don’t want to wait until you publish your book to try to figure out how to market it.

So as I start marketing my book, you’ll hear all about it here. I’m excited.





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