An Interview with Stephanie Barko

Stephanie BarkoToday I welcome  Stephanie Barko to my series of interviews. Stephanie will be presenting at the Historical Novels Society Conference as a literary publicist. In the workshop Building an Effective Platform for your Historical, Stephanie will lead attendees through her proprietary exercises that coax a book’s platform to the surface.  Welcome, Stephanie.

Q: What does a typical day look like in your job as a literary publicist?

A: My day begins with black coffee, a lit candle, a gratitude list and soul writing (a la Janet Conner).

After listening to a guided meditation through a headset, I clean up my email before beginning to execute client deliverables. During my day, I may be shipping galleys for pre-pub review, pitching radio producers, subcontracting for a colleague in Manhattan, or arranging a virtual tour. Depending on the season of the year, I will be working in some yoga, aqua aerobics, Tai Chi or walking to keep my brain oxygenated during the work week. I break to cook dinner and then get right back to it during the evening unless there’s something I can’t bear to miss on PBS.

Q: What do you like most about promoting historical novels and nonfiction?

A: My favorite task during a contract is research–researching journalists for a media list, researching the top Technorati book bloggers, or researching the best endorser candidates for a client’s book. The pre-pub phase is when I can add the most value, and that’s the part of a campaign I enjoy the most.

Q: What do you like the LEAST about your job?

A: Redirecting stray prospects who have queried for my services without doing their homework.

Q: What can historical novelists and nonfiction authors do to help you help THEM?

A: A good start would be to approach me with a publisher already on board, a release date, an edited manuscript, and professionally designed cover still in progress, and a list o potential or actual endorsers.

We’ve now reached the time in our interview for the let’s-get-to-know-the-interviewee-better, nearly-pointless, sort-of-silly, rapid-fire questions:

Coffee or tea?  Organic French Roast

Ocean or Mountain: Mountains of the American West

Hiking or shopping? Hiking

Violin or piano? Piano

Mystery or fantasy: Mystery

Darcy or Heathcliff? Darcy

Love scene or death scene? Death scene

For more information about Stephanie Barko and her work, visit her website, read about her at Literary Marketplace or visit her in your favorite online milleu:

Thanks, Stephanie!

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