About Darlene Chan PR
You wrote the book, now tell the world about it.
In January 2009, I established Darlene Chan PR to address authors’ growing need for a publicist who understands the power of bloggers and websites to reach potential readers.
Since then, a variety of authors have utilized my services:
- Authors with major publishers whose marketing arms are unable to devote enough time to the publicity of a book.
- Indie authors whose small press has limited resources to launch a book.
- Self-published authors who are looking for PR for their print and digital titles.
- Authors who need guidance on the best way to leverage social media and their blogs for publicity.
- Authors who want to build a platform for an embryonic project in order to attract a book agent or publisher.
The mission of this company is to connect clients with readers across the digital landscape by getting them attention on blogs, sites, and social media.
Publishing and marketing a book used to be a simple thing – the publisher took care of it all. The PR department would send a carton of new books to reviewers at print publications across the nation, and critics would pick and choose what to read. Sometimes the publicist would nudge a little more or try to focus on a particular critic who might like a certain book. If you were lucky, the New York Times or the New York Review of Books would give you a few column inches and you could take that review to the bank. But with the rise of bloggers, web publication and social media, a major shift happened, and with it a digital democratization. Some bloggers had a bigger reach than reviewers with print publications, and some even attained the same credibility level. Social media completed the paradigm shift and suddenly microblogging on Facebook and Twitter surpassed the reach an author could attain on a multi-city tour. At around the same time, another pattern arose: publishing houses began merging. As a result, the PR and marketing departments grew slightly, but not enough to accommodate the much larger numbers of authors who needed representation. Now, it’s fairly standard for an author to get a few weeks in the PR spotlight with a publisher, and then be left by the side of the virtual book aisle. The big name authors take up all the oxygen in the room and an author with no name recognition who scores a short time in the limelight is expected to go back to the drawing board to write the next book, and the weak cycle is perpetuated.
The company’s philosophy is simple: It’s great to be featured on the book page of HuffPo and be exposed to thousands for a few hours before you get pushed down and disappear by the end of the day. But I think it’s more effective to find blogs that have readers who are most likely to respond to the subject of your book, and at the end be converted to buyers. Even if there are 1000 Twitter fans for that blog, the likelihood is good that those dedicated followers will click through, read the post, add your title to their to-read list and then buy the book. In truth, exposure on both levels is great, but the publishers’ publicists don’t have the time or manpower to drill down and fine tune their submission list to bloggers who actually write daily about the genre that is relevant to your new book.
Authors with publishers have come to me to fill in the gaps that are ignored. Past conventional wisdom is that the push for a book ends after the paperback release, but with the Internet, that rule doesn’t apply anymore. The web is a great place to keep a book alive for longer periods. Some clients have come to me more than a year after launch, and there was more publicity to be mined from blogs and websites that were missed the first time around. This is especially true if an author is able to update a nonfiction title and offer it in a digital format, or launch the print and digital versions of their book at different times.
Web PR for self-publication and independent publishing is still a relatively new area, and in the past year a number of authors who have gone that route have used my services. Because they have no publisher infrastructure to help launch or publicize their books, they found that web PR is an effective way to use their dollars. Many respected literary bloggers have refused to review indie or self-published books — they feel that a major publisher is a sure way to divide the wheat from the chaff. But that rule has been relaxed of late , especially in the area of nonfiction. Unfortunately, self-published/independent fiction is still not accepted with every literary blogger, but I have working relationships with bloggers who are ready to judge a book on its merits, not its pedigree.
Varied genres of authors have been represented: memorists, political writers, comics, historical fiction, YA, crime fiction, literary fiction, chick lit, geek, vampire fiction, and even two films so far. Past clients have been published with major houses, indie houses and self-published. Most have been print, but books available only in digital formats have also been represented. Darlene Chan PR has helped would-be authors establish reader “cred” by building a platform to launch a winning idea for a book in order to attract a publisher or agent. These authors learned to blog and microblog, build unique visitor numbers for their sites, as well as “likes” and followers for their social media streams.
I look forward to talking to you about your book. Each project has its own special need and I always love the challenge of how to best help you find the readers who will appreciate your words.