Scott Manning is the CEO of Scott Manning & Associates. For more than 30 years, Scott has created and implemented public relations campaigns for a wide variety of authors and literary organizations. His experience includes special events planning and media placement via long-standing contacts with print and online journalists, book reviewers and broadcast producers.
Scott held positions at Harper & Row, Avon Books and William Morrow before starting Scott Manning & Associates in 1995.
Scott is also a speaker at DBW 2017, where he will discuss best practices for working with the media to promote a book project.
We spoke with Scott about this session, as well as how authors can step up their marketing and PR efforts.
You’re the CEO of Scott Manning & Associates. What types of services does your agency offer?
We are essentially a public relations firm, launching new books and representing authors, publishers and literary organizations. As a small company, though, we can also be nimble and not limit ourselves to publicity campaigns. For instance, we recently consulted with a museum and library to create a book from scratch and develop an in-house publishing program.
Do you believe that events can still be an effective component of an author’s marketing strategy?
Yes, absolutely—but like anything else, events must be chosen strategically. Authors should only appear in places where they can partner with the venue to turn out a crowd.
What PR and marketing tactics are critical for authors at any level?
They should know their audience, and focus on how best to reach them. This idea pervades all aspects of a campaign. When establishing effective social media platforms, focus on the communities that will support your work. Jump in and become part of the conversation long before publication. When it comes time to find the right traditional media for coverage, don’t waste time (yours, or more importantly, theirs) on outlets that are not the right fit. Same thing goes for venues, and any other marketing efforts you decide to undertake.
We’re going to start off talking about how digital has changed what we do. The panelists represent both broadcast and print media, but they are no longer restricted by those boundaries. How has that changed how they do their jobs, and specifically how they cover books and authors?
What made you want to be a part of DBW 2017?
How could I not want to be part of this panel? It includes stellar media contacts whom I have known for a long, long time—plus a powerhouse in-house publicist who is also a colleague on one of my current projects. I love having conversations about the current state of the media. This time, I’ll just be doing it in public.
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