Friday, January 23, 2009

31 Ways to Prepare for Small Press Month (March)

1. Contact your local bookstore or library and suggest they put together a special display for National Small Press Month. You can obtain posters from: Small Press Month Coordinator at IBPA, the Independent Book Publishers Association, 627 Aviation Way, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, Phone 310/372-2732. Or email Please order in sets of two.

2. Suggest that your local bookstore offer a discount off Small Press titles this month. Offer a special discount on all of your titles.

3. Hold a seminar on "How to Get Published" or on a subject related to your books. You might wish to cooperate with other small presses in your area to get this event off to a roaring start. You might wish to charge a nominal fee for the seminar.

4. Contact the book review editor at your daily newspaper about any events that you plan. Also speak to the features editor. The business editor is always interested in a successful publishing story.

5. Send IBPA your list of participating bookstores and libraries so that they may recieve Small Press Month Materials.

6. Be sure to inform IBPA and The New York Center for Independent Publishing (NYCIP) about any activities you have planned for Small Press Month. IBPA would like to include your information when contacting the media. Please send your plans to

7. Get in touch with weekly papers in your area about events and submit the information to the listings editor.

8. Approach an interviewer at a local radio station about airing a segment regarding the problems and rewards of running a small press, or set one up for an author.

9. Make arrangements with any local non-bookstore outlet that is appropriate for any of your books. For example, if you publish cookbooks a grocery store might display them up near the check-out for Small Press Month, particularly with a special discount as an incentive.

10. Try for an interview at your local daily paper or the weekly paper, remember that the media is always pleased to find that there are successful publishers and writers in the neighborhood. So pitch not only yourself, but also your colleagues.

11. If you have a personable, articulate author who is available to speak in his or her area, try setting up interviews with local television or radio stations.

12. Schedule an interview for yourself at your local television station for National Small Press Month. Be sure to offer visuals if available. Footage of an author doing exciting research in a jungle, a sports book author on the ski slopes, for instance, would be helpful to getting TV time. Focus on the unique angles of your books and authors.

13. Band together with other small presses and compile a display of titles in a subject area. Offer your library the ready-made exhibit of locally published books in the areas you choose.

14. Find a college or university that would be receptive to a roundtable discussion on a topic like "What is a Free Press" or "The First Amendment and the Mass Media."

15. Schedule a talk to elementary, junior high, or high school students about how to become an author which could be a highlight of school programs during the month.

16. Use excerpts from a current or upcoming book on your website. Remembering that an entire excerpt, a whole recipe, for example, is more productive than a tantalizing tidbit.

17. Arrange readings and signings from your list to be held during National Small Press Month at your local bookstore and library.

18. Plan a group reading or event with other local independent presses and make a night out of it.

19. Take National Small Press Month posters to your local bookstore or library and be sure that they are displayed and distributed.

20. Join with other small presses and take out a co-op ad in your local newspaper.

21. Be sure that clubs or local organizations to which you belong display a poster about National Small Press Month and has your catalogue available as a handout for Small Press Month.

22. Keep your alumni magazine up to date about you and your small press.

23. Host a wine-a-cheese party in your office for the press, booksellers and other friends of your publishing house. Celebrate National Small Press Month!

24. Gather together all your press cuttings and document the successes of National Small Press Month and please send to Karin Taylor for use next year. Send to The New York Center for Independent Publishing (NYCIP), 20 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036.

25. Link to the Small Press Month websites from your own: or

26. Send out e-mails to your customer mailing list announcing the approach of National Small Press Month, and the events you have planned. A weekly digest of news would be an effective way to keep the momentum going throughout March.

27. Contact other small and independent arts organizations in your area - record labels, theaters, and art galleries, for example - and link to each other's websites, promote each other's events, and support the independent arts community!

28. Run a contest through your e-mail newsletter, asking for ten titles of famous independently published books.

29. Contact other independent publishers and set up a small book fair during the month at a local college or community center.

30. Evaluate author's pitches. Offer to set up a program at a bookstore or library where authors, with the understanding that you are there to give general advice, can make a five minute pitch to you about their manuscript.

31. Look over the previous 30 suggested ideas and let us know which ones provided the most response.

Provided by:
Lisa Krebs Magno
Assistant Director
Independent Book Publishers Association (formerly PMA)
627 Aviation Way
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266


Sunday, November 30, 2008


Author, teacher, director, Peter Kahle is a past president of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association and co-author of Naked at the Podium: The writer’s guide to successful readings. 74th Street Productions ISBN 09655702-3-1

1.) Turn On The Speakers In Your Head

•Prepare yourself before you go onstage, as MC or as the Main Event. Your head has a built-in speaker system to make your voice fuller and more powerful. Your sinuses can resonate your voice.
•Hum. Search for the note that feels best in your throat. That is the power center of your vocal range. Hum until your lips buzz faintly. That brings your voice forward into the mouth, and into your speaker system.
•Tongue-twisters to get your mouth ready. Phrases from your report, or generic ones like Peter Piper or ‘Red leather yellow leather black leather yellow leather.’

2.) How To Handle A Heckler

•Your first response? Read the room. Is there staff present? Someone sitting down beside the heckler can help control the situation. The author may not need to respond at all.
•Think of school teachers, how they retain their cool and keep control of the situation. Or think Don Rickles, or Chris Rock, and shoot back. The book in question should determine the response. Depends on how quick you feel.
•Say “Thank you,” and move on instantly.

3.) Carry Your Own Questions (2 copies)

•Never rely on the audience to ask the first question. Don’t let the silence drag out too long, or people feel uncomfortable.
•Always prepare 3 questions about the book. If you can find a shill in the audience, give them your list. Will booksellers be present during the Q & A? Share question lists BEFORE the event begins.
•Design your questions so that the answers lead to other questions. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.

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