Notes From…Brown Bag Lunch Series

By Katie Sheehan

The Brown Bag lunch program was held at the Wiley offices in downtown San Francisco in July. About 10 folks attended with their brown bag lunches. Wiley was a generous host and offered guests, coffee, soda, and water to accompany their lunch.

The topic for the lunch was BEA 2009 and guests were lucky enough to share in the experiences of Adrienne Biggs, Independent Publicist, and Monique Nunnenkamp, Publicity Director at New World Library.

Here were some observations on the floor:

Fewer book giveaways
Random house and Harper Collins giving out eGalleys
Attendance was way down – for both book buyers and book sellers

Here were some observations about the programs:

Heavy emphasis on social networking, especially Twitter
Anyone not on Twitter was known as having the “Twitter Jitters”
Adrienne Biggs highly recommended buying Chris Brogan’s book, “Trust Agents” (Wiley, Fall 2009). He has 85,000 followers on Twitter and after seeing him speak she was convinced that his information is valid and worthwhile.

Advice from the program – Meet the Producers of Night Time Talk Shows

Bill Maher – Be honest, don’t lie about your author!

Stephen Colbert – Beware that talking to Colbert is like talking to a drunk in a bar…he is filled with misinformation. Don’t let the author be funny. Only Stephen gets to be funny!

John Stuart – The pitch should be “short and sassy!” Pitch the argument not the author.

Advice from the Blogger Panels – Bloggers are the new hand sellers and the new buzz-builders. Some of the biggest Book blogs are GalleyCat, My Cozy Book Nook, Sarah Weinman, and Ann Kingman. Some top mommy bloggers are Stephanie Coleman, Jennifer Heart, Amy Riley, Dawn Rennert, and bookclubgirl.com.

In a nutshell, these were the learnings and the takeaways.

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