AUTHOR BOOK TOURS: Who’s Still Doing Them – And Why You Should Be, Too!

Note: We’ve addressed the issues that some of you raised related to the food and service at The Rex in 2010, and feel confident that this new year will bring some positive changes that will help keep everyone happy! –The Board

RSVP before 5pm on Wednesday, January 26 to Along with your lunch choice, PLEASE include your company name and membership status.


Monday, January 31, 2011, 12:00 to 2:00
Salon Meeting Room at Hotel Rex
562 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA (between Powell and Mason)

Who’s still doing them–and why you should be, too!

There’s a reason the San Francisco Bay Area maintains its appeal as a prime destination for touring authors–we’re a highly literate part of the country (SF was just named #6 nationwide!) with some of the best independent booksellers around. Our major daily is one of the few in the country that still has a stand alone Book Review section, and our media escorts are legendary. Naomi Epel, David Golia and Kathi Kamen Goldmark are among the best in the biz; they’ve escorted authors like Ruth Reichel, B.B. King, and Alexander McCall Smith, to name just a few.

Join us as we usher in the new year with a conversation about how a key part of book publishing and promotion–author book tours–are changing. We’ll hear how escorts are continuing to work with publishers and authors, what really are the best regional outlets for fiction and nonfiction authors, and how publicists can better partner and strategize with–and in some cases, learn from–media escorts.

Bonus for Attendees: Naomi Epel has generously agreed to share her local media list with all who attend!

NAOMI EPEL, Naomi Epel & Associates
In 1988 Naomi dropped out of grad school to start her own literary escort service after apprenticing with Joyce Cole and discovering that she could learn more directly from the authors than from reading their books for classes. She used her time behind the wheel to find out how the creative process really worked and produced two books, Writers Dreaming and The Observation Deck, by interviewing ?authors on their off time for her radio shows DreamTalk, BookTalk and Cover to Cover. Prior to 1988, Naomi had many careers including geneticist, private investigator, dream worker and market researcher. She is currently working on a book about the alphabet.

DAVID GOLIA, Golia Media Services
After spending many years bartending and playing music for drunks, David Golia needed a job. Kathi Kamen Goldmark, said “Hey come work for me!? I babysit authors who are here on book tour. It’s just like bartending and playing music for drunks but the people you work with are a lot smarter.” When Kathi decided to become a famous author herself, David took over helm and Golia Media Services was born. GMS is going into its 11th year and although there are fewer authors out on tour, David says, “It’s still a lot of fun.”

MODERATOR: Kathi Kamen Goldmark, a former media escort, will moderate this discussion which is sure to include some of the best stories ever. Kathi has worked on publicity campaigns for nearly every major publisher. She is the author of one novel, And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You; has co-authored or contributed to numerous other books; and writes BookPage’s Author Enablers column with her husband, Sam Barry. Kathi is the founder and a member of the Rock Bottom Remainders, producer of the radio show West Coast Live, and winner of the 2008 Women’s National Book Association Award. She lives in San Francisco. Visit her at

Please note: To better serve our membership, we are now photographing select events for archival and promotional purposes. If you plan to attend this event but do not wish to be filmed, please state this preference when you RSVP.



1. Cobb SALAD
Romaine lettuce, hard-boiled egg, avocado, tomato, bacon, blue cheese, diced chicken in a honey-mustard dressing (Please note: Cobb Salad can be prepared with no meat, please request in your RSVP.)

2. Grilled SALMON
Filet with white truffle risotto, tomato beurre blanc

All meals include bread and butter, and soda, coffee, and assorted teas. A platter of cookies and lemon bars will be placed in the middle of each table for dessert.

RSVP before 5pm on Wednesday, January 26 to Along with your lunch choice, PLEASE include your company name and current membership status.

If you RSVP and then are unable to attend, to avoid being billed you must submit your cancellation via email three business days prior to the event.

COST: Members $30.00, Non-Members $45.00. Cash/checks only. Sorry, we do not accept credit cards.

LOCATION: Hotel Rex is located at 562 Sutter Street between Powell and Mason. The nearest BART station is POWELL. For driving directions, visit

We look forward to seeing you on Monday, January 31!


Addendum to January Program


Thank you to Rosie Levy Merlin, Program Outreach Librarian at the San Francisco Public Library, who shared some her of knowledge and expertise when she appeared on our January program panel.

Rosie sent along this extra bit of information about ensuring successful author events. “These social media cards seem like a cool thing/tool that authors could print and have at their live events that would help extend their reach post-event. Author on one side, book on the other with all the relevant names and links….”

Check out this post from The ‘M’ Word – Marketing Libraries blog about how one library is exploring this new tool.



Member Receives Press for New Book

Member Jacqueline Widmar Stewart of Lexicus Press received great publicity for her new book, Finding Slovenia: A Guide to Old Europe’s New Country, on PaloAltoOnline.

In the spirit of sharing information about what works, we asked Jacqueline how this coverage came about:

The Palo Alto Weekly is our city paper with a wonderful staff of people concerned about both local and global matters. When we set up a foundation for education of East Palo Alto youth in 1993, they supported – and continue to support – our effort to help the children. Whatever community issue we’ve undertaken, the paper has taken an active interest.

I dropped off a copy of my first book to them when it first came out, and I did the same with my second. Since a local bookstore was having my book-signing on Saturday, they put it in Friday’s newspaper – nice for both of us!

From my perspective, building relationships founded on common purpose in a community benefits the parties in myriad ways. I’m using ‘community’ in the larger sense, whether an actual political entity or a group of writers. Trust plays an important role here because it develops over time and circumstances.”

Thanks for sharing the back story, Jacqueline, and congrats!

Happy Tuesday

What an exciting time it is to be in the publishing industry! As publicists and marketing professionals, we are coming up with innovative ways of publicizing and marketing books. And authors, who are more than often faced with no or a very small marketing budget, also are exploring interesting ways of promoting their work.

I’m really impressed with how author Stephen Elliot promoted his new book. He wrote an essay in The New York Times describing his do-it-yourself book tour in which he did readings in people’s homes.

I look forward to more stories like this as the publishing industry evolves.

Are you registered yet for the January event? We are accepting walk-ins so don’t miss this opportunity to learn effective ways of pitching and planning events at some of the Bay Area’s premier venues for authors.

Have you renewed your NCBPMA membership? I just sent in my membership in time to take advantage of the $25 discount if you get it in by January 31st. You might have received a letter in the mail about the many benefits of membership.

Luncheon Learn: Blogs

Meredith Stanton over at Jossey-Bass sent these points she took down at the most recent NCBPMA luncheon:

Some Facts about Blogs:

·         36.2 million people participate in blogs

·         15 million bloggers are women with a median age of 30  

The 3 main reasons people choose to blog are:

·         Looking for a community

·         They left the workplace and blogging keeps them professionally active

·         Pure sanity Continue reading