Monday, October 6, 2008

Guest Blogger: Author Publicist Tom Robinson

No smoke, no mirrors

“The authors really do put it out there on the line…no smoke, no mirrors,” I said, when an author recently asked me to explain a comment I’d made about why I admire them. Astonished, she looked around, wondering if I was talking to a bystander.“So, you’re saying you admire me?” she asked, half-smiling.

“Sure I do.” I didn’t really know the author. But the point is at the end of the process wordsmiths lay themselves out there for the world to make its own judgment. I’m an author publicist/media consultant observing the situation from Nashville. I’m allowed the privilege to view this from the outside looking in. You write from your soul, thus you expose your soul. You creatively weave 85,000 words or so, showing people who you are. Regardless if you write fiction or non-fiction, it’s a large slice of yourself and what makes you tick. Then you leave it to readers to draw their own conclusions. It’s a bold step, indeed.

The heart behind this bold step plays a very strong role in what I try to achieve for the author. Your work is a passion. It might as well be your heart and soul imprinted on the book cover. You’ve poured over endless research, writing and re-writing to get it right and make it flow. That’s essential for me to understand and convey as I work not just to promote the book, but in the broader picture help the author develop and enhance a brand image.

A debut author, counting the days until the first book hit the stores, frantically asked me, “What the hell have I done? I write this stuff in seclusion for myself and now everyone will see who I am.” I’ve found that to be the reaction of most debut authors I’ve worked with. “What you wrote is very good,” I replied. “You did your work, it’s what you wanted to write and it’s a topic you know. Maybe this writing profession you’ve chosen is just good therapy.“ “No, now I’ll need therapy,E2 the author replied.

In the end the debut author came through it all to write another book. Whether it’s book one or book one hundred, you’re always laying your soul out there. I believe it is the true reason why your readers admire you. Certainly, you are an extension of them, what they want to be and what they wish they could express. That’s why they treat their favorite authors like rock stars.

You might be writing from your home in Myrtle Beach, Atlanta or Nashville. But you’ve touched the emotional chord of readers in Baton Rouge, Birmingham, Boston, Bakersfield and Bismark. If you’re lucky some of them are reviewers.

I enjoy observing how readers take on a child-like enthusiasm when meeting their favorite authors. It's awesome and very genuine. Like authors, they’re laying it on the line…no smoke, no mirrors.

Tom Robinson, a former journalist, is now an author publicist/media consultant representing authors across the country. He resides in the Nashville area. His website is

1 comment:

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