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Diving into Book Publicity (Authors Guild Launchpad Webinar #1)

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For our first Authors Guild Launchpad webinar, publicists will talk about the various components of a publicity campaign, including timelines, press materials, and the pitch. Offering both an overview of the publication process and diving more deeply into what authors can do to get the word out, panelists will discuss:

  • Differences between publicity and marketing
  • When, how, and why to hire a freelancer
  • Advice for working well in-and-out of house
  • Actions authors can take on their own
  • Current challenges in the media landscape
  • How much social media and “platforms” matter
  • Whether readings and events have an impact
  • Different ways to think about success

Speakers include freelance and in-house publicists who have worked with a variety of presses and authors. Together, they will offer big picture perspectives on publicity as well as concrete action steps to prepare for publication and beyond.


Kait Astrella is a freelance publicist helping the feminist press Dorothy, a Publishing Project with their Fall 2023 season. Previously, she worked her way up from assistant to publicist at the small but mighty independent publisher, Grove Atlantic. She is also pursuing her Master’s of Library and Information Science at Simmons University and is currently the assistant librarian at The Center for Fiction in Brooklyn.

Kathy Daneman has 25 years publishing and publicity experience, most notably at the independent, non-profit Beacon Press, and literary powerhouse Farrar, Straus and Giroux. She was a publicity director at Penguin Random House, Director of Projects and Strategic Communications for the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses, served for four years on the Brooklyn Book Festival literary council, and for three as a board member of Housing Works Bookstore Café. She founded Kathy Daneman Public Relations in 2014 and since then she has worked with Kate Beaton, Carina Chocano, Warren Ellis, Melissa Febos, Tom Gauld, Darcey Steinke, and John Wray. She is currently chair of the Manchester Arts Commission.

Bev Rivero joined the publicity team of Beacon Press in 2021 after working as the communications and marketing manager at the National Book Foundation, where she worked on the National Book Awards, promoted the Foundation’s public and educational programs, and led all social media and marketing campaigns. Prior to NBF, she was in publicity at the New Press for 6 years, where she worked with authors committed to social justice, including Paul Butler, Michelle Alexander, and many more. She has extensive experience promoting nonfiction and tailoring outreach campaigns that resonate with activists and change-makers.

Moderator: Born and raised in Malaysia, May-Zhee Lim is a writer and freelance publicist living in New York. During her time with Riverhead Books, she helped launch the careers of debut authors and expand the readership of prize-winning ones such as Pulitzer winner Hernan Diaz and Nobel Laureate Olga Tokarczuk. In 2021, she made the Publishers Weekly Star Honoree list for her creative, out-of-the-box publicity ideas, including a short story printed on cake wrapping and a pop-up reading room series around the city. Before joining book publishing, she was an executive assistant at PEN America. Currently, May-Zhee is at work on her first novel. Photo credit Juliana Sohn.