LF: Please introduce yourself.
MM: Hi there,
My name is Mickey Mikkelson, and I am an independent publicist with a Canadian company called Creative Edge Publicity. Despite the fact that we are Canadian, we have media relations and connections internationally.
LF: How did you get into being a publicist?
MM: I previously set up book events and worked with a number of authors through the retail world. When I left that business, a friend of mine published a book and asked me to book her a couple of book signings. Suffice it to say, two book signings turned into over six signings and through that opportunity I was able to start networking with other authors and publishers. Two years later, I now work with over 30 clients, multiple Award Winners, and three NY Times Best Selling Authors. In addition, we also have extensive and international media connections in Print, Radio, and TV.
LF: What do you do as a publicist?
MM: We arrange the following:
- Book Signing Opportunities
- Interviews in all media aspects including TV, Print, and Radio
- Interviews with Bloggers, Podcasters, and Magazines
- Arrange for book reviews with magazines and professional book reviewers
- Give Sales tips on how to sell books at signings
We also focus on multi – layered marketing and we change our marketing strategy based on the client. For example, if signings are not effective for a specific author then we change our platform and focus on more of an online or interview aspect. Its all about finding what the author’s strengths are and then leveraging those tools for optimum efficiency.
LF: Why do you think it is important for someone to consider hiring a publicist?
MM: I think its important for someone to hire a publicist if they are ready to work with a publicist.
Authors have to have a vision and an idea of what they want to do from a marketing platform and strategy. For those authors, a publicist can give an author immediate recognition, save them time so they can concentrate on writing, and have a key member of their team to bounce ideas off of and help the author execute their plan. Authors who don’t have a book published yet, don’t have a direction of what they want to do, or are not willing to take the work seriously should not consider a publicist.
LF: Are there ‘bad’ publicists out there?
MM: I can’t really comment on this question first hand as there are always going to be reasons why a work relationship doesn’t work. Ninety percent of the time, that is due to personality differences and I have a few of these myself in the last two years.
However, having said that, I have heard feedback from authors who have told me they have hired publicists who take a large advance up front, only to find that they have been ineffective in obtaining interviews or setting up multi-strategy platforms. The key thing for Creative Edge is that we never guarantee or promise media, however we also do not take payment until services are booked and I am told by my clients – that is the key difference that separates us from other firms.
LF: Anything else you would like to add?
MM: Just a big thank you for interviewing me!!
I have done about 4 books so far with Mickey, so far its been a great experience. I have asked if his Authors would like interviews or blog post done, and he has gotten back to me instantly. He also teased me with his Author list, forcing a kid at a candy store to pick some sweeties out. So many good books, damn it. Also, I have referred some people to him who have wanted to read some of his Author’s work. So free books anyone?
How did he go about landing a career as a publicist?
He made it a career himself.
Specifically the beginning. He mentioned setting up book events. Was that strictly with authors he met via word of mouth?
Great interview Laura. I have to be pretty organised for my job but I think folks who sort out book marketing like this are on a whole different level of organisation!!!
Really enjoyed his thoughts on ‘good vs bad’ publicists 😉