PublishHER Podcast Episode 107: PR & Marketing for Authors with Paige Dungan

PublishHER Podcast Episode 107: PR & Marketing for Authors with Paige Dungan

Are you an author struggling to get noticed? In this episode, Paige Duncan reveals her PR secret to breaking into the magazine world and landing on bestseller lists.

Paige Dungan is a publicist who helps authors become best sellers. We discuss the key action steps to launching your book, utilizing media and reviews to sell more books.

To become a bestseller, focus on growing your email list, building relationships with media contacts, and engaging with your target audience on social media. Lay the foundation for success and watch your book sales soar. – Paige Dungan

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How to identify key media outlets, journalists, and influencers in your niche or industry, and create a plan to reach out to them and land coverage for your book.
  • Being a source of expertise for magazines – reach out to the editors with information for potential stories
  • Utilizing your BYLINE in articles to gain more attention
  • When to start your marketing efforts and the key things you need to be doing
  • The importance of your email list
  • Why National media is critical if you want to land on a best sellers list
  • Why you need to GET SOCIAL

Explore Bestseller Campaigns

Bestseller campaigns are a core focus of book PR and marketing efforts, requiring careful planning and strategic execution. Traditionally, such campaigns need to kick off at least six months prior to a book's release to build up sufficient momentum. The result is heightened buzz around the book launch, increased chances of securing a spot on prestigious bestseller lists, and wider reach to the target audience, all of which can contribute significantly to achieving robust book sales.

Key Takeaways

  • Boost your book sales with effective marketing and PR strategies that maximize visibility and reach.
  • Break into the magazine world and get featured in publications, expanding your author platform and attracting new readers.
  • Use these proven bestseller campaigns and strategies that can help you land on traditional bestseller lists and position yourself as a successful author.
  • Develop a comprehensive marketing strategy that encompasses various channels and tactics to effectively promote your book and connect with your target audience.
  • Leverage the power of social media to promote your books, engage with your readers, and build a loyal fan base.

Memorable Moments:

00:05:26 – Breaking into Magazines,
One way for authors to break into magazines is by submitting original content through a byline strategy. Magazines often have lean teams and are in need of content. Building relationships with editors is also important for getting featured in magazines.

00:09:11 – Bestseller Campaigns,
Bestseller campaigns can take different forms, including traditional bestsellers like the New York Times list, Amazon bestsellers, and trade magazine bestsellers. Traditional bestsellers require a strong marketing and PR strategy, starting at least six months in advance, and focusing on paid ads, funnels, email lists, and national media coverage.

00:15:18 – Overcoming Self-Doubt and Asking for Reviews,
Paige emphasizes the importance of overcoming self-doubt as an author and encourages authors to ask for reviews. She reminds authors that they are the expert and should have confidence in their work.

00:29:45 – Introduction to Quora,
Paige explains how Quora is an amazing platform where writers and publishers can ask and answer questions. Users can engage with the content by voting and commenting, making it a valuable tool for authors to promote their books.

00:30:56 – Using Google to Find Trending Questions,
Paige shares a strategy for using Google to find trending questions related to the theme of your book. By answering these questions on Quora, authors can reach a larger audience and build a following.

Learn more at:

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PublishHER Podcast Episode 106: Collaboration in Book Marketing with Pam Sheppard

PublishHER Podcast Episode 106: Collaboration in Book Marketing with Pam Sheppard

Alexa Bigwarfe had the chance to sit down face to face with Pam Sheppard, Auntie Pam as we call her in the WIP Summit Community, to discuss a range of topics, including literary citizenship, collaboration, and the importance of engagement in the marketplace when marketing your book.

In this episode of the PublishHer Podcast, host Alexa Bigwarfe interviews Pam Sheppard, a seasoned professional in the publishing industry. They delve into the topic of effectively positioning books in the marketplace and provide valuable insights for indie authors looking to gain visibility and engagement for their books. With Pam's extensive experience as a sales representative and market smart consultant, she brings a wealth of knowledge to the conversation. By leveraging Pam's expertise and industry knowledge, authors can achieve greater success and reach a wider audience with their books. Tune in to learn practical strategies and techniques for effectively positioning your book in today's competitive market.

Collaborating with fellow authors can lead to incredible opportunities and support. From blurbs to newsletter swaps, there are endless ways to come together and promote each other's work. – Pam Shepard

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How to unearth the benefits and necessities that collaboration introduces in the dynamic landscape of publishing.
  • Explore the powerful impact of diversity in shaping fruitful collaborations.
  • Grasp dynamic techniques to assert your book's position effectively in the competitive market.
  • Witness the significance of uplifting fellow authors through literary citizenship and what that means.
  • Decipher the relevance of the perspective on professional services payments in publishing.


Authors Supporting Authors

Collaboration plays a key role in the publishing industry. Not only does it cultivate the habit of sharing knowledge and resources, it also builds mutual respect amongst authors and service providers. By working together, we can create something far greater than what we could achieve individually, advancing the industry as a whole.

Key Takeaways

  • The value of diverse perspectives in the publishing industry cannot be understated.
  • Check out these market-friendly strategies to slot your books effectively in the market flank.
  • Appreciate the role you can play in the author community.

Memorable Moments:

00:02:44 – Collaboration and Mutual Respect,
Alexa and Pam discuss how their collaboration developed out of mutual respect for each other's experience. They highlight the importance of recognizing the value of what each person brings to the table and working together for mutual benefit.

00:08:35 – Collaboration Among Authors,
The hosts talk about the various ways authors can collaborate and support each other, such as reviewing each other's books, sharing on social media, and participating in group promotions. They emphasize the concept of literary citizenship and how collaboration can benefit the entire author community.

00:16:16 – Literary Citizenship and Professional Boundaries,
The guests discuss the concept of literary citizenship and the importance of sharing knowledge and resources within the community. They also address the need to establish professional boundaries and negotiate tasks when seeking advice from professionals.

00:30:01 – Building a Supportive Community,
The conversation starts with the importance of community support in the publishing industry. Both the host and guest emphasize that their success is not solely due to their own efforts, but also the support they receive from others in their community. They discuss how supporting each other's work can lead to success, such as when someone's book reached number one on the charts because of community support.

00:31:39 – Personal Connections in the Community,
The host and guest discuss the personal connections they have made within their community. They mention that while they may not know everyone deeply, there is a mutual respect and understanding within the publishing business. They highlight the value of having personal, non-publishing-related conversations with like-minded individuals.

Learn more at:

WIP Webinar Series: BookFunnel

WIP Webinar Series: BookFunnel

Presented by Women in Publishing Summit sponsor, BookFunnel

Building Your Book Funnel with BookFunnel!

Have you already published your first book? Have you created your book funnel for those so-important first readers?

If not, let Damon Courtney, CEO of BookFunnel, walk you through it. We'll go over how to get started with a really simple marketing set up that you really should have in place before that first book. With a few simple steps you can be ready to grab those new readers and turn them into superfans.

And, don't worry if you've already published a book (or more!), you should still work on getting your marketing in place. There's no time like the present to get started!

BookFunnel is an eBook and Audiobook Delivery Service for Indie Authors and Small Publishers. Learn more and get a discount on BookFunnel plans at


PublishHER Podcast Episode 99: All About Children’s Books with Sheryl Bass

PublishHER Podcast Episode 99: All About Children’s Books with Sheryl Bass

Many aspiring authors struggle to find the right marketing strategies that resonate with their target audience and result in increased visibility and sales. Without a clear plan and effective resources, the process of marketing can be time-consuming and discouraging.

We're talking about children's books! Not only the importance of Social Emotional Learning and teaching that to children, but also self-publishing vs. trad for children's book authors, and tips from author Sheryl Bass.

Self-publishing has really leveled the playing field for regular folks to get out there if they've got a story in them that they want told. – Sheryl Bass

About Sheryl Bass:

Sheryl Bass holds a master’s degree in Social Work and has studied child development. She uses these insights to inform her picture book writing. Sheryl also holds a master’s degree in Journalism and is currently working in public relations. Her goal in creating Be-Kind Publishing is to produce lighthearted rhyming stories with gentle themes of teamwork and friendship. Sheryl resides just outside of Chicago, IL with her husband and two terriers.

In this episode, we covered:


The Importance of SEL in Children's Books

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a crucial aspect of children's development that helps them understand and manage their emotions, cultivate healthy relationships, and develop empathy. Addressing SEL in children's books allows the young readers to learn valuable life skills that will serve them well in their personal and professional lives as they grow older. The incorporation of SEL themes in children's literature like teamwork, accountability, and empathy fosters emotional literacy and develops essential communication skills. In the conversation with Sheryl Bass, she explains her background in social work and journalism, which led her to passionately believe in the importance of social emotional learning being included in children's books. Her stories focus on themes such as teamwork and friendship through whimsical narratives that captivate young readers. Such books aim to provide a solid foundation for children to develop critical emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills.

Key Takeaways

  • Join SCBWI and Children's Book Insider for resources, conferences, webinars, and contests.
  • Consider using April Cox's Write Publish Sell program for guidance in self-publishing.
  • Look into Bobby Hindman's editing services for rhyme and meter in children's picture books.
  • Use Facebook groups for finding editors and other resources.
  • Visit Laura Bonchi Bontje for developmental editing to find holes in your story.
  • Utilize vendors recommended by April Cox for finding an illustrator.
  • Consider self-publishing for creative control over your book.
  • Purchase an ISBN code for your book.
  • Upload your manuscript into the Library of Congress.
  • Use focus groups for feedback on illustrations and character design.

Memorable Moments:

00:06:23 – Self-Publishing and Working with Editors,
Cheryl shares her experience with self-publishing and working with editors, including the invaluable guidance of April Cox and the importance of finding editors through Facebook groups. She emphasizes the importance of creative control and finding the right illustrator.

00:11:56 – Finding Editors and the Importance of Developmental Edits,
Cheryl discusses the importance of finding the right editor for a developmental edit, which can help find holes in a story and improve its overall structure. She emphasizes the importance of finding editors through Facebook groups and other resources.

00:14:46 – Marketing Children's Books,
Sheryl Bass gives insights on marketing children's books. She recommends hiring a PR professional specializing in books and authors. She shares tips on promoting books, identifying relevant awards, book reviewers and podcasts, and using ads on Amazon and Facebook. She also shares her experience using Pubby Co, a resource to review other authors' books and get reviews of your own.

00:23:25 – Traditional Marketing for Children's Books,
Alexa and Sheryl discuss the challenges of marketing children's books and how it differs from other genres. They agree that traditional marketing involves going out and getting in front of the community, such as school events, fairs, and author events. They suggest that authors consider hiring a PR expert who has the media contacts to help them get on the news and reach parents and teachers.

00:24:56 – Libraries as a Resource,
Sheryl shares that she purchased a database from Eric, who wrote a book on how to get your book into libraries. She plans to send a letter about her book to librarians throughout the US, which can be a great resource for selling books. Alexa suggests that going into schools, doing readings, and creating bookmarks with graphics from your book can also help promote it.

00:26:13 – Creating a Sequel,
Sheryl shares that she is working on a sequel to her first book and how it can help sell more copies of the first book. Once readers are invested in the characters and their adventures, they are more likely to buy

Content Marketing Strategy VIP Day

Content Marketing Strategy VIP Day

Join Alexa Bigwarfe for a VIP Day focused on developing YOUR content marketing strategy to grow your audience and help you sell more books, coaching, courses, and so forth.

This VIP Day is limited to TEN people so we can get personal and Alexa can offer individualized feedback!

In this VIP Day, you'll receive a combination of masterclass content delivery, 1:1 coaching, and skill building.
  • Content marketing 101 – What to create, when, how, and why? (and how to grow your audience in the process)
  • Live coaching through creating a content marketing strategy – which isn't as scary or complex as it sounds!
  • Determining the best topics to write content about & making sure they are reaching the correct audience – plus, the strategy to convert these to leads / build your email list
  • Each attendee will get a “hot seat” 1:1 coaching experience that all attendees can learn from.
  • You'll leave with a plan for your content marketing strategy and plenty of ideas on what to write about and how to promote it.

Bonuses include: Workshop on AI tools and how to use them to enhance your content marketing, sample editorial calendar & social media calendar posting.

Alexa Bigwarfe is a USA Today best-selling author and the founder and CEO of Write|Publish|Sell, a company dedicated to helping authors professionally self-publish and market their books. Her courses and training focus on author platform growth and creative ways to market books. Alexa is the founder of Write|Publish|Sell, Kat Biggie Press, Purple Butterfly Press, Chrysalis Press, and the Women in Publishing Summit.

Recordings of the sessions will be provided.

Register now before the slots fill up!

If you get to the cart and it's full, please email Alexa at and let her know you want to be added to the wait list for the next session!