Putting the spin on women’s fiction

September 30, 2010 at 9:56 pm Leave a comment

I had Cape Breton author Lesley Crewe in Toronto last week for a publicity tour for her new novel, Her Mother’s Daughter. This turned out to be a tough project — nothing to do with the author or the publisher: Lesley is simply lovely and publicist Diane at Nimbus was really attentive and on-the-ball. The problem was two-fold: 1) For two weeks before Lesley’s arrival in Toronto the city’s arts media was all TIFF all the time, and 2) Lesley writes contemporary women’s fiction.  Thing is, she’s a best-selling “chick lit” author, so I played that up — a best-selling author whom you’ve probably never heard of if you live west of Sydney, NS.  Print media for the most part ignored the pitch, however Chatelaine gave the book a mention in its October Book Club pages — a direct hit to the target market (and a sigh of relief).

Now to make sure folks came to Lesley’s readings at the Toronto Public Library. A print interview in any of the local papers would have been perfect in the days leading up to the readings, but when it became clear that wouldn’t happen, I relied on the listings route. Found a site called EastCoastConnected, a website for East Coasters who live away from home, and they listed Lesley’s events, as did the TPL, OpenBook Toronto and Torontoist. Her events were moderately well-attended (let’s say there was nothing embarrassing about the turn-out). But it wasn’t these listings so much as a CBC Here & Now interview that got people (for the most part women over 50) out to the readings.  A — I must admit — last minute “oh-what-the-hell-maybe-they’ll-have-her-on” pitch mere days before her arrival. And that’s just how it turns out sometimes …

Published by Vagrant / Nimbus

P.S.  I also had Lesley on two Toronto-based InternetTV programs, but the interviews were  cringe-worthy and not worth mentioning. I was tempted to grab the mic and take over the shows.

Updated: SNAP North Toronto covered the Locke Branch reading, too.


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