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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

May 15, 2020

In this episode, Mark interviews Melissa Dalton Martinez, a publishing industry PR and marketing manager, marketing consultant, and media professional.

Prior to the interview, Mark shares comments from recent episodes, a word about this episode's sponsor (the awesome Patrons of this podcast), and a personal update.

In his personal update, Mark talks about the creative collaborative projects that he and his partner Liz have been working on - parody music videos, and how a chance in perspective looking at a bowl filled with broken egg yolks resulted in an unexpected and delicious breakfast that was better than what was originally planned.


In their interview Mark and Melissa talk about:

  • Where the show that Melissa runs "The Book Break" runs and what the content of the episodes are
  • How Melissa helps authors get onto various different media and the coaching that she does to prepare them for their appearances
  • Melissa's entrance into the publishing world as a PAR representative in 2003
  • How Melissa is one of those "one more chapter" readers at bed time
  • Why it is easier than ever right now to get interviewed by local media
  • The way that Melissa can spin a story off of anything, and usually creates a minimum of about five story options before she begins to pitch to a particular media outlet
  • Advice for the best way to approach pitching to media or a podcast as a potential guest
  • How an author should go about crafting a pitch to a media professional
  • The importance of going with what you know, and understanding the types of shows that the media outlet you are pitching has recently released
  • Melissa's favorite way to craft a pitch
  • How it is the guest's job to make it easy for the host/producer of the media outlet you are pitching to
  • The reason why it's important to create a list of questions for the media outlet you are pitching to (and sometimes, also the answers you'll provide)
  • Why it is important, whenever you're doing an interview to act as if the interview is live
  • Methods of sending materials, such as pictures, to the producers, ahead of the broadcast, with suggestions of where the images might best be inserted within a segment
  • The importance of the right author photo that is appropriate and relevant for your author brand
  • Why a high resolution image is really important for television
  • The way that professional reviews work, which ones are out there, and the options that an author has for a paid professional review
  • Why professional reviews in spots such as Kirkus are important for library acquisition of books
  • And more....

After the interview, Mark reflects on the importance of how it is the guest's job to make it as easy on the host, on the producer, as possible. in the same way that it's the book's description's job to make it as easy as possible for the ideal reader to want to have to buy and read a book.

He also talks about how, with the Covid-19 related isolation taking place, that authors have greater opportunity for various media outlets that, prior, would have only been possible with physical proximity and having to be in the studio.


Links of Interest:


Melissa Dalton Martinez has worked in the publishing industry on and off as a PR and marketing manager, marketing consultant, and media professional since 2000.

After graduating college in 2003, Melissa has helped others grow their careers, run her own businesses, spoken at countless conferences, helped coordinate many events, worked with radio, TV, newspapers, movies, podcasts, YouTube shows, and even became the producer and host of her own TV mini-series, The Book Break.

In addition to The Book Break, Melissa works as a private marketing, branding, and media consultant; a marketing expert for Eschler Editing; and a book reviewer for various media outlets.


The introductory, end, and bumper music for this podcast (“Laser Groove”) was composed and produced by Kevin MacLeod of and is Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0