“A successful title is one which reaches the audience intended by the author and publisher.”
Why did you become a book publisher? I am an author and a voiceover artist. My first book, Parenting for the Digital Age: The Truth Behind Media's Effect on Children and What To Do About It, was published in November 2014 by Familius LLC. I joined IBPA to not only support the burgeoning movement of independent presses, but also to widen my understanding of the publishing industry. More information can be found at http://www.billratner.com.
What do you like best about publishing? Though I am primarily an author and voiceover artist, by default I have assumed the duties of PR Director for my own book. Though the world of social media and PR is a huge one I have enjoyed making forays down the social media lane.
What do you publish? My writing has been published in small-press literary magazines, and most recently my first book was published by Familius LLC
What is the most effective form of marketing for your press?
I have over 3,000 Twitter followers and 21,000 likes on facebook (this and a couple of dollars won't buy me a caramel latte at Starbucks, but I digress). I find social media, if tended regularly, can produce amazing results. Readers are impulse buyers and they favor their friends, both actual and virtual. So being seen, present, and available for dialogue on social media of all kinds is essential these days. You can reach me at:
Twitter: @billratner & @parentdigitally
The publisher of my book, Familius LLC, is hampered by size and staff, but secured a good deal of coverage for the book including a piece in Time magazine:
How do you define a successful title? A successful title is one which reaches the audience intended by the author and publisher.
Tell us about one of your titles about which you are especially proud.
I'm especially proud of my latest authorial effort, Parenting for the Digital Age: The Truth About Media's Effect on Children and What To Do About It, published November, 2014, by Familius LLC. The subject has attracted attention from TV, radio & print:
KHOU-TV Great Day Houston: http://youtu.be/WcBEX-pGqZ8
KUTV2 Salt Lake City: http://youtu.be/9rWipvzpKG0
WWL-TV NEW New Orleans: http://youtu.be/jCoIrVOxg3M
CBS News 8 SanDiego: http://youtu.be/WTHazLQklu0
BEST OF THE MARILU HENNER SHOW: http://www.marilushow.com/?p=5391
HUFFINGTON POST: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carol-smaldino/furthering-the-conversati_b_6085582.html
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving success? The biggest challenge is my not being a name in the field. My voice is heard around the country every day on TV and radio as a voiceover artist (www.billratner.com) but I am an unknown author and not a celebrity. Also, the size, newness, and resources of my publisher have caused me to essentially be my own Marketing Director, Social Media Maven, and Shipping Clerk. Thankfully, I learned these skills at an early age laboring away in mail rooms of advertising agencies.
What advice do you have for newcomers to book publishing? Be bold and creative on social media platforms of all kinds, and treat fellow tweeters and Facebookers as "friends," though it is daunting having a dialogue with individuals about whom you know nothing and whom you may never actually meet.
How will you and your company be positioned in five years? We will be a small family of authors, media creators, and storytellers, getting our work out to a welcoming world.
When you're not fully immersed in publishing, what do you do for fun?
I make my living as a voiceover artist, narrating movie trailers, documentaries, and cartoons. I am the voice of "Flint" on the Hasbro TV cartoon G.I. Joe, and "Flint" has appeared in episodes of Family Guy, Robot Chicken, NBC's Community, and on panels at ComicCons around the country which is a wonderful opportunity to stay in touch with fans of the assorted worlds encompassed by comic book conventions. I am a Francophile, an afficionado of French wine, French film, and French fries!
More information at www.billratner.com.
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