Book promotion in a changing world

Saturday 11:00 Room 2

Presenters: Skye Wentworth, Ellen Whitfield, C Jane Taylor


A quarter-century ago, letter writing and the telephone were a publicist’s best friends. Publicity took months of planning and came from reviews, TV or radio. Today, book promotion happens in real time through a dizzying variety of sources, and thanks to smartphones and social media, every person is a book publicist whose impromptu videos can go viral with the push of a button.

Here’s a look at how promoting books has changed over the years.

Skye Wentworth

Debbie Burns

After receiving a master’s degree in Media and Technology from Boston University, Skye Wentworth has worked as Director of Public Relations in advertising studios, Executive Director of Performing Art Centers and as a Senior Book Publicist for publishing houses. Since 1996 she has consulted with upwards of 500 authors and directly promoted more than 400 titles. Locally, Skye currently is on the Steering Committee for the Newburyport Literary Festival and serves as a board member for Newburyport (Massachusetts) Adult and Community Education.


Twitter @skyeblue
Instagram @skyebluelake
Facebook @bookpublicist


Ellen Whitfield

Debbie Burns

Ellen Whitfield is the publicity director at Books Forward, an independent publicity company that has exemplified excellence in book marketing and promotion for more than 20 years. A former journalist, Ellen balances her understanding of “the other side of the desk” when it comes to media pitching, with a true love of an avid bibliophile. Ellen provides daily mentorship to the Books Forward team and trains incoming publicists to provide expanded services to our growing and beloved Books Forward family. Her experience, along with her social and online media savviness as a popular Bookstagrammer and reviewer for the New York Journal of Books, is to the benefit of authors across genres. 


C. Jane Taylor

Debbie Burns

Jane Taylor is an author and freelance writer living in Hinesburg, Vermont. Soon after her first book, Spirit Traffic, was published, she took it on the road with a national book tour—by motorcycle. Her Postcards from the Road detailing that adventure will be featured this fall in Rider Magazine. This transformational tour influences her approach to writing, marketing, publicity, and the work she does inspiring women of all ages, particularly those over 50.



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