BEA_2006_head_logo.gifGuess what? NPR’s Diane Rehm, Marie Arana (Washington Post Book World editor) and Dan Raviv (CBS News Radio correspondent) all read their email. Every message.

Just don’t expect a response.

Unless you’ve touched a nerve and piqued their interest in… your book.

All three appeared on a panel that was part of this week’s Publishing University, a three-day learning extravanganza aimed at independent publishers and sponsored by the Publishers Marketing Association.

I gave a PMA workshop on Why Every Book Needs a Blog on Thursday.

PMA always holds its annual event in conjunction with the mega annual BEA (BookExpo America), held this year at the (mega) Washington Convention Center.

Re “starting book buzz,” the Post’s Marie Arana, Diane Rehm, and CBS News Radio’s Dan Raviv shared some excellent tips.

In no particular order. (Dan hosts CBS Radio Network’s Weekend Roundup.):

1. A two-sided press release packed with interesting, useful information and sent along with a copy of your book is a must. This needs to come from your publisher, NOT from the author. Don’t create a press release that is multiple pages.

2. Include a Q&A with the author about the book. Yes, make it up. Be as provocative as you can. Editors who read it may not use your questions but it’s a quick way for them to see what’s unique or newsworthy about your book.

3. Forget the advance praise “blurbs.” Delete them from your press release. They’re great on a book jacket to seduce consumers picking up your book in the store. But they don’t work for editors who might review or report on your book.

4. Include a brief, pithy author bio. For a “news” radio show, something about the author’s background may provide the hook.

More useful info

– Diane Rehm devotes no more than three or four hours a week to book author interviews (out of a total of 10 hours of programming). She’s not interested in “light fiction.”

– The Post’s Marie Arana says she always feels pressure “to fill the blank page” (meaning she’s always looking for something new or offbeat to include in Book World). At the same time, only 1,500 – 2,000 books are reviewed each year in Book World – out of a total of the 150,000 or so that are published.

– Dan Raviv is interested in the topics of “race, education and work.”