Category Archives: Public Relations author interview

Set your calendars! This wednesday (sept. 26th @ 9:30 est) I will be a guest on We will be talking about THE UNEXPECTED, with release date set for November 1st. An autographed copy is available for pre-order on So be sure to tune in!

Playing Publisher, Agent, Publicist

The book is written. Many sleepless nights have gone into the masterpiece, many readers have given their feedback, and a release date has been set. Now the entirely agonizing part of the entire process, publication.

The fun (fun used almost sarcastically here) is doing hours of research to ensure I don’t miss a single integral process in the entire bout of publishing. Had I managed to have an agent most, if not all, of the process would be covered. I could sit back and wait for requests for verification on page proofs, story flow, accept editor’s feedback and only tweak the novel minutely upon the agents request. Currently I have submitted myself to a flow of multiple projects at one time in the light of one major project, my publication. There are many major points that I have to ensure to hit, all of which could make or break my books chances at success. I took the liberty at compiling a brief list of these chores which I will undoubtedly have to accomplish.

Get the Book Edited

One item that had gone through without major attention to detail with my past projects. Though I had a publisher to take care of these things, it was at best; sad. Realizing that not only is my grammar terrible, but punctuation fails almost to a fault. There would be no possible way for me to go through the entire contents of two-hundred fifty pages and catch all the most glaring mistakes let alone the little technicalities. With that I have researched many editors, some charging upwards of $1,000 for a 90,000 word novel! I was lucky to find one who would only charge a minimal fee! Now I just have to scrape the barrel to get even that for her.

Pre-Publication Reviews

A most vital and important step in the process of rolling out a book. This involves knowing this book is in it’s final stages and in near pristine condition before sending it off for Magazines, Newspapers, and Reviewers to determine my fate. If two or more magazines who published a review were not favorable, chances are the book would sink before it even had a chance. Believing in my work this is something I am more than willing to take on. But with that are more interesting things.


Any novice to publishing would easily look this over. They believe all they have to do is convert a word document into a pdf and voila! That assumption is terribly wrong and will undoubtedly turn a tale of amazing talent and artistry into a slushpile inhabitant. Simply opening a book to the first page or two will tell any publishing industry insider whether it had a professional do the work. No worries, most typesetting jobs will only set you back roughly $800 (or maybe $5 a page).

Advanced Reader Copies

These little buggers are a ton of fun! Almost all magazines and reviewers have different terms and submission requirements for these copies. Some say it must be a mock up with ARC written on the back cover with a fact page including word count, page count, ISBN, distribution centers, publisher information. While others ask it be an in-tact book autographed by the author (They usually assure you that the book won’t be sold as it’s against their policy), and that this is a courtesy to someone willing to take time out of their lives to review your work (Fair, I say). So for the ARC’s not only is it best to have the book in the best condition it can be in (I would hope a few edits have already been done, typesetting somewhat apparent, and cover design set), but it should be sent out to the reviewer 4-6 months prior to the month of publication.

So now the Pre-publication work is done (somewhat) as the publisher, now on to Publicist!

Find Shelf Space

This is the main hurdle, and many of the items listed following this all help to gain that much needed shelf space. The point being most books have a month AT BEST to sell. If not, they are returned. And don’t think a book store will stock your book without a book return policy in place. This is only the mom and pop stores! Trying to get into B&N and Borders is something similar to a battle between David and Goliath.

Research and set up Radio Interviews

Having a target market helps to get this part in play, but still nothing can quell the magnitude of listing the hundreds of talk radio shows out there for the contact. Best part, I’m pushing my own book! Nothing worse than saying “Hi! Have you heard of the amazing new book written by none other than me!!!!” Something is just off about it. I like to stick with emails, but I have a feeling if I had a good pitch letter drawn up I might be able to call some stations and cement time blocks rather than sending electronic mail into the abyss of the internet. Even when I do find a station, I have to find an angle relative to the listeners and style of show they have set up to ensure I not only sound informed, but also don’t kill the pitch of my book by sounding like a babbling idiot.


Another extremely important aspect of the process. Drawing up the words that will help to sell the book while informing of any upcoming events. As in, have my events planned out well in advance, and make sure I keep the facts straight for the press-release. Nothing worse than attempting to fix a spelling error in a press release once it’s already been sent to the printer! It’s also gotta pop, no sense in writing an awesome book if the Press-Release is gonna drool.

Research and Pitch Newspapers and Magazines

For post publication reviews or opportunities at an interview. The research alone is killer, add to it the drone work of writing a pitch letter to them why I would be so totally awesome for their interview is tricky. Anyone can toot their own horn, or you could pay someone to do it for you. Looks like this starving artist is gonna have to toot his own horn without making it seem that way.

So these are just some of the fun things I get to do wearing all the hats. Hopefully if it’s done right, this will be the last time I have to worry about all of this, and can just focus on my new novels, which I have about four new ones started already. I have to get busy with them, not all of this! But here’s to learning.

Thanks for reading!

Caleb A. Mertz

Creating the Ultimate Marketing strategy

Dear Readers,

You may wonder where in the world Carmen San Diego is, or search through a picture to find Waldo, but there is no reason you should have to search high and low to find me, Mr. Caleb A. Mertz. (Hey! I like the way that sounds, Mister Caleb A. Mertz!!!) I do certainly apologize for my lack of attentiveness on my blog here as you’re days grind by with the regular push of the sun continuously working to ensure time continues as anything else.

I do want to fill you in on what’s been going on with this blog lately. There are three things, mostly. and ! I now own three different domains on the internet and am currently trying to fill their pages with useful knowledge of the little things I know just a bit about.

I certainly hope I know who I am. I have been playing with a few different templates for this site, but currently the original is the best. Some updates are on the main page, plus I added my BRAND NEW REVIEW on!

This magazine was something I thought up of while pondering the wondrous world of self-employment. Each day, as I research further and further into the publishing and marketing worlds I learn more useful information that I could relay to readers and authors that would allow some success. The name is derived from “the Underground Literary Magazine“. I wanted to share the world of underground literary publications with the world, thus I have begun the developing stages of this magazine and website. I hope to eventually get this guy into print, but I’m starting with an on-line version first.

Acque, Italian for water, is my first venture into a true business. Drawing up a business plan has proven to be invaluable as I continue to develop better products and services based on the market research that goes into just the plan alone! “Be the Celebrity you are” is our phrase encouraging those self published authors to take a look at the services we provide. The great thing about this business is that I was the first client. The man who is initiating it’s existence went through all of the dilemma’s and tracking necessary to encourage strong growth. All of these except for are still in the process of investigation and trial.

With all of that, though, I hope you can understand why I have been vacant on this account. However, my agent, Greg, at Acque Marketing has encouraged I continue to punch in my blog, and update my facebook and twitter.

Ultimately, these ideas are just the beginning of what I hope to be a total revitalization of my self. And hey, if they were not to succeed, I have that much more experience under my belt. Maybe then I will have the wit and the wisdom to see the things that I hadn’t initially planned for. I will come out strong with book sales, and hopefully a strong presence in the literary world!

Thank you for reading!

Caleb A. Mertz

Slowing down to move faster?

image by: mugley

Over the past several months there has been one thing that has been looming around every corner.  It isn’t lifethreatening, ugly, or even vehement.  I have known it to be there and yet I continue to pursue marketing and booking events that I feel may forward my development and acknowledgment of authorship.  With the book signings in the past now, there are other events that have to be tended to.  It is impossible to attend two events and expect to make sales.

Hours have been devoted to searching for upcoming literary events.  What about the other outlets out there?  Many other things sit out there waiting to be discovered in order to be used to their greatest potential.  Writing for, blogging, and updating my website are just a few of the other things that I have been doing.  Then of course there is the business aspect of things including trying to register an actual business name with the state of Pennsylvania, tracking sales and marketing expenses, and so on and so forth.

Yet, and yet there is one thing that has not been getting done.  I have written several query letters, cover letters, and pitch letters for publishers.  I have organized the envelopes, acquired addresses, and contacted certain contacts within the publishing field.  As part of my other blog, “Be part of something big!” you see that there are even promotional materials made for the release of my new book.  What about writing it?

What about writing it?

Writer’s blog has been a horrible thing for me.  Then again, I wonder if it’s even writer’s block.  What if it’s just my own unsettled thoughts and energy?  The words are before me.  I have them on the screen where I am to add more of a story.  I have it printed out and clipped.  There are questions for each chapter for those that are going to read the manuscript before it goes to the editor.  Where are the next words?

image by:

I finally took a hiatus from all of the marketing, promotion, and writing.  Three weeks I didn’t really think of anything regarding my book.  Then finally, six beers in, the next part of the story came so quickly I had to rapidly find a pen to

get the thoughts onto paper.  I am only taking a few minutes now in between loads of laundry to write in my blog.  I plan on devoting the grand chunk of the day to writing out the story.

Life can pass us all too quickly.  I just said the other day that I was going to be 80 before I knew it.  The motivational speaker in all of us tries to get us to seize the day and make the most out of it.  Unfortunately we all too often associate getting the most out of a day with the ammount of work we can say we did.  I have found that sometimes slowing down and just taking a day or week to yourself can make the most progress in your professional and personal life.

Thank you,

Caleb A. Mertz

Be part of something Big!

Does this teaser look like something that you would be interested in reading?

The Friendly Librarians and the public eye

Good Evening.

Days come and days go as we work out our daily lives at the professional establishments we call “work”.  Being a restaurant manager some may say that it is a bit easier for me to be able to talk to people and get to know them on a closer and more personal level.  I can attest to this, but only as long as the restaurant isn’t crashing and burning before your very eyes.  In the process of table touching (talking to each table to ensure that the food is great, and the service fast, efficient, and friendly) it is very easy to get wrapped up in conversation with the guests about food, their favorite chef, the weather, or sometimes your book!

It all started out when I saw these three ladies come into one of my previous restaurants.  I was working as a server and I waited on the table.  I made mention to all of my co-workers that Bam Margera’s mom was at my table. Though it wasn’t actually her people found it funny at how much she really looked like Bam’s mom.  Two of the three ladies had since returned to my newest restaurant where I manage.  We began talking about their favorite server and soon got onto a poster for my book signing.  Then the ladies let me know that they work for  the Bethlehem Library, are presidents of boards, and entrepreneurs themselves.

I paused for a moment at the disbelief.  I had been talking to these ladies for the longest of time.  They had been frequenting my restaurants and now all of the sudden I come to find out that they could hold a key to the furtherance of my writing career.

“dress the part”

The ladies are always working on new things and have the utmost anticipation for the best from all that they support.  It comes down to never giving up an opportunity to make a new connection whether at work or walking down the street.  If you are trying to become a public figure, act and dress like one.  There are many sayings that refer back to this such as “dress for the job you want”, “dress the part”, and my personal favorite (sprouting from a break up) “fake it, till you make it”.

All authors and writers have their own distinct methods. Some go to cafe’s and write out their little stories in hopes that they will be the next success story like J.K. Rowling. While others write whenever they can and whatever they can. I don’t currently have an agent or public relations manager so I have to go out and do everything for myself. All of the marketing, the talking, the phone calls, the ads, and even the website up keep is all up to me. I realize, from talking with other local authors, that this is actually a common practice and very few people ever really see that agent that works just as hard for them as the author did coming up with the story or article. These are, however, the sorts of things that give us all our own additional goals.

These ladies just so happened to pop up, but I wonder. What if we all asked everyone we ran into about their reading? How far could we get if absolutely everyone we knew realized that we were writers?

Please take time to write a comment or post a similar story, be sure to tell how you felt as of this revelation.

Thank you