Book Review: Shameless Self-Promotion and Networking for Christian Creatives
(Paula K. Parker, Mike Parker, & Torry Martin)
Review by: Cheryl McKay
“Everyone has a story… Not everyone knows how to tell their story well.”
Do you want to know how to tell your story well? Then pick up a copy of Shameless Self-Promotion and Networking for Christian Creatives.
When I first met Torry Martin, he was the headline comedian for a media conference where I was one of the speakers during the release of one of my books. I had never met him before. Yet, he walked up to me and immediately pitched his innovative idea for networking: it centered around ways to help other people.
Yes, other people, rather than himself.
I was glad to hear Torry teamed up with the prolific writing duo, Mike and Paula K. Parker to write a book, which collectively shares all of their expertise about marketing, promoting our work, and generating publicity. This act alone is a strong way to help other creatives who need help in marketing.
This book will not waste your time. It’s clearly and concisely written, delves into such topics as how to write press releases, biographies, resumes, put together press kits, websites, business cards, how to prepare for radio, TV, print interviews, and photo shoots, how to brand yourself in the marketplace, how to solidify your mission statement, and how to network ethically. This book is especially useful to any independent artist who does not have an army of publicists doing a lot of work on their behalf. (Even those of us who do have publicists, we are still the ones who have to shine in our interviews.) One of my favorite segments in this book included advice on how to get interviews to serve as publicity rather than paying for ad space. Sound like a good idea to you?
One of the book’s strengths is the authors give you very specific examples of working artists’ biographies, resumes, headshots, press releases, and website examples, rather than just giving you a list of how to put together each of these items. Naturally, those abundantly helpful lists are in there too, but the authors also give examples that show their specific points in action. Reading the examples, you will find yourself agreeing with them about why the promotional materials probably work well for the artists using them.
Given that I read this book in the midst of my campaign for the release of a new book, I soaked up every word, comparing their advice against what I was doing and what I was not doing to help promote my book. I found it very practical, useful, and insightful. I could compare what I was doing against what they suggest and see where I either got it right or fell short. Often, I found I may have been on the right track, but their advice takes things a step further—or three steps further. I also used their television interview tips to prepare for a TV show interview the week I finished reading Shameless Promotion.
Beyond all the practical tips is an over-arching theme and true heart of this book: we are not doing what we’re doing just for ourselves. We are on the same team, and hopefully, many of us are doing what we are doing for God. And God doesn’t need to use just us alone. We should be willing and able to help others succeed, even those in competition with us, to make divine connections for people (whose talents are known to us) when we are in a position to do so. If we are only out for ourselves, we are not likely to get very far in the entertainment industry. You never know when an extraordinarily creative team can be formed by connections that start with you, or what projects could come of the work those people can do.
I was glad to see this book brought to fruition, so our network of creative artists can put it to good use.
But I have to admit, reading this book, I learned something else about myself: I need a new biography, and it needs to be written by someone other than me, the writer.
(Reviewed by: Cheryl McKay, Screenwriter—The Ultimate Gift, Co-Author—Never the Bride, Author—Finally the Bride: Finding Hope While Waiting