We are happy to have an exclusive interview with Meryl Moss, a successful businesswoman and founder of Meryl Moss Media Group, one of the leading media and marketing businesses in the world. Join us as we get up close and personal with one of the giants of the book industry. Only here on ViewsonBooks!
Let me begin by thanking you for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions for Views on Books. It is truly an honor to have an industry leader give some insight into the “behind the scenes” portion of the book industry. You can see more of Meryl’s work at https://www.merylmossmedia.com.
A general question to begin. Could you give us some information about your background in terms of education and prior positions in the book industry?
I went to college and graduated with a communications degree. I took advertising, public relations and public speaking courses. I really wasn’t sure what it all meant in the real world. My first position out of college was at a New York City very well-known graphic design firm. There I learned about deadlines, how to work and what it takes to succeed. I loved it because it was creative and intellectually stimulating. I had the opportunity to help marketing executives articulate and visualize what they wanted to communicate with their marketing messaging and materials. I remained at there for five years. It taught me so much, skills I use in my business today. I started Meryl Moss Media Group Memorial Day Weekend 1993, and this year was our 29-year anniversary. It’s been a winding and wonderful journey, next year will be 30 years! Before I started Meryl Moss Media Group, I was working at a boutique New York City publicity firm that handled books. I fell in love with book publicity and pitching ideas to the media. Today, we are an international literary media relations, marketing, and social media firm and from our little chalkboard black building in Westport, CT.
What were the reasons behind your formation of Meryl Moss Media Group about 29 years ago?
Entrepreneurship runs in my family, and I wanted to do something on my own. It was risky but worth it!
What functions does a literary media relations and marketing firm handle for a publisher and/or author?
Our team promotes authors and their books through media exposure, speaking engagements, social media, influencer introductions, creative marketing initiatives and solutions. In 2004, I started BookTrib.com a community that celebrates the emerging author and where readers come to discover new books. During the pandemic I created a new initiative called SmartWorks Collaborative a gateway marketing program specifically designed for business authors and provocative thinkers to present their ideas to the business/corporate audience.
You have an impressive array of authors and publishers as clients, how does an author get to be represented by your business? In other words can John or Jane Doe pick up the phone and call for representation or is there a more formal process?
Pretty much. I’m happy to speak with authors about their new books. It’s what I do! We have so many different publicity, marketing, and promotion options we can help authors regardless of their budget. We also package books for authors our Concierge Publishing Practice started about ten years ago.
You have a talented group of people on your team, most of whom are women. Is this the norm within the industry, and if so why?
Thank you, and yes, we do have a talented group of women. We welcome everyone, much of our team has been with us for over 15 years.
What made you branch out into book reviews with BookTrib? It certainly is wonderful asset for readers.
Thank you so much for asking this question. Eighteen years ago, as a publicist I felt that it was getting harder and harder to secure media exposure for the emerging author, so I created a solution and BookTrib.com was born. Today every day we write about emerging authors with a few best sellers sprinkled in. To help them further we created and designed marketing programs that help authors get on the reader radar.
How has the pandemic affected Meryl Moss Media Group individually, and the book industry on the whole?
We were very lucky throughout the pandemic. We scheduled hundreds of virtual book events and media interviews. Our mailroom remained open and books we sent to the media every day.
Books to Screen is your newest venture, would you mind sharing with us what this is all about?
For years authors have asked me — how do I get my book in front of television and film producers and agents? The Books to Screen marketing program is our solution. We partnered with Screen International Magazine and our authors will be in their print magazine that is distributed to 34,000 film and TV guild members and an additional 6,500 magazines will be distributed at film festivals in San Sebastian, Rome, Venice, and Toronto. Screen International Magazine’s digital edition and clicks through to more information about each author on a special featured page on BookTrib.com
What are the biggest changes you have seen in the book industry during your career, and how has your business evolved during that time? Another great question. We are constantly evolving BookTrib.com gives us opportunities for editorial and promotion ideas we wouldn’t otherwise have. Stay tuned because a new site is coming. We have been working on it for six months and we are very excited about it. As I mentioned above, SmartWorks Collaborative for business authors is another way we have expanded to help business authors. There are more books than ever being published and creativity is key to helping authors breakthrough. We all work very hard to excel at doing just that. The last and most recent new thing for us is Meridian Editions. Meridian Editions is full-service hybrid publishing company with a built-in BookTrib.com marketing program. Many formally published authors are finding it very difficult to get published today so we wanted to help, Meridian Editions was born.
Thank you, Blaine for the opportunity to answer these questions. Please let me know if you need any clarification.
I hope there is a way for us to work together. I look forward to meeting you!
Meryl, thanks for taking time for this interview, I do not want to take up any more of your time today. Maybe we could do this again in the not too distant future. Thank you for the opportunity.