On a Mission

Published: September 13, 2016

If you are writing a book because you have something important to say to the world, it’s crucial to get your message into the media. This way, you can get the word out, about your book and your mission.

It’s not an easy task. Journalists get a deluge of requests for press from publicity reps and publishers, and most of the time they don’t open the emails. Press releases go unread. I know; I was a journalist for 30 years, and I never read most of the PR releases that landed on my desk.

Yet when you have a truly interesting and engaging message, you can get a big media hit. Such is the case with Dr. Karen Pape’s new book, The Boy Who Could Run But Not Walk. Here’s an amazing story about babies whose brains are damaged at or near birth. Some of them develop the awkward physical gait we associate with Cerebral Palsy, which affects nearly a million people in North America. Dr. Pape, as a neonatologist, treated those babies early in life but then kept getting these phone calls from their parents. “My kid just made the soccer team,” they’d say. The soccer team for disabled kids? “No, the school soccer team!”

It turned out that they could run and kick a ball because their brains had healed or reorganized. They could run, but they still had an awkward walking pattern because it was a bad habit — like a wonky tennis serve or bad golf swing.

It’s a great story in this important book, which is why journalists love it. The Toronto Star published the first excerpt of Dr. Pape’s book on the weekend. Check it out, and you can buy the book on amazon or at Indigo, or at a bookstore near you. It goes on sale Sept. 20, 2016.

Selling an excerpt is not that easy, even if you have a great story. You need the kind of PR person who gets calls and emails returned, like Debby De Groot, the great PR expert who works on a lot of Barlow books, including Dr. Pape’s.

To sell an excerpt, then, you need a great story and the ability to get through to major media. In Dr. Pape’s book, we have both.

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