Introducing Books Fluent: Q&A With Marissa DeCuir, president and partner

The following is an excerpt from Launching Books Forward and Books Fluent, Two Sites for Authors, originally published Jan. 30, 2020 by Sabrina Ricci

How will Books Forward help indie authors?

A: Our company was built on our founder’s belief that everyone’s story deserves to be heard at least once. That simple yet powerful belief has driven our company over the past two decades, and it’s our mission to help people tell their stories.

Our expertise in publicity is backed by our experience as journalists who understand how to deliver a message to tastemakers and readers so they will listen and engage. We intimately understand the challenges of being on the other side of the desks and how to present to those professionals what they need to do their job. This fuels our efforts to find and help readers connect with stories that elevate voices and break barriers.

Because we represent both traditionally and independently published authors, as well as literary organizations and companies throughout the world, we have developed a wide-ranging network that gives our indie-published authors as equal an opportunity as traditionally published authors to creatively and professionally rise above the millions of other books published each year. We insist that our indie-published books be of equal or higher quality as traditionally published books, and we design publicity campaigns that have the components to level the playing field.

We create exposure for the book through various forms of media coverage including newspapers, magazines, bloggers, radio and television programs, social media influencers, and more. Our team members have previously worked in each of these realms and bring that knowledge to the table in terms of how best to break through the noise of hundreds of other pitches each week. We also manage author events, coordinate strategic digital marketing, develop author websites, and much, much more.

Q: How will Books Fluent help authors?

A: Our team’s background in journalism has instilled a code of ethics to our company that is really important to us — for both publicity campaigns and indie publishing support. We want to be one of the good guys in a sea of pop-ups that don’t have authors’ best interests at heart and don’t set the right expectations for their success. Transparency is incredibly important to us.

Books Fluent consists of a team of people with varied industry experience, from traditional publishing houses to agencies to book distribution companies to trade publications. Along with following a code of ethics derived from our journalism background, we help authors who choose to go beyond self-publishing. They work with us to develop an indie publishing imprint for themselves and meet or exceed industry standards of editing and design. And perhaps, most importantly, we set up their book through proper distribution channels so they can reach readers offline as much as online. We are a champion of independent bookstores and libraries and see them as a crucial part of our society, often partnering with regional bookseller associations and local library branches. For instance, we helped author Jenny Milchman coordinate what Shelf Awareness called “the world’s longest book tour,” and we represent the annual Take Your Child to a Bookstore Holiday that just celebrated its 10th year.

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