Marketing Matters: An Interview with Maryglenn McCombs

With 20 years of experience, Maryglenn McCombs is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to book publicity. At only 23 years old, she founded her own publishing company, under which she published 18 books in only 5 years. That venture eventually evolved into Maryglenn McCombs Book Publicity, the company she now owns and operates.
She was not only extremely knowledgeable, but I could tell she was smiling throughout our entire conversation. In business, this is important because it tells me she loves what she does…meaning that she takes pride in her work. I could tell from my immediate “connection” with her that knowing Maryglenn would have long-term benefits.
If you’re like me, you’ll deeply appreciate the knowledge and tips she shared in this interview; so much so, you’ll find it worth calling on her expertise for your next book project…
Day: Do you have certain/particular genre you represent?
Maryglenn: I am open to both fiction and nonfiction. If I had to pick a genre that I tend to “gravitate” toward, however, it would probably be crime fiction, mystery thriller, and suspense. I truly do cover a wide range though, including young adult/children’s books, and non-fiction categories include memoir, women’s interest, health, parenting, lifestyle, and business.
Day: How would someone know they need the assistance of a publicist?
Maryglenn: Think about it like launching a new product. You wouldn’t do so without marketing and advertising, right? Your book is a product and it has to be packaged and marketed just like a product. You simply want more awareness.
I’ve found in my years of working with authors that they are great writers, but lousy self-promoters. Many of them are simply too busy to put the time needed into getting the word out there. And, you can have the greatest product (content akin to War and Peace), but if people don’t know about it, it’s not going to sell. I provide that much-needed connection to the industry professionals and associations that need to see a book in order to help ensure its success.
Day: How does someone go about finding a publicist?
Maryglenn: Much of it is word-of-mouth. The authors I’ve worked with in the past or currently work with refer much of my ongoing business. However, there are some publishers I work with that will send their authors my way, and then there are those that find me through Google.
Day: Do you represent individuals who self-publish?
Maryglenn: I do occasionally represent self-published titles, but have to be very selective with all books I agree to take on. I think there is merit in self-publishing as an alternative, but I am very up-front and honest with all authors—whether traditionally-published or self-published—about their chances of a successful media campaign.

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About Author

Amy Day

Amy Day is the Associate Publisher and a contributing writer for Strategy Magazine. She has an MBA in Marketing Communications and Strategic Leadership from Southern Methodist University and has been on staff with Strategy for nearly a decade. She is an award-winning business executive with customer service credentials from the Disney Institute. In addition to editorial oversight, her regular beat includes business, customer service, publishing, and family/child wellness.

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