Q&A With Mickey Mikkelson
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Q&A With Mickey Mikkelson
After I recently did a Q&A with New York Times Bestselling author Tosca Lee, Tosca connected me to independent publicist Mickey Mikkelson who has been kind enough to connect me with several authors. While Mickey is an independent publicist, he’s also the co-owner of Top Shelf Magazine.
Q: Mickey when did you realize that you wanted to be a publicist? Can you explain to the readers of my blog what publicists in the publishing industry do?
Thank you for having me!!
A: The opportunity actually just fell in my lap. My career began as a book seller with Indigo/Chapters, which is the largest book chain in Canada. After that, I worked in the corporate sector working with credit unions on insurance sales on loans and helping train on banking technologies. In that career, I learned the foundation and the importance of building within a community, the benefits of working with full-value partnerships, and finding paths to the right decision makers in business and using strategy networking to build relationships.
Then in 2016 I formed Creative Edge Publicity after helping a friend promote her book. My company logo of two puzzle pieces connecting with one of them blue and the other white, was developed by my autistic daughter, she was nine at the time. The company started in March of 2016 and from 2016 to September 2019, Creative Edge was a part-time side business.
Publicists in the book industry obtain the following:
· Get book reviews for its clients
· Obtain interviews on blogs, TV, Radio, Magazines, and all mainstream print publication
· Post press releases in different marketplaces
· Any many other promotional and marketing developments
Q: Can you tell us about some of the authors you represent? I’m sure the readers of my blog would be impressed by that.
A: From September 2019 to present, it has been my full-time passion and as of this writing, we represent over 100 authors with three New York Times Bestsellers, seven USA Today Bestsellers, multiple international bestsellers both indie and traditionally published authors, and we are the contracted publicist for no less than seven small press publishers. Some of the names I currently work with are:
- New York Times Bestseller, Tosca Lee
- Multiple Science Fiction Award winning author and Member of the Order of Canada, Robert J. Sawyer
- USA Today Bestseller, Ann Charles
- Bram Stoker Winner, Nzondi
Q: What’s your advice to anyone wanting to become a publicist for a publishing company? Do you have to go to school to become a publicist?
A: Being a publicist is like doing anything else, you have to have a passion for it and have a strong conviction and belief in what you want to do. Networking, collaboration, and being able to work with a number of personality types is essential for success. There are public relations and journalism courses you can take but I never did. I completed a Marketing diploma from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and that program really helped me prepare for the sales aspect of being successful and developing a business etiquette that has prepared me for success.
Q: For authors wanting their work out into the world, how would they go about having you as their publicist? Would they have to email you their stories they wrote and wait to hear back from you?
A: I only sign authors when their book is complete and anyone who reaches out to me, I like to have a discussion with them and see if they would be a fit for me or my other represented clients. I sign clients based on their vision of what they want to do and their marketability. Professionalism and taking time to have a vibrant book cover and a professional head shot go a long way in terms of branding.
Q: If you were an author yourself, would you want to represent yourself as a publicist or would you have someone else be your publicist?
A: Tough question. Only because I would never be an author, it’s not a goal of mine. My passion is about promoting other people’s works and branding and I cannot imagine doing anything else. I’m biased but I think I know what I am doing so I would likely hire myself!
Q: What’s it like being co-owner of Top Shelf Magazine? Would you please explain to the readers and I what Top Shelf Magazine is? Is it the name of your magazine or bookstore?
A: Top Shelf Magazine is a major literary magazine in the U.S. featuring multiple highly recognized authors in the industry such as Brad Thor, Steve Berry, Tosca Lee, Jon Land, and multiple others. Previously owned by Keith and Becky Katsikas, the magazine has a stellar reputation in the industry and Creative Edge acquired it in a collaboration with Abundantly Social in May 2022.
The magazine was not acquired to be the Creative Edge client magazine, but my clients will definitely benefit from added exposure within through author spotlights, book reviews, guest posts that focus on writing terminology and activity, and lastly ads that are meant to boost their products and books.
I own the magazine with Aimee Ravichandran, who owns Abundantly Social a mainstream social media firm. Our goal for Top Shelf is to be known as the Book Community Magazine, its meant to reference the book industry as a whole but doing so in a way that mirrors the entire community. This fall, our goal is to start creating professional looking issues and focus on stories that pivot Indie authors, traditional authors, New York Times and USA Today bestsellers, and award winners. We want to showcase the entire book market and spotlight on every genre and every book market that we can, and we want to present it in a way that is ethical and looks professional.