"Recipe for Press: Designer Edition" is Coming

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When Amy Flurry published the original Recipe for Press (left) in 2011 she was confident that the experience she had gained from being an editor at various fashion and lifestyle publications would help many entrepreneurs in their quest for publicity. And it did. A lot. And a very large portion of her audience, she soon discovered, were interior designers.  Flurry ruminated on that fact, realized there were so many questions specific to the interior designer that were not covered in the first book, and started an outline for her second.

And now, Steelyard brings you a first look at...

Recipe for Press: Designer Edition 

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JD: How did you know that the Designer Edition had to be written?

AF: When my first book, Recipe for Press, attracted more interior designers than any other audience, I was consequently asked to speak at industry conferences and market events and began consulting designers as they prepared their communications strategy. I was increasingly exposed to their world and saw a clear need.

JD: Explain need?

AF: Not that long ago designers were just worried about the business of design. Today they are supposed to also be marketing experts. The channels and new tools by which we all share our work or use it to attract clients or editors have expanded, and designers increasingly feel the need to be fluid in them, to communicate their work effectively in these new ways. It’s up to the designer to maintain their presence/communication on these channels because ultimately they want their work to be shared. For many, this process can be difficult to navigate.

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JD: So how does one begin to become a good marketer?

AF: Before a designer invests time and money in getting noticed, he or she must figure out why they want this attention and what they want this attention to bring. Once that’s clear, all subsequent marketing-related actions should align with that purpose. 

JD: Once upon a time getting featured in a magazine or newspaper meant “getting press.”  The definition has expanded. What are some of the newer opportunities?

AF: Many manufacturers have blogs that feature designers. They are looking for ideas, so a designer could possibly contribute an article there. Showhouses also offer a new extension to press. I’ve seen designers not just participate in a showhouse and get published by the media sponsor, but also tie in collaborations with a custom wallpaper company and then get featured there too. The growing popularity of podcasting has opened new opportunities for designers. It goes on.

JD: What is some of the vital information covered in this designer edition?

AF: Recipe for Press: Designer Edition is the essential editorial etiquette you need to win your projects and products positive notice in the opinionated eyes of today’s press. Within that overarching theme, you’ll find chapters that actually show how to read a masthead, how to write a winning pitch and do your follow-up, where to find and meet editors in the wild, and how to find the right photographer for your editorial-style portrait.

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JD: Who are some of the guest experts in this edition?

AF: I asked Christine Phillips (above left), a publicist who has a deep understanding of public relations and has built great relationships within the industry, to share insights on what it takes to make the designer-publicist collaboration a success. Her advice and words are golden! As she puts it, “Many want to stand on the podium before running the race.”  I also asked Mali Azima (above), a photographer whose talent and expert eye have the confidence of interiors editors nationally. Mali shares tips for preparing to have your portrait made. And I also felt strongly about including a Remembrance to Kimberly Ward (above right), an interior designer who founded the Black Interior Designer Conference and passed away this year. Her vision for the black interior design community will carry on and this chapter was one way to share her important work.

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JD: How did  you pull this book together from start to finish?

AF: When I first saw the need for the book, I created the outline. That was 2013. And for the next few years, as I worked in various capacities with manufacturers, with interior designers, and on advisory boards for industry conferences, I added a few new sections, made notes about who I wanted to include or who would be a good expert, and refined other areas. When you are running a company and internship program, you’re head is in a very different space than author. The biggest hurdle was in just starting to write. I had talked about it for three years before I put pen to paper in earnest, and me and everyone around me was tired of hearing me talk about doing it. I found my focus and rhythm...eventually. Mercifully. And then mid-way through, I see glimmers of the finish line. That gets you through!

JD: Why do you choose self-publishing?

AF: The part that I absolutely love about self-publishing is putting together a team and then sharing my vision for the book cover and feel and the voice and providing enough direction and space for them to contribute at their best. Paige Howard (my graphic designer), Marjorie E. Gage (a really good editor who knows this industry and audience well), and I were on the phone or working through Drop Box daily and nightly when we were in the thick of editing. And illustrator Alec Addleton and I met every now and again. Marjorie kept noting how amazing it was that we did this without all of us getting physically together. Interestingly, modern communications made it feel like we were together in our pj’s!

Recipe for Press: Designer Edition — 152 pages, 12 chapters, and lots of beautiful pictures and original illustrations — can be the newest book in your library! Order your copy here.

Photo credits: Lead photo by Mali Azima; Kimberly Ward, photo courtesy of Sterling Photography; Last photo by Gabbie Burseth at the inaugural Boss Lady Porch Perfect Dinner, as featured by Jana Platina Phipps (in red dress) on the Trim Queen blog with interior designer Laura Thurman (left) of Thurman Design Studio. 

Want further insight? Amy Flurry talks about Best Marketing Practices for Interior Designers here.

Sandy Hughes