Meet a PR diva who is helping independent authors share their stories.
EBONY: What is it that you do for a living?
Dawn Michelle Hardy: I have dual careers in the publishing industry. I am the Founder of Dream Relations, PR & Literary Consulting Agency and I am an associate literary agent for Serendipity Literary Agency.
EBONY: What are your day to day tasks with your independent company?
DMH: On a day-to-day basis I’m planning strategic and creative ways for self published and debut authors to promote their novels or self-help books. The tasks range from media pitching, scouting venues for events, researching award guidelines, consulting with first time authors on the process of publishing a book independently, seeking partnership opportunities with new music talent for my Rhythm & Books series.
EBONY: What’s the coolest part of work day?
DMH: During the summer months the coolest part of my work day is attending book festivals with clients. I love being outdoors and coaching authors on how to interact with readers to push their works to potential buyers.
EBONY: Was this something that you always wanted to do?
DMH: My careers in publishing are by divine appointment. Being a publicist or even working in book publishing for that matter, never entered my mind. I went to the Fashion Institute of Technology and interned at Essence and Nautica because I was planning for a career in fashion merchandising or as a stylist. On two separate occasions it was suggested that I would make a great publicist and later a friend referred me to work with an author. Everything has lined up effortlessly.
EBONY: How would you say that you’ve become the successful woman that you are today?
DMH: The books I’ve read on business and leadership have consistently advised to follow passion. I’m passionate about helping others manifest their dreams of becoming book authors. To date my humble level of success comes because I’m sincere and passionate about what I do.
EBONY: What’s the coolest project you’ve ever worked on thus far? What’s a cool event that you love?
DMH: The coolest self published project that I’ve worked on is Love in a Carry-On Bag by Sadeqa Johnson. It’s novel that puts you in the mindset of the films Mo Betta Blues and Love Jones. I called the author after reading it and said I wanted to fall in love again. Great read. It won the 2012 USA Best Book Award for Fiction. Winning awards is cool! Rhythm and Books is a cool book promo series I love. I pair emerging music talent with emerging author talent, they co-promote and perform together giving audiences the best of both worlds.
EBONY: Oprah said that she is a teacher at her core. What are you at your core?
DMH: At my core I am an advocate, a cheerleader for those close to me. I’m known for encouraging folks to step outside of their comfort zone to pursue their hearts desires.
EBONY: When you tell people what you do for a living, how do they react?
DMH: When I tell folks I am a book publicist they ask if they can refer me to an author they know. When I tell folks I am a literary agent, the reveal that they have always wanted to write a book.
EBONY: Do you have any advice for someone who’s going into your line of work?
DMH: This advice applies both to future publicists and literary agents. INTERNSHIPS are key! I believe the best way to learn to become a publicist or a literary agent is by working alongside them. The ability to be strategic, creative and learning how to build relationships is vital to both. Dream Relations and Serendipity Literary Agency take on interns throughout the year.