Friday, October 20, 2017
Hey writers! Emily Homonoff, daughter of one of the patron saints of writers, Robin Kall Homonoff, talks about her small but mighty communications firm for creatives, Little Lion.
Every writer knows that promotion, marketing and publicity can make or break a book. That is why I personally worship at the feet of these professionals. We cannot do this by ourselves, no matter how much of a control freak we are. We writers need patron saints. That's part of why I love Emily Homonoff, who now has an incredible business that writers will love. Fun fact: Emily is the daughter of Robin Kall Homonoff, who runs the incredible and always packed Point Street Reading Series, creates fascinating podcasts and would probably help you go grocery shopping if you really, really needed it.)
Little Lion Communications (small but mighty!) is a company every creative should look into. I'm so delighted to host her here, and the only thing better would be to give her a hug in person. Thank you, Emily.
Tell us how your company came about.
Not too long into my time as a publicist at William Morrow it became clear to me that eventually I would have to go out on my own. Publishing houses were cutting back on their resources and I was constantly being told that I didn’t have time to implement the ideas I had that would make a book campaign unique. Time after time I saw authors not getting the detail and care they deserved, and after not being able to effect any change, I was truly frustrated. After leaving my position I spent a lot of time thinking about what meaningful next steps would resemble and nothing felt more right than starting my own business. Not only would it allow me to do all of the things that I couldn’t in my past job, but it would also be very empowering and gratifying as a young woman in the world.
I am a professional namer, but I can never name my own novels satisfactorily. I love the name Little Lion. How did you come up with it?
Ha! Thank you! I would say that I’m actually pretty terrible at naming. I definitely have my strengths but this just isn’t one of them. That said, when it came time to name my business, Little Lion Communications was the first name that popped into my mind and I just knew it was right. I chose to name my business in honor of my beloved childhood dog and cohort Aristotle, Ari for short. While he was initially named for a line in Legally Blonde, Ari is also Hebrew for lion and as a Mumford & Sons fan, I took to calling him my little lion man from the moment I heard the song. Once I spent a little more time thinking about the name I had chosen, I realized that there was even more symbolism behind it. As someone who’s small in stature, I’ve always felt like I surprise people by the ferocity I bring relative to the package they see. For me, being a little lion is about defying expectations, being your authentic self, and making a bunch of “roars” in the process. And since I’m a fan of the tagline, I felt that “small but mighty” summed things up pretty well, and it also paid homage to my home state, Rhode Island.
Tell us about what you can offer that is unique, please.
There’s a lot of competition out there for ancillary publicity and there are definitely people who have put in more years than I have, I’m not delusional about this. But the fact is that most of them do things by the book and with a myopic view of how publicity works. While this has its place, it’s not my style. While I can certainly cast a wide net and focus on traditional follow up, where I really excel is in my creativity, attention to detail, honesty, and love of collaboration. On a more logistical note, a lot of these companies don’t offer social media strategy (nor do the publishers) and that’s one area where I have a lot of personal and professional experience.
Can you talk about what creative types do that they shouldn't?
I’m a very compassionate person, so at the risk of sounding a little harsh, I think that the creative type can sometimes guard the idea of their work too closely. You can’t control the way that someone is going to interpret your book or where they’re going to shelve it. But possibly the biggest issue I’ve faced is that of expectations. From my experience this comes from a lack of transparency, assumptions, and ego with everyone involved. What no one wants to hear is that this whole thing [enter Jewish wide-circling hand gestures] is a mystery, and while I can’t promise results, I can promise my effort, tenacity, and dedication to a project.
What's obsessing you now and why?
Right now I’m obsessing over my impending hair color choice (stay tuned!) and my upcoming role as an ovary actor in Rhode Island’s 20th Anniversary production of The Vagina Monologues!
What question didn't I ask that I should have?
What are you reading?! In addition to my role as a publicist, I also work very closely with one of my favorite people…my mom, Robin Kall! I’ve been reading a lot for our Point Street Reading Series and booking up through the Spring. Some of my favorites have been: Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee, and Greene by Sam Graham-Felsen.