This is the first of two articles introducing participants in the upcoming PubTechConnect Breakfast Panel on Influencer Marketing. The panel will take place on Wednesday, November 14th from 8:30 to 11:00 AM and is co-hosted by The NYU School of Professional Studies Center for Publishing and PW.

This debut breakfast panel will address a topic that is transforming how books are promoted: influencer marketing. What is it in practice and how can publishers best harness this new approach to help their authors and extend their brand? Meet our moderator, Kristin Fassler, and two of our panelists, who are at the forefront of influencer marketing and eager to share with you their tips and strategies.

Kristin Fassler, vice president, director of integrated marketing for the Atria Publishing Group at Simon & Schuster, Inc., presides over a newly integrated marketing and publicity department, created for a more digitally-driven, author-focused approach. In her previous role as the Director of Marketing for Ballantine Bantam Dell, she spearheaded marketing, branding and social strategies for a wide variety of bestselling authors, including George R.R. Martin, Jodi Picoult, and Lee Child. Fassler was an early adopter of influencer marketing and remains a powerful advocate, cautioning that while it is still early days, publishers need to embrace this new strategy to reach different audiences and promote their book in innovative ways. As moderator of a panel that includes key marketers, influencers, and an author of a major book on the topic, she will guide the conversation in all the right ways.

Leslie Prives, senior director, consumer engagement & analytics, Penguin Random House, oversees a team that covers analytics and insights, social media, email marketing development, and web development. In addition to lending her valuable insights on the panel, Prives will help publishers figure out how to put influencer vs. organic marketing dollars where they count most through case studies, a time line, and plan of action, which she will share with attendees. She’ll cover the ways in which Random House Publishing Group has determined when to engage paid influencers, how the group measures whether the investment was effective, and how to synthesize and streamline the activation of influencer marketing in a large organization.

Karah Preiss, co-founder of the online reading community Belletrist, spent years talking about and obsessing over books new and old with her friend actress Emma Roberts. Both loved to read, and they frequently recommended books to each other. Then, in March 2017, they decided to create an online book club dedicated to books that they truly loved and thought others would want to read, too. Their qualifiers for the books they choose are that they have no qualifiers. Belletrist selects a featured book each month, and, since its inception, the site has become a major influencer. Preiss will share her thoughts on what kinds of books resonate with a dedicated community of readers, and how publishers can best utilize book clubs and communities for maximum effect.

Also featured on the panel will be: Brittany Hennessy, the author of Influencer: Building Your Personal Brand in the Age of Social Media, and the co-founder of Carbon, a technology, education, and lifestyle company building solutions for influencers; Suzanne Skyvara, vice president, communications for Goodreads, the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations; and Adam Small, partner & co-founder of Southern Made, a Nashville-based digital solutions lab which works with publishers and other companies to create influencer marketing campaigns, promotions, and augmented reality and voice applications to engage readers and consumers.

Look for more info on our other great participants coming soon.