I am a talker, not a writer. I earned my living doing TV shows and celebrity interviews in Hollywood. When I wrote my book, I was excited and scared thinking about what a Kirkus review could do for it. Working in Hollywood made me aware of what I could do with a good review, but also of how I could use a bad one to take phrases out of context and make my book sound great.
When the e-mail came with the review, I was too scared to open it. I asked my husband to read it ﬁrst. Was I surprised! The reviewer understood what made my memoir work for the audience I wished to reach. I didn’t have to pull any phrases out of context. I could use the whole review.
The review opened the door to invitations as a guest lecturer on cruise ships to talk about my life in Hollywood. It also provided me with an opportunity to sell my book to people from all over the world. Besides lecturing at sea, I have also been invited to lecture on dry land, primarily in Los Angeles—and the invitations keep coming. Again, I get to sell a lot of books.
The review also opened my eyes to the biggest selling point of my book: my years of working in Hollywood. I changed my sales pitch as well. I have changed my marketing approach to highlight real behind the scenes stories that have never been told. Thank you Kirkus for a terriﬁc review by a reviewer who understood me and my story.
Reba Merrill is an Emmy award-winning international TV celebrity journalist and a Cable ACE nominee. Reba has hosted four talk shows: two in Phoenix (‘Reba’ and ‘Good Morning Arizona’ ABC); two in San Diego (‘Sunup’, CBS and ‘That’s Life’, COX Cable). The last one garnered her an Emmy as well as a Cable ACE nomination. She is married and lives in Marina Del Rey, California.