Independent book publicist Kathleen Matthews Schmidt, who previously served as director of publicity at Atria from 2006-2010 and spent eight years at Dutton before that, is using her skills and contacts as a book publicist to help the victims of Superstorm Sandy who live on the Jersey Shore. Schmidt has launched a Facebook page, “New Jersey Needs,” where people can exchange information about resources available to victims in the wake of the storm. The page also provides information about such things as NJ Transit service, voting, and volunteer opportunities. The page had at press time 1,326 likes and 2,264 Facebookers talking about it.
Of course, being a book publicist, Schmidt is bringing books into the equation. She is working on coordinating a book drive for children’s books to hand out to young victims, and collecting essays from writers with ties to the Garden State. The essays will go into a book that she hopes to either self-publish or have published by a press that has expressed “interest” before the holidays. All proceeds from sales of the anthology, entitled To New Jersey with Love, will go towards Sandy relief efforts.
“The last chapter of To New Jersey With Love will be called ‘New Jersey in 140,’” she told PW, “I asked people on Twitter to send me one memory from the Shore. The response has been huge.” As of press time, Schmidt had received more than 100 responses.
“This is all unfolding quickly,” she said. A native of Roselle, NJ, Schmidt has lived in the state her entire life. “Going down to the Shore is in my blood,” she explained, “The beaches of New Jersey are my second home. I care about community and I want people to know the real Jersey Shore, not just the poorly portrayed one on television.”