In this engaging interview, we delve into the world of Dawn Michelle Hardy, a trailblazing creative strategist and book publicist. With an unapologetic authenticity and a creative vision, Dawn has carved her own path, championing authors and their stories. We begin by exploring Dawn’s unique identity, her SwagHer, as she shares her journey from independence to becoming a first-generation entrepreneur.
As Dawn takes us into her realm, she demystifies the role of a creative strategist, detailing her role in fostering cooperation and innovation across diverse platforms. Dawn’s expertise shines as she unveils her approach to book publicity, creatively crafting campaigns that bridge tradition with innovation. Her collaboration with bestselling author Jayne Allen on the Black Girls Must Die Exhausted series unfolds as a tale of energy, sisterhood, and triumph.
We peer into Dawn’s daily life, where research, networking, and brand building intertwine. Dawn’s commitment to holistic well-being emerges as she shares her exercise routines and mindful work practices. Reflecting on her journey, Dawn expresses gratitude for her curated life and the abundant love and success it holds.
Amidst Dawn’s exciting plans for the year, including a book and podcast, we grasp the essence of her forward momentum and determination. Get ready to be inspired by Dawn Michelle Hardy’s unique journey, her creativity, and her unwavering commitment to transforming the literary landscape.
Christina: What is your SwagHer? What makes Dawn, Dawn?
Dawn: I like this question. I’ve always been unapologetically myself. I’m blessed to have been free to create the life I want since I graduated high school and independently put myself through college. Now I am a first-generation entrepreneur whose life hasn’t been hindered by society. I am a creative visionary, intuitive Pisces, and kind, and have a great sense of humor.
Christina: How would you describe what you do to someone unfamiliar with a creative strategist?
Dawn: According to Glassdoor, a strategist work within a corporation to find ways to foster and encourage cooperation between departments to ensure that teams are in alignment.
As a book publicist, creativity and strategic planning are necessary. I’ve been described as a creative strategist because I often work outside the traditional promotional ideas to spread the word on new books. I’m savvy in helping authors find their book’s reading community. I have done book events at a beauty supply store, bakery, speakeasy, cultural centers, and nightclubs.
You can’t be afraid to try something different. Strategically I work to build a hybrid campaign that includes traditional earned media and grassroots promotions with lots of author engagement.
Christina: Tell us about your work with bestselling author Jayne Allen with her series, Black Girls Must Die Exhausted.
Dawn: Working with Jayne Allen on her debut novel was so much fun. I was excited to work on a book with cover art that I wanted to frame for my wall. Jayne is a sharp and witty writer. We came together with energy, sisterhood, and vision. I started with a 3-day book blitz and had members of the bookstagram community share about the novel across social media. It spread from there. Jayne is the author whose book launch was held at For the Culture Beauty Supply in Culver City, California. The books’ protagonist was a TV reporter and had a weekly hair appointment where she could laugh and share with her tribe of black women. Black Girls Must Die Exhausted garnered 1000 Amazon reviews before the release of the 2nd installment. Today the entire series is published with Harper Collins, and Jayne has a thriving career as a novelist.
Christina: What does a typical day in your life look like?
Dawn: I usually research, pitch, or discuss the subject matter in my clients’ books. I travel for conferences, events, and in-person meetings during the summer months. Daily there is calendar management and brand building, including preparing presentations to teach about the business of being an author. I like to start early and then take interval breaks when my schedule allows. I like getting in some exercise when I can–running, walking, or yoga.
Christina: If you could go back and change something about your life, what would it be. Why or why not?
Dawn: Truthfully speaking, I don’t know if I would. It all led me here. I’m living a life I curated for myself. I have my health and love in abundance. My business is growing, and I am respected for my work. The timing belongs to God, and I believe I am right where he wants me to be.
Christina: What is something big you are working on this year?
Dawn: My book and podcast. Pray for me. LOL
Christina: Where can our readers go to connect with you?
Dawn Michelle Hardy on LinkedIn.