Power Book Publicity Tips for April 2009

Here is our latest Power Publicity Tips newsletter. In this issue:

  • Article: Is Summer a Bad Time to Start a Book Publicity Campaign?
  • April’s Top Five Publicity Tips: Author Interviews Smith Publicity is pleased offer two additional book promotion related services. We now offer Author Media Training packages.

Also, we now offer a Poetry Promotion Service designed specifically for poets to maximize media exposure for themselves and their work. Visit here for details:

Finally, we are pleased to announce the opening of a Smith Publicity Los Angeles office.

For the third year, Dan Smith and I are looking forward to exhibiting at the London Book Fair, April 20-22. If you are attending, please drop by our stand R405! Warm Regards, Sandy Diaz Vice President Sales & Marketing

Smith Publicity, Inc. 856.489.8654 ext 301

Mailing Address: 2 Split Rock Drive, Suite 12 • Cherry Hill, NJ 08003

230 Park Avenue, 10th Floor • New York, NY 10169

6080 Center Drive, 6th Floor • Los Angeles, CA 90045

212 Piccadilly • London W1J 9HG • Tel. 020 7917 9812

Is Summer a Bad Time to Start a Book Publicity Campaign?

by Dan Smith

Summer. Our favorite time of year, and also the one time of year most publicists will tell you is not a good time to start a book promotion campaign. You might also hear that starting a campaign after Thanksgiving, mid-Spring publicity or mid-Fall are fraught with publicity perils.

What are you left with? Basically, September and January are the two “surefire” best times to release and start promoting a book. Well, I disagree, and here’s why... It's really pretty simple. If everyone follows traditional thinking on this topic, then most promotional campaigns start at the same times. This means you’re beginning publicity at a time when most other authors are, and you’re competing against the largest pool of books possible. By competition, I mean authors vying for media attention. Why not increase your odds of success by going against the grain, and start promotion when most other authors are not? It makes sense, on one hand, to think that summer is not the ideal time to launch a publicity campaign. Most of us take our vacations in the summer, so it seems logical that media opportunities are more limited for the same reason. If producers, editors, and reviewers are all on vacation, then what is the sense starting to pitch them? Well, think about this for a minute. Does your local newspaper cease publication in the summer? Does your favorite talk radio station go on hiatus? Do all TV shows disappear for a few months in the summer? Obviously, the answer to these questions is a resounding “no!” With the exception of some of the national daytime talk TV shows, virtually every other form of media still has air time or column inches to fill. Often, producers or editors are scrambling to find fodder for interviews or articles. At Smith Publicity, we routinely secure some of our biggest media “hits” for clients during the summer. So, if you're nearing completion and publishing of your book, and stressing over when to start your publicity campaign ... don’t. If you're ready mid-Spring or Summer, go for it. You just might get more attention than any other time.

This Issue’s Top 5 Power Publicity Tips

5 Media Training Tips for Authors

By Kate Hunter, Smith Publicity Media Training Expert

1. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. Your audience includes not only the readers and listeners, but also the hosts and interviewers you will be dealing with. A little reconnaissance goes a long way. If you are doing a radio interview, then find that station or podcast online and listen to some streaming or past segments. This will give you an idea of how the host relates to the guests. The same goes for video segments. We are in the digital age and just about every broadcast outlet has its own website with archives. Editorial publications are online, as well. But if you cannot find a specific website, conduct a web search for the reporter’s name and that should bring up links to prior articles s/he’s written.

2. KNOW YOUR BOOK. “So, tell me about your book.” These simple words often elicit a stream of fear, dread and incoherent babbling from the respondent. For some odd reason, many authors are not prepared to provide a succinct yet informative encapsulation of their books. Truth be told, this is often why a professional copywriter steps in to handle descriptions for the book jacket! Still, whether you prepare the verbal summary yourself, rely on the publisher’s copywriter or your media coach; it is essential to sound completely comfortable and knowledgeable with your material.

3. ANECDOTES, anecdotes, anecdotes… Interviewers are asking you questions to engage you in conversation that will inform and or entertain their audience. Be prepared to convey personal experiences you may have had that directly relate to your material. Or better yet, tie in people and topics in current events to specific situations, themes, chapters in your book. The more you can relate your book to what is currently topical, the better it reflects on you as being someone truly knowledgeable about your subject matter.

4. NEVER LIE. If you get a question from left field or someone blindsides you by challenging your facts, don’t feel boxed into a corner. Just take a breath, hold your ground and be honest. If it is something you aren’t prepared to answer then say just that: “Honestly, I’ll have to look into that and then we can discuss it the next time I’m on the show.” Never let hosts or interviewers (intentionally or otherwise) bait you into giving an answer that isn’t true or casts doubt on your integrity.

5. WATCH THE CLOCK. You should already know the approximate length of your interview. If it is a phone interview or other off-camera interview, you have the luxury of looking at a watch. If you are on set, you’ll need to stay aware of the production crew and the cues they will be giving the host. Remaining aware of the time allows you the opportunity to slip in points that you want to make that the host may not be addressing. This includes where listeners or readers can find out more about your book (website, book signing, speaking engagements, etc.) and any supporting product you are launching, or what you are working on next, etc.

For individual training, please contact us at or 856-489-8654 x301.

About Smith Publicity, Inc.

Beginning in 1997, Smith Publicity has evolved from a one-person operation run from a bedroom office to one of the nation's leading promotional firms. Fueled by a passion for making good things happen for clients, we’ve worked with over 600 individuals and companies–from authors and entrepreneurs to publicly-held companies and business representing a wide range of industries.

The Smith Publicity reach is international; we’ve effectively worked with clients throughout the United States and Canada, and countries from the U.K. and Australia to Israel and Malta. We have offices in New Jersey, New York City, Los Angeles and London. While our expansion from boutique publicity agency to a multi-faceted public relations and creative communications firm has greatly expanded the breadth of our services, the fundamental driving force behind everything we do is superior presentation, promotion, and positioning of our clients. Our refrain, “make good things happen for clients,” has propelled Smith Publicity from just another agency to a premier promotional firm offering outstanding, cost-effective service with unparalleled customer attention. If you are interested in receiving a proposal for your project, please contact Sandy Diaz, Vice President of Sales and Marketing,, or 856-489-8654 x301.

Contact information:

Smith Publicity 856.489.8654 ext 301 Mailing Address: 2 Split Rock Drive, Suite 12 • Cherry Hill, NJ 08003

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