In this issue:
- Article: “Radio Interviews Don’t Sell Books…” And 4 Other Myths of Book Publicity
- Tips for Authors: How to Prepare for Trade Shows
A few reminders:
--The Spring book trade shows officially kick off this month! We’ll be exhibiting at the London Book Fair April 19-21 (Stand R405) , the LA Times Festival of Books April 24-25 (Booth #119) and Book Expo America (Booth 3168). If you’re attending, we’d love for you to stop by and introduce yourself! If you’d like to set up a meeting prior to either show, please let us know.
--Trade Show Marketing Deadlines: If you’re interested in our Combined Book Exhibit service for Book Expo America 2010 where your book(s) will be displayed and catalogued, the deadline is May 7. Please follow this link to register: http://www.smithpublicity.com/?page=cbe.
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"Radio Interviews Don't Sell Books ..."
And 4 Other Myths of Book Publicity
by Dan Smith, CEO/Founder of Smith Publicity
There are many misconceptions about book publicity; some a result of misunderstanding of the dynamics of media exposure, and some from outdated advice which no longer applies to today's market.
Below are just a few myths, some of which I've gone into more detail in other postings or articles, but I wanted to compile them for easy review.
1) Myth: Radio interviews don't sell books—Radio interviews certainly don't always sell books, but they often do, sometimes many books. It depends on the topic and the skill of the guest being interviewed. Also, radio interviews follow what I call a "cumulative effect." Put simply, the more you do the more you will start to see books move. Picture a map on your wall, and pins stuck in the location of every interview you complete. The more pins on that map, the more likely you'll see a cumulative effect, and see books starting to move.
2) Myth: Summer is a bad time to promote a book—In my experience, this is flat-out not true. Why? Because the very fact that many people still think summer is a bad time, means less competition you'll have when vying for media attention. Do newspapers and magazines and radio shows stop in the summer? Of course not. Do local network affiliate TV talk and news shows stop in the summer? No!
3) Myth: Authors should focus only on the highest level media—This is what I call the "Oprah effect," and it can destroy an author's chances of success. As I often say, an author should swing for the home runs diligently, but at the same time go after ALL media of any size in any location. It's Book Promotion 101; ignore smaller media at your own peril. A comprehensive publicity campaign is exactly that, comprehensive, including all levels of media.
4) Myth: Pay-per-placement is the best and least expensive route to take—Well, not so fast. Intuitively, yes, it makes sense: Paying only for what you get is logical, you can't go wrong. Correction ... you can go wrong. There are certainly very reputable pay-per-placement firms which do fine work. The key is to carefully evaluate exactly what you will be paying for. In many cases, a retainer-based fee can actually produce results equivalent to a good pay-per-placement arrangement, at much lower cost. Plus, if a publicist is working on multiple projects, his or her attention will naturally be placed on the easier-to-promote title since this is their pay structure.
5) Myth: A self-published book will never get coverage by a national newspaper or TV show—Ten years ago ... maybe so, but now, things have changed, significantly. Self-published authors are routinely interviewed on national TV shows; my firm books them every week! Newspapers, magazines, and radio ... for the most part, the media doesn't care how a book was published, as long as the topic is relevant, the book professionally designed, and the author can provide solid information. When it comes to book reviews, your self-published book will indeed not be reviewed in the New York Times or other major review outlets, but you and your book can be featured in those same outlets via print interviews, feature stories, etc.
Tips for Authors: How to Prepare for Trade Shows
Whether you’re attending the London Book Fair, Book Expo America or visiting a regional trade show, preparing for the event ahead of time will ensure a smooth (and fruitful) event experience.
1. Establish Your Goals for Attending—Are you just looking to network? Exploring publishing options? Do you need a graphic designer? Reseraching distributors? Contimplating foreign rights options? Or are you just interested in the awesome giveaways?! Establishing your reasons for attending prior to the event is important. This will help you develop the list of questions you’re hoping to answer. You’ll also know what you need to bring and what you can leave at home. Ultimately, knowing your goals ahead of time will help you navigate the trade show and maximize your visit.
2. Know What to Bring—The number one thing to bring? Business cards! Don’t have any? Make them. There are plenty of online sites where you can design and print business cards for a very low cost. You don’t know where you’ll meet someone – we’ve met prospects in line for the bathroom! – and having business cards on hand will allow you to easily exchange information. If possible, bring copies of your book to leave with those whom you’re interested in forging relationships (staple your card inside). Be selective when giving them out to and make sure you make note of who you give a copy! This brings up another good point—make sure you bring a small notebook and pen.
3. Review the List of Exhibitors Ahead of Time—Reviewing the list of exhibitors before you attend the show will not only give you the ‘lay of the land’ but will help you prioritize the exhibitors you want to see. Break your list down into groups of those you definitely want to see, those you want to try to see, and those who you will try to see if time allows.
4. Master Your ‘Elevator Pitch’—OK, so you’re not technically selling your book to each exhibitor, but knowing what makes you and your book unique from others in its genre – and quickly sharing the facts – is important. Trade shows are crowded and exhibitors may not be able to devote a lot of time to discussing your project. If you can walk up to a publisher or distributor and quickly spout out the most important facts about you and your book, you’ll give the exhibitor more time to provide his/her feedback. Isn’t that why you’re there in the first place?
5. Leave the High Heels at Home and Wear Your Walking Shoes!—Although footwear and books don’t go hand-in-hand, anyone who has attended a trade show will tell you to wear comfortable shoes. Trade show days are long and you’ll be on your feet the whole time, walking from booth to booth, standing in book signing lines, food and bathroom lines and cleaning up the ‘freebie’ tables. Believe us, you’ll want to maximize your time at each event and comfortable shoes will help you go the distance…so to speak.
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 900 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 Corinne Liccketto, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.smithpublicity.com or 856-489-8654 x309.
Smith Publicity, Inc.
856.489.8654 ext 309
Mailing Address: 1930 E. Marlton Pike, Suite I-46, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003