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What to Know About Your Book–and Yourself–Before Starting a Publicity Campaign

1. Know your book’s audience: It is important to know your book’s audience—both the mainstream and the fringe markets. For example, a book about organizing your finances and investing should naturally appeal to personal finance media. However, it could also appeal to women's and men's magazines, newspaper lifestyle editors, in-flight magazines, and many others. By knowing the audiences before your campaign begins, you can ensure the appropriate media is contacted during your campaign.

2. Know your intentions and expectations: Sharing all of your expectations with your publicist before you sign the contract is crucial. As publicists, we need to know what your intentions are for a campaign—be it to secure national television interviews, to build a local or regional author presence or to sign a movie deal. By being honest from the beginning your publicist will let you know whether or not they can assist you in achieving your goals. You’ll also help your publicist set the campaign up to work on targeting the results you’re seeking.

3. Know your short term and long term goals: By knowing and communicating your short term (3-4 months) and long term (3-5 years) goals, your publicist can execute your campaign with creative and sustainable pitching ideas to not only carry you and your book through your campaign but also to help set you up for success in years to come by “branding” you. A publicity campaign could position you as an expert/author now as you plan future books and opportunities.

4. Know your travel schedule: If you have plans to travel during your campaign for business, pleasure, or even a family visit, let your publicist know. Any traveling you do during a publicity campaign is an opportunity for regional and local media exposure in the area you’re visiting. When your publicist can contact producers at television stations with the offer of an in-studio interview within a specific window of time, it creates a sense of urgency to confirm.

5. Know what makes you an interesting interviewee: The themes in your book may not be the only things you’re qualified to speak about in an interview. So, what makes you unique? Don’t hesitate to step outside of the boundaries of your book and explore your educational, family, career and lifestyle background. The more information you provide your publicist about yourself may broaden the media markets they can pitch to. We always say, “You can’t interview a book!” so when your publicist can position you as the interesting piece to an interview, your guest appeal increases.

by Corinne Liccketto

 

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