Power Book Publicity Tips for July 2012

In this issue:

  • Bowker Publishing Stats for 2011
  • The Reality of Book Reviews, by Dan Smith, CEO and Founder of Smith Publicity

Thanks to all who visited Smith Publicity’s booth at uPublishU and BookExpo America! Here is a link to a podcast to the keynote panel “Break Through & Publish YOU: Be In Control—Be Read, Reviewed & Become A Success!” conference session, moderated by Christopher Kenneally, with Smith Publicity’s president Sandy Diaz, Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, Bob Young, CEO of, and Jenny Pedroza from The Writer’s Coffee Shop, Smith Publicity client and original publisher of the international literary sensation, Fifty Shades of Grey

Happy reading!


Corinne Liccketto
o: 856.489.8654 ext 309
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Questions? Contact a representative of the Smith Publicity sales team:

Sandy Diaz,, 856.489.8654 x301
Dan Smith,, 856.489.8654 x101
Marissa Madill,, 856.489.8654 x314
Dina Barsky,, 856.489.8654 x319
Sarah Miniaci,, 856.489.8654 x329
Book Numbers and Trends as Reported by Bowker:
2011 Estimates Show
4,198 New Book Titles and Editions Per Day!

Bowker, the global leader in bibliographic information, released its annual report on U. S. print book publishing for 2011, compiled from its Books In Print® database. Based on preliminary figures from U.S. publishers, Bowker is projecting that traditional print book output grew six percent in 2011, from 328,259 titles in 2010 to a projected 347,178 in 2011, driven almost exclusively by a strong self-publishing market. This is the most significant expansion in more than four years for America’s traditional publishing sector, but removing self-publishing from the equation would show that the market is relatively flat from 2010.

They also reported that 2011 projected New Book Titles and Editions for non traditional books (defined largely as reprints, often public domain, and other titles printed on-demand) totaled 1,185,445! Combined with the 347,178 for traditionally printed books, the estimated total of New Book Titles and Editions for 2011 is 1,532,623. That is an average of 4,198 per day for the U.S. alone!

“Transformation of our industry has brought on a time of rich innovation in the publishing models we now have today. What was once relegated to the outskirts of our industry—and even took on demeaning names like ‘vanity press’ is now not only a viable alternative but what is driving the title growth of our industry today,” said Kelly Gallagher, Vice-President, Bowker Market Research. “From that standpoint, self-publishing is a true legitimate power to be reckoned with. Coupled with the explosive growth of e-books and digital content – these two forces are moving the industry in dramatic ways.”

Genres that contributed to the robust growth in the Traditional sector include:

Education, 20%

Music 14%

Philosophy & Psychology 14%

Religion 12%

Juveniles 11%

Biography 11%

Business 11%

Fiction–the largest genre–turned around a multi-year decline with a notable 13% increase

Bowker is the world's leading provider of bibliographic information and management solutions designed to help publishers, booksellers, and libraries better serve their customers. Creators of products and services that make books easier for people to discover, evaluate, order, and experience, the company also generates research and resources for publishers, helping them understand and meet the interests of readers worldwide. Bowker, an affiliated business of ProQuest and the official ISBN Agency for the United States and its territories, is headquartered in New Providence, New Jersey with additional operations in England and Australia.

The Reality of Book Reviews
by Dan Smith, CEO & Founder, Smith Publicity

Industry experts offer varying opinions on the issue of book reviews, but as anyone in the publicity business knows, securing ‘traditional’ book reviews is more difficult that in years past. Large galley mailings are becoming less common. Instead, as Smith Publicity has done, the more efficient and economical practice is targeted advance copy mailings, to very carefully chosen outlets and using services such as NetGalley to distribute ebook copies to select librarians, reviews, bloggers, booksellers, educators, and media.

So what do I mean by ‘traditional’ book reviews? The printed review; in newspapers or magazines, is not nearly what it once was. The newspaper industry continues to be hurt by reduced circulation and ever-increasing challenges from online media. Additionally, with thousands of new books coming out every month (see Bowker numbers), the competition for print space is limited, and the ‘big houses’ dominate in terms of book reviews. Many print outlets simply await catalogue mailings from major publishers, choose books they deem worthy of review, while many small/independent presses and most self-published authors are left out in the cold. It’s really that simple.

But, all hope is not lost. Aside from very targeted mailings–what we call ‘high priority’ outlets with high probability of interest in a specific book–online reviewers are flourishing. Don’t discount the value of online reviewers. Every time your book is mentioned online, it is picked up by search engine spiders, and the more and more your book appears online, the more word spreads about the book.

Online reviews aren’t as limited by space or type of publishing. Many reviewers welcome self-published books; some only review self-published books.

Here’s something that might surprise you: I don’t think ‘traditional’ book reviews sell books. I’d much rather see authors get a feature story, print interview, author profile, etc. in the same newspaper or magazine, rather than a write up in the book review section. These pieces can move books much more than a traditional review, as the feature story will typically draw in your target audience, who may easily miss a book review.  Plus, a feature story, for example, is seldom negative, whereas a book review certainly can be.

Years ago we would routinely send hundreds of galleys out at the start of a campaign.  We don’t do this anymore. Our advance review copy lists usually number around 20 to 50, and, we’re really pitching for stories over reviews. We do this by also reaching out to long lead magazine editors (not just book review editors) who are good targets for the topics in your book. Of course, we are still sending galleys to select book review editors with the goal of securing some reviews.

The Internet has become the best friend of authors. Traditional publicity, the old-school type of pitching for interviews, stories, etc., is still crucial to a campaign, but more and more the viral nature of the online reviewers and bloggers should not be ignored; they have changed the face of book promotion. Here is a link to research book bloggers, by genre:

My suggestion: Do not rely upon the Internet only for your campaign; I still believe a comprehensive campaign attacking newspapers, magazines, radio and TV is crucial. But, get on the Internet, as many places as you can. Get your name and book on as many sites as possible.

Is the book review dead? Nope. It simply has changed with the times.


About Smith Publicity

Beginning in 1997, Smith Publicity has evolved from a one-person operation run from a bedroom office to one of the leading book promotion firms in the industry. Fueled by a passion for making good things happen for clients, we’ve worked with over 1,000 individuals and companies—from New York Times Bestsellers to first time, self-published authors in every genre.

The Smith Publicity reach is international; we’ve effectively worked with clients throughout the United States, Canada, the U.K., and from Australia to Israel and Malta. We have offices in New Jersey, New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto and London.

While our expansion from boutique publicity agency to a multi-faceted public relations 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’re interested in discussing your project, please contact Corinne Liccketto,, or 856-489-8654 x309.

Contact information:
Smith Publicity, Inc.
856.489.8654 ext 309
Mailing Address: 1930 E. Marlton Pike, Suite I-46, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003

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