- Successful Book Publicity Campaigns Begin with an Active Author: Why Even Small Media Coverage Matters by Kate Knapp, Director of Publicity Services, Smith Publicity
- Don’t Be An Egg! How To Publicize Yourself On Social Media and Not Crack by Catherine Trestini, Social Media Strategist, Smith Publicity
Successful Book Publicity Campaigns Begin with an Active Author: Why Even Small Media Coverage Matters
By Kate Knapp, Director of Publicity Services, Smith Publicity, Inc.
So, you’ve signed on for a publicity campaign to promote your amazing new book. Most new authors aren’t familiar with what’s involved in a book publicity campaign – I didn’t, before I started working many years ago in book promotion. Publicists are the “matchmaker,” connecting your book with the right media. However, it’s you, the author, who needs to be available, prepared and enthusiastic for every opportunity in order to make the most out of your investment in publicity. The goal is to give your book the best chance for visibility.
TIME. You will be asked to actively participate in your PR campaign. That means decide on a period of time when you will be available to designate yourself to media interactions. Don’t begin the campaign and then let your publicist know that you are leaving for a three week cruise and will not have access to email or phone – UGH! While we expect you to have commitments outside of your campaign, your publicist and the media will need access to you while you are engaging in book publicity. Let your publicist know your “blackout” times (times you are not available) so he or she can do their best to arrange media around your schedule.
WORK. Most authors have “real” jobs too. We completely understand that you must continue working during your PR campaign. We will always work around your schedule, and hopefully even use it to our advantage. For example, your work travel could be an opportunity for your publicist to introduce you and your book to a local media market. Wouldn’t you rather conduct a radio interview than order room service again? Let your publicist know two to three weeks before personal or professional travel if you are interested in local media opportunities.
WRITING. Interviews for print, online and broadcast media outlets are one way you will be
actively participating in your publicity campaign. You also might be asked to write a byline article or an opinion piece–usually between 800-1000 words. These types of articles provide an excellent opportunity to get the word out about your book and/or the topics it covers, and your area(s) of expertise. Plus, op-ed pieces, byline articles, and blog postings tend to be highly searchable helping to increase your digital footprint. Brainstorm with your publicists on topics related to your book and expertise, especially related to current new stories, for potential articles.
DO ALL MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES! Some of the media outlet opportunities presented to you will be small, perhaps a local or regional publication, while others will offer a larger, national demographic. However, it’s so important to remember that you NEVER know who is reading, listening or watching.
Producers and editors routinely scan local news for ideas, experts, and stories to incorporate to their segments or feature stories. Many of our clients’ national media opportunities are a direct result of small media exposure.
A few examples of how one small media run absolutely led to huge opportunities:
- “A Dateline NBC” segment aired featuring one of our authors after a producer for the program read about her in a small city newspaper. The Dateline segment led to a two-page feature story in People Magazine,
- A millionaire in need of legal counsel was driving through South Dakota and heard one of our authors doing a radio interview on a local radio station–the author ended up with a very lucrative client,
- A producer with the TODAY show read about an author in a regional business journal while on vacation in Florida. Three weeks later, he was on the TODAY show, and
- A 20/20 producer read a byline article on an online media outlet written by one of our authors and booked her for a segment.
These are just a few situations highlighting the importance of authors doing every media opportunity during your PR campaign–not just the obvious slam-dunks. Your publicist will share every opportunity that we receive from the media with you. We do understand that sometimes you cannot say yes. Even if that is the case, we always suggest other ways to fulfill the media opportunity as we hate to say no to anything. We may recommend an excerpt from the book rather that an article, or maybe they’ll accept a Q&A via email rather than a phone interview. We are very creative!
So rest up and get excited. Our plans are to keep you busy during your book publicity campaign, but hopefully you’ll have a lot fun along the way. Oh, and get some great exposure for your book too!
For more information on book publicity, visit www.smithpublicity.com. For help with Smith Publicity services, contact Smith Publicity: info@SmithPublicity.com or 856-489-8654 x306
Don’t Be An Egg! How To Publicize Yourself On Social Media and Not Crack
By Catherine Trestini, Social Media Strategist
Easter Sunday may have just passed, but when it comes to social media this April, we advise you not to be an egg. When it comes to publicity, you have to show face. This means having a professional headshot on Twitter as your thumbnail is a must–and it doesn’t end there.
Branding yourself on social media is becoming more popular and commonplace as social media companies grow and new networks evolve. Social media savvy Smith Publicity clients like Desiree Holt (@desireeholt), Dr. R. Kay Green (@DrRKayGreen), and Steve Repak (@Steve_Repak) understand the power of Twitter as they tweet daily to support their book promotion and author visibility online.
Getting on various social networks as a recognized author is key. There’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Shelfari, Goodreads... are you still with me? Social media websites are thriving–and it can be overwhelming to keep up with all of them!
If you’re new to social media, start small. Create your profiles on one or two networks and follow articles on social media tips for writers. Already on a few networks? Hop onto a new one and start sharing with the public online world. Learn how to be active on social media and get creative with your book-related content.
Below, see a list of ideas for authors on social media:
- Thank book reviewers on Goodreads and Amazon for reviewing your book
- Connect with readers on Shelfari
- Share photographs on visually-emphasized networks like Instagram and Pinterest
- Manage a unique Facebook page related to your book
- Get involved in professional group conversations online
- Tweet your heart out!
Now you know, book promotion does not stop with book sales and and book recognition: it continues with online author branding. Author marketing is an important and complementary aspect of book marketing that is oftentimes undervalued. Even the Game of Thrones book thrives on social media, despite its author George R.R. Martin being left out due to a lack of tweets! Although some authors can get away with selling books without showing face, it’s certainly the exception to the rule. Huffington Post blog contributor Anne Hill commented on the importance of social media for authors:
“Here's the thing, though: nobody worth listening to will ever tell you that social media is the only way to sell books. I spend as much time networking in person as I do online, and the cumulative effect on book sales is great. I sell a lot of books through Twitter and Facebook, and whenever I speak in public I sell books, too -- sometimes I sell a stack on the back table, but more likely today it's via electronic download onto people's e-readers while I'm talking. Yes, marketing of any type takes a whole lot of time away from writing. No, social media is not a magic bullet -- but there never have been any magic bullets here in the trenches. Having a smart, solid plan really does work if you pace yourself and keep at it.”
We agree with Ann: social media takes a lot of time and energy. But there are numerous resources and exhaustive lists of helpful tools and social media platforms to help you manage various networks. We hope our list of online networking ideas helps jumpstart your social media publicity. Although managing social media is time-consuming, think of all the connections you may be missing. Important connections to readers, authors, and the media may be out there waiting for you to reach out– or for them to have a place to reach out to you. So, don’t be an egg. Be available and active on social media networks. Realize that, like your book, book publicity is fragile. Make sure to handle it carefully and don’t fry your online book marketing plan!
To connect with us on social media, see our social media links below. Follow @SmithPublicity and our publicists today! @sandydiaz @BenCameronUK @sarahminiaci
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