What Do You Need to Publicize a Book?
Every book and its author are one-of-a-kinds, and successful publicity campaigns must represent them uniquely. Yet, our professional book publicists know from experience that there are certain essentials. They are the building blocks of every successful book PR program, and authors and publishers need to keep them in mind. If you’re in the process of writing a book, it’s vital to begin early with your marketing planning. The competition in today’s marketplace gives you little margin for error. When you get these five things correctly, you’ll improve your chances of success.
1. Know your book’s audience: Effective book marketing relies on knowing your audience—both in the mainstream and fringe markets. For example, a book about organizing personal finances and investing should naturally appeal to media covering personal finance. However, it could also appeal to lifestyle bloggers, women’s and men’s magazines, newspaper lifestyle editors, in-flight magazines, and many others. By identifying the audiences, you can ensure the appropriate media receives word about the new book before your campaign begins.
2. Know your intentions and expectations: Sharing all of your expectations with your book publicist before you sign the contract is crucial. Professional publicists need to understand the expectations for a campaign—be they to secure national television interviews, build a local or regional author presence, or attract 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 producing the results you’re seeking.
3. Know your short-term and long-term goals: By clarifying and communicating your short-term (3-4 months) and long-term (3-5 years) goals, your publicist can develop a campaign with creative and sustainable pitching ideas. They will carry your book through its marketing campaign and help set you up for success in years with author branding activities. A publicity campaign can position you as an expert in your field 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 travel 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. Think about 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. Providing more information about yourself can broaden your appeal to the media.
Book PR relies on earned media coverage, and there are no guarantees. But keeping in mind these essential needs are a vital part of an author’s role in the process—nearly everything successful in book p[ublicity is the result of good planning and a strategic approach. Although writing is a creative endeavor, connecting it to readers in a published book is a multi-step process. The goals and priorities need to be clear from the beginning, and when they are, it’s more likely you’ll find success.
by Corinne Liccketto