- Article: “Tips for Writing a Great Bio”
- Tips for Authors: “How to Promote Your Non-fiction Book”
Thank you for your interest in Smith Publicity, Inc. Below is the November 2010 Power Publicity Tips newsletter. In this issue:
- Article “The Difference between Book Publicity and Advertising: Credibility vs. Control”
- Tips for Authors: “How to Build Your Author Platform”
If you like the material you read in our Power Publicity Tips monthly newsletter, you should ‘Like’ us on Facebook, follow us Twitter, and subscribe to our blog. Almost every day we provide our followers with up-to-date industry news and helpful articles – such as the two in this November issue. Don’t be left out; follow the links below to join our network today!
–October was a month of trade shows. Smith Publicity attended and exhibited at the Self-Publishing Book Expo in NYC, the Collingswood Book Festival in Collingswood, NJ, and the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany. Thank you to all of those who visited our booth to introduce yourself and say hello.
— Are you new to our newsletter? Do you like what you’ve read? Click here to review our previous newsletters.
–Dan Smith and Sandy Diaz are exhibiting at Miami Book Fair International November 19 – 21. Please let us know if you’d like to schedule a meeting. Or feel free to stop by our booth. For more information about the fair, please visit: http://www.miamibookfair.com/.
–A first for Smith Publicity! Dan Smith is attending and exhibiting at the PubWest Conference (Publishers Association of the West) November 4-6, 2010 at the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe, NM. Please let us know if you’d like to schedule a meeting. For more information about the event, visit: http://www.pubwest.org/
–2011 American Library Association Midwinter Conference
Deadline: Wednesday, December 15, 2010.
Visit https://www.smithpublicity.com/?page=cbe to sign up for our Combined Book Exhibit program and have your book displayed at the conference.
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The Difference between Book Publicity and Advertising:
Credibility vs. Control
by Sandra Diaz, President, Smith Publicity, Inc.
As a book publicist working with authors from all walks of life, I’m often asked to explain the difference between book publicity and advertising.
When a book is launched, the goal is to create awareness about the author and his or her title for a variety of reasons including sparking book sales, building the author’s brand, positioning the author as an expert, and attracting professional opportunities for the author such as speaking engagements, professional advancement, and future publishing options.
Publicity and advertising are two strategies employed to create awareness. Most people have a clear understanding of advertising since they’re exposed to it every day as they watch television, read a newspaper or visit an online news site. Publicity, however, is seamless to most consumers as the author, person, product, etc. is part of the news.
Advertising and Publicity: Control and Timing vs. Credibility
In advertising, someone—the publisher or author—pays the media outlet for advertising space or airtime. The buyer has 100% control over what is in the advertisement and when it appears. The primary benefit of advertising is control.
With publicity, it’s the book publicist’s job to convince the media the author will provide readers or listeners with meaningful information—whether entertaining, insightful, educational, inspiring, or controversial—and then to make the author part of the news in some way. Examples of media coverage include feature stories, articles, book reviews, interviews, op-ed pieces, expert commentaries, etc. There is no payment from the author or publicist to the media for this coverage. Each of the parties involved–the media outlet and author–get something they want and need.
Put simply, the role of a book publicist is to make their authors newsworthy. The result gives the author immeasurable credibility. The benefit of being “seen on” or “featured in” well respected media outlets lasts long after a publicity campaign ends. The primary benefit of publicity is credibility, and when it works, it is priceless.
The best way to explain the difference between publicity and advertising is to pick up a magazine and find a story featuring an author, and in the same issue find an advertisement for a book. The article gives the author and his title credibility as the reader knows the magazine thinks enough of the person to incorporate him or her into the story. The advertisement gives the author exposure; however the reader also knows someone paid for this advertisement. Therein lies the key difference: credibility vs. control.
An important point authors should keep in mind is when the media does a story or interview, the publicist and author loses control. Publicists suggest direction for the coverage, but publicists can’t control if they cover the author, how he or she is covered or when. A producer or editor can do whatever they want and go in any direction. They may sing the praises of an author and his or her book, or spin the story in an unforeseen direction, including writing a bad review.
When you want planned, controlled exposure, advertising is the route to explore. If you are considering publicity, know there are no guarantees, but again, when it works, it literally provides coverage you can’t buy.
Tips for Authors: How to Build Your Author Platform
by Corinne Liccketto, Sales & Marketing Manager, Smith Publicity, Inc.
If you’re an author, I’m sure you’ve heard by now about the ‘author platform.’ Every book publicist, publisher, distributor, literary agent, etc. will tell you – a book’s success depends largely on the author’s platform. So what is the author platform? And, more importantly, how do you build yours?
The author platform is often the heart of a book publicity campaign. It is, essentially, a list of the author’s credentials in areas that pertain to the content of the book. The author platform may be strengthened by career or life experiences, club and association affiliations, education credentials, and testimonials, among others. An author’s platform establishes credibility for his or her book. You may have the best financial self-help book around but without author credentials, the media and your consumer may not take a second look and your book publicity campaign may suffer. You’ve heard us say it before: “You can’t interview a book.” Thus, the author’s platform, or background, must speak for the book in order to help spark awareness.
So, how do you build your author platform? Here are three tips to get you started:
1) Write what you know: While it might seem like an obvious tip, you’d be surprised how many people step outside of their ‘comfort’ zone to write about things their background doesn’t quite support. Even if it’s a novel, the main themes and plotline should definitely be relevant to your area of expertise! For example, are you an educator? Incorporate an education theme or teacher/student bond into your novel. This will allow your publicist to incorporate ‘real life’ information into your book publicity campaign and position you for interview opportunities.
Writing about what you know helps establish your author platform, incorporate your background into the content of the book and, ultimately, allows your book to reinforce your message because a book simply cannot speak for itself!
2) Pitch to your local media: Local media is most receptive to local authors and their books since coverage of either is relevant and ‘newsworthy’ to their audience. Approach your local media with a copy of your book, a tailored cover letter, and a book release. In your cover letter, make sure you stress that you are a local author and give the editor ideas on how they can incorporate your book/you into their outlet. Perhaps they could run an author profiling story on how you came to write the book. Or they may consider mentioning your book in a local highlights section. Remember, media results build upon themselves and soliciting media runs adds strength to your author platform.
3) Join clubs and organizations: By associating yourself with clubs and organizations that pertain to the content of your book, you’re helping to round out the promotional package. Remember, a book publicity campaign is strongly supported by the author’s credentials. Pull out the main themes in your book – yes, even novels! – and research local clubs and organizations in your area that may tie into them. If your publicist has the opportunity to tie your affiliation with the local SPCA into the promotion for your novel about a family’s beloved dog, your author platform will grow – and so will the appeal for your book.
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 promotional firms in the industry. Fueled by a passion for making good things happen for clients, we’ve worked with over 950 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, Canada, the U.K., and from 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 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, 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