Power Book Publicity Tips for September 2011

Highlights include:

  • Article: “The 5 Most Important Things Authors Should Know About Book Publicity and Promotion” by Dan Smith
  • Tips for Authors: “Understanding Content Relevance and Media Lead Times for Your Book Publicity Campaign” by Corinne Liccketto

Upcoming Events:

–Smith Publicity will be exhibiting at the Collingswood Book Festival on October 1, 2011 in Collingswood, NJ. If you’re attending and are interested in meeting, please contact us. For more information about the festival, please visit: http://www.collingswoodbookfestival.com/

–Smith Publicity will be exhibiting at the Frankfurt International Book Fair, October 12—16, 2011. If you’re attending and would like to hold a meeting with a Smith Publicity representative, please contact us! For more information about the Frankfurt Book Fair, please visit: http://www.buchmesse.de/en/fbf/.

–Smith Publicity will be exhibiting at the Self-Publishing Book Expo on Saturday, October 22, 2011 at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers. The exhibit hall is FREE to all attendees! To register for admission to the panels, please visit: http://www.selfpubbookexpo.com/tickets.html. Please contact us if you’d like to confirm a meeting; otherwise, feel free to stop by our booth. We look forward to seeing you!

The Self-Publishing Book Expo is a learning center for published as well as aspiring authors. Attendees will have the opportunity to gain valuable information about how to successfully self-publish and market their books. Key members of the self-publishing community offering a variety of services to authors will be on hand, as will representatives from literary agencies and the media. Top-notch pros from all facets of publishing will lead a wide variety of seminars and panels on diverse subjects ranging from how to create a website, to the dollars and cents of self-publishing, creating a platform to build a solid audience, how to work effectively with an editor, marketing and publicity, and more.


–Holiday gift guide submissions are rapidly coming to a close. If you have questions or are interested in conducting a publicity campaign to position your book for a holiday gift, please contact us.

Happy reading!


Corinne Liccketto


The 5 Most Important Things Authors Should Know About Book Publicity and Promotion
by Dan Smith

The publishing industry is in the midst of a revolution. Thanks to independent publishing, more books than ever are released every day. No longer do a small number of literary gatekeepers at major publishing houses determine what will reach the market. It is indeed the best of times for authors, and yet many encounter frustration and disappointment after their book is written. The main reason: A lack of understanding or appreciation for the challenges of publicity — making people aware of a book.

Writing a book, believe it or not, is often the easy part. Publicity, marketing, and promotion are what make or break an author’s dreams. Here are five of the most important things to understand about book publicity and marketing to make your experience as an author both successful and enjoyable.

1) Understand What Book Publicity Is

Your book is published, now what? The only guarantee in book marketing is that if you don’t do something to make others aware of your book, you are virtually guaranteed that it will not sell. It’s crucial to understand exactly what publicity is before you promote your book. Here’s a concise definition: Book publicity is the utilization of the media as a conduit to spread word about a book to the general public or special interest segments. It is not advertising.

Publicity, in its purest form, is the classic “you scratch their back, they’ll scratch yours” scenario. If you give a reporter, editor or producer interesting, informative, newsworthy or entertaining material related to your book, they will then reciprocate by “plugging” your book in an article, interview, review or feature story.

2) Realistic Expectations

The book publicity industry is highly, highly, competitive. The fact that so many new authors can now get their book into print also means the competition for publicity and media coverage is fiercer than ever. The power of publicity to sell books via radio and TV interviews, newspaper and magazine coverage and online coverage is indisputable. But literally tens of thousands of authors are vying for media attention every day, so getting editors and producers to notice you and your book is harder than ever.

Knowing the playing field before you get in the game makes you better prepared and able to handle the inevitable ups and downs of book promotion. The only way authors become successful is because they try, and you must try. Just understand that book marketing is no different than any other very competitive industry.

3) Book Marketing is More Marathon than Sprint

Making others aware of your book and creating word-of-mouth publicity does not happen overnight. It takes time to achieve and sustain promotional momentum, and it typically takes at least two months to see book sales materialize from a promotional campaign.

Authors often spend years crafting a book. The most successful then spend at least a year promoting their book in one way or another.

4) Know Enough to Know What You Don’t Know

A fatal mistake some authors make is believing they can effectively market and publicize a book on their own, with no outside help at all. It’s true—some authors have achieved great success in promoting their own work, but most don’t. Book publicity is a profession, and it takes significant time and resources to do it well. Knowing how to engage media in an appropriate manner takes skill and finesse. A self-promoting author often comes across as amateurish when pitching media. You may be a brilliant author, but chances are you’re an amateur when it comes to publicity.

This doesn’t mean you have to spend thousands of dollars engaging the services of a publicity firm, but you will need help to do it right. Talk to a variety of publicity agencies and find out what you can afford. Professional help, even limited assistance, can dramatically increase your chances of securing media attention.

5) Don’t Catch the “Oprah Disorder”

Book publicists now joke that their lives are much easier because Oprah is off the air. The first question publicists often used to get from authors was “Can you get me on Oprah?”

The Oprah Disorder is the obsession of wanting only the biggest media opportunities, i.e. national TV, national magazines, etc., and nothing else. This attitude is a recipe for a promotional disaster. Every media opportunity is important, from the smallest local newspaper to the tiniest radio show, because you never know who is reading that paper or listening to that show!


Tips for Authors: Understanding Content Relevance and Media Lead Times for Your Book Publicity Campaign
by Corinne Liccketto

A major component of a successful campaign is content relevance. What is content relevance? It’s matching your book with what is happening in the world. Here are some examples:

• Is any part of your novel set during a holiday?

• Are there any themes in your memoir that can be tied into an awareness month (i.e.:

• October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month)?

• Is your book ideal for college grads, or Mother’s Day/Father’s Day gifts or themes?

When considering a start date for your campaign, think ahead – sometimes months ahead – to any holidays, causes, awareness months or memorial days that provide a strong news tie for your book. You or your publicist will be able to promote the book in conjunction with the event, giving you a stronger platform upon which to build publicity.

Here is a website to help you locate awareness months/weeks:


Second, you must consider the media lead times for publications:

• If you wrote a memoir about your battle with breast cancer, placement in women’s interest magazines during National Breast Cancer Awareness in October would be ideal. Magazine editors and writers work roughly three to six months ahead of each issue, thus to maximize your chance for women’s interest magazine placements, you or your publicist must begin pitching the story idea in May or June!

• Newspapers have a shorter lead-time, meaning you can pitch to editors roughly three weeks ahead of when you’re interested in having your book or article included. For major holidays and events, it is best to start pitching six to eight weeks ahead of your desired run date.

• Broadcast media (television and radio) work roughly three to four weeks ahead of schedule. If you’re trying to tie your message and/or book in with a specific event or holiday, it is best to start pitching the story idea six to eight weeks ahead of schedule.

• Online media can be immediate, which is why we love it! You can pitch an article to online media outlets and see it posted the very same day. However, if you’re seeking a specific review, interview or media written article, provide the editor with several weeks to consider your story idea and execute the work.

Bottom line: when you or your publicist has a strong, developed news angle to ground your message and book’s content, it increases the chances of securing media placements. Think ahead to all relevant events, social movements, holidays and memorials and be sure to plan out when you’ll start pitching to the media in order to secure placements on and around specific dates.


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 1,000 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 (main), New York City, Los Angeles, London, and Toronto.

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, corinne@smithpublicity.com, www.smithpublicity.com 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