Power Book Publicity Tips for April 2012

Highlights include:

  • “5 Ways to Make Google Your Assistant Publicist” by Rusty Shelton
  • “5 Tips to Prepare for Book Trade Shows” by Corinne Liccketto


Interested in having your book displayed at BookExpo America 2012 (June 5 – 8), New York, NY? Don’t miss the opportunity to showcase your book at the largest book trade show in the U.S. With a simple registration form, your book and important information will be on display at the world renowned Combined Book Exhibit, New Title Showcase! Deadline: May 7, 2012 To register, contact Kathy Weick at cbe@smithpublicity.com or 856.489.8654 x306. Price per title for BookExpo America: $250 (call for multiple book discount).

Happy reading!


Corinne Liccketto
o: 856.489.8654 ext 309
f: 856.504.0136
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Questions? Contact a representative of the Smith Publicity sales team:

Sandy Diaz, sandy@smithpublicity.com, 856.489.8654 x301
Dan Smith, dan@smithpublicity.com, 856.489.8654 x101
Marissa Eigenbrood, marissa@smithpublicity.com, 856.489.8654 x314
Dina Barsky, dina@smithpublicity.com, 856.489.8654 x319
Sarah Miniaci, sarah.miniaci@smithpublicity.com, 856.489.8654 x329
Kevin Gray, kevin@smithpublicity.com, 856.489.8654 x316

5 Ways to Make Google Your Assistant Publicist
by Rusty Shelton

There is no substitute for working with a top-tier publicity firm with established relationships, but it is also important to understand how important Google can be for authors as an assistant publicist.

The media environment has changed dramatically over the past four years. According to Forrester Research, between the years 2000-2008 one in four media jobs disappeared. As startling as that statistic is, when you consider that the time period surveyed is before our current recession really got underway, you can start to appreciate why media members are so overloaded with potential stories to cover.

There are fewer of them covering more stories than ever before and the last thing they have is time. They are so deluged with books, that often the best way to reach them is not by chasing them—it’s by giving them a reason to chase you.

As counter-intuitive as that sounds, based on a variety of factors, media members are increasing taking a “don’t call us…we’ll call you” approach to selecting those they will cover.

A recent Cision/George Washington University study backs up this trend, finding in a survey of journalists that when researching stories:

  •  89% look to blogs
  • 65% turn to social networking sites
  • 52% use Twitter as a resource

This shift in the way that media members operate has the potential to play right into the hands of authors who understand it and widen their net to catch those queries.

When journalists hit Google or Technorati looking for a “Cardiologist” or “Turnaround Expert,” those credentialed authors who have developed unique and interesting content surrounding the topics journalists are searching for have a great opportunity to not only provide their readers with great value—but also position themselves for more traditional coverage.

Here are five ways to make Google your publicist:

1) Push out timely blog posts. Every author should have Google Alerts set on at least five keywords related to their topic area. Each morning, review the stories that are running in your topic area and consider how you can add to the discussion. Odds are the media members are searching for resources and insight on those timely topics and when you create a blog with your take and tag it correctly, you widen your net to attract attention from journalists looking for experts just like you.

Extra tip: host your blog on your website and make sure one of the main links will take media members to a “press room” where they can find links to previous media coverage, press materials and contact information for you or your publicist.

2) Conduct an online brand audit. If I am a radio host and my friends at Smith Publicity have told me what a perfect guest you would be for my show and I Google your name to book you, what will I find? If you don’t currently have a website or any online platform, do I have any way of getting in touch with you? If I can’t find you quickly, I’m moving on to the next guest. If you do have a website or blog, is what I find when I arrive there going to reinforce my decision to have you on my program or make me wonder about your credibility? Also, think about those media members who may not know your name, but are searching for someone with your exact credentials…does your website or any of your blog posts come up in even the most specific search?

Extra tip: Watch every single video that comes up in a simple search for your name on both Google and YouTube. Put yourself in the shoes of a producer at a top morning show and ask whether or not the video would encourage or discourage them booking you. Take down any videos that detract from your brand.

3) Pay it forward to journalists doing a good job in your topic area. When you read articles or hear stories in your topic area that you believe are well done, pay attention to the name of the media member responsible and find a way to help them drive traffic to the story. The best way to do this is to search for the journalist’s Twitter handle and drive your followers to the story with an encouraging tweet: “Love this story by @JohnSmith in the Wall Street Journal today (link) Really smart take on this, John.” While most journalists get hundreds, if not thousands of emails a day, they get far fewer @ replies and often pay attention to those talking about them on Twitter. One key point is to never pitch with an @ reply on Twitter…all of your journalist-related content should add value and contribute to the discussion.

Extra tip: Use MuckRack.com to sort and find journalists on Twitter by category and media outlet.

4) Consider your social media infrastructure as an online press kit. In today’s changing media environment, the first place that readers, media members, colleagues and others are likely to interact with you and your book won’t be at Barnes & Noble or even Amazon – it will be on your website, or perhaps more likely, via your various social media extensions. In many ways, these online extensions make up your virtual press kit, and you must make sure that your branding is consistent and you are providing value across each.

Extra tip: Nothing looks worse to media members or readers than a social media extension that hasn’t been updated in months. Don’t set up a Facebook page or Twitter account unless you intend on engaging and providing consistent, valuable content there. If you have social media accounts that you don’t update, cancel the accounts.

5) Be interesting. Your odds of getting your content in front of a journalist within social media are dramatically improved if you are writing pieces that your readers want to share with their networks. People don’t engage with those who stay in the middle of the road—so be interesting and thought-provoking with your content and make sure you give people a reason to share your insight.

Extra tip: Blog titles often make all the difference in the world. Consider ways to spice up your headlines to attract more attention from journalists online.

Rusty Shelton first spoke at Harvard on the changing world of public relations at the age of 23. Now he is the President + CEO of Shelton Interactive, a full-service digital agency focused on helping authors build larger platforms. The firm builds dynamic websites, handles social media strategy and training and runs digital PR campaigns for numerous bestselling authors. Shelton Interactive is also the lead digital agency for Chicken Soup for the Soul and Harvard Health Publications and has worked with top brands like IBM, Amazon and others. Contact him at rusty@sheltoninteractive.com  or visit their website to learn more at www.sheltoninteractive.com.

5 Tips to Prepare for Book Trade Shows
by Corinne Liccketto

Whether you’re attending the London Book Fair this month, Book Expo America in June or visiting a regional trade show, preparing for the event ahead of time will ensure a smooth (and fruitful) experience.

1) Establish your goals for attending—Are you just looking to network? Exploring publishing options? Do you need a graphic designer? Researching distributors? Contemplating foreign rights options? Or, are you just interested in the awesome giveaways?! Establishing your reasons for attending prior to the event is important. This will help you develop the list of questions you’re hoping to have answered. You’ll also know what you need to bring and what you can leave at home. Ultimately, knowing your goals ahead of time will help you navigate the trade show and maximize your visit.

2) Know what to bring—The number one thing to bring? Business cards! Don’t have any? Make them. There are plenty of online sites where you can design and print business cards for a very low cost. You don’t know where you’ll meet someone (we’ve met new clients while standing in line for the bathroom!) and having business cards on hand will allow you to easily exchange information. If possible, bring copies of your book to leave with those whom you’re interested in forging relationships (staple your card inside). Be selective when giving them out to and make sure to make note of who you give a copy so you can follow-up once you’re home. Lastly, always carry a small notebook and pen!

3) Review the list of exhibitors ahead of time—Reviewing the list of exhibitors before you attend the show will not only give you the ‘lay of the land’ but will help you prioritize the exhibitors you want to see. Break your list down into groups of those you need to see, those you want to try to see, and those who you will try to see if time allows.

4) Master your ‘elevator pitch’—OK, so you’re not technically selling your book to each exhibitor, but knowing what makes you and your book unique from others in its genre – and being able to quickly share the facts – is important. Trade shows are crowded and exhibitors are not able to devote a lot of time to discussing your project when there is a line of people waiting to speak to them. If you can walk up to a publisher or distributor and quickly lay out the most important facts about you and your book, you’ll give the exhibitor more time to provide his/her feedback. Isn’t that why you’re there in the first place?

5) Wear your walking shoes!—Although footwear and books don’t go hand-in-hand, anyone who has attended a trade show will tell you to wear comfortable shoes. Trade show days are long and you’ll be on your feet virtually the whole time, walking from booth to booth, standing in book signing lines, food and bathroom lines and cleaning up the ‘freebie’ tables. Believe us, you’ll want to maximize your time at each event and comfortable shoes will help you go the distance…so to speak.


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, 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, 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