You Asked, We Answer: Top Publicity Questions from Readers

Earlier this week we asked our friends and fans via social media what their top book publicity question was. We got a lot of great responses with our favorites featured below. Have your own burning PR question? Ask us anytime via Facebook, Google +, or Twitter!

How do you reach out to local and national television shows in order to get an interview on their show? – Debbi Donmoyer

When reaching out to the media, especially broadcast contacts, doing your research is essential. Take a look at the website for the show – is there a contact form? Specifics of what they don’t want you to send them? Information about specific producers? Remember that these programs set up their guidelines to help cull through the large number of pitches they receive each day, not following the rules can put your pitch on the fast track to the trash bin. Also keep an eye out for what they’re looking for – talk shows and video magazine programs often have running lists of what they’re planning for upcoming episodes.

How do you deal with negative press about your book? – Camilla Stein

One of the first things we tell our clients is that there is no guarantee with the media; you can pitch them the story you’d like them to write but at the end of the day they’re going to go with what works for them. Take a look at why the press was negative and see if you can spin the story in a different direction. Did they disagree with the goal, message, or viewpoint of the book, then play up they fact that it’s controversial. Bad review? try reaching out to reviewers who cover different genres (ie, if the fiction book bloggers don’t like your novel, try the romantics, the sci-fi crowd, or the mystery lovers where applicable). Think about starting a discussion with your negative press rather than

How do you measure the success of publicity? –  Anonymous

This is probably one of the hardest questions we consistently get from authors because  the answer is: it all depends. There are a lot of factor that can make a campaign successful, including the type of book, the length of the campaign, and the expectations of the author. Remember that the returns for your hard work of pitching might not be immediately visible (especially in terms of sales.) A good example of this recently happened with one of our publicists: she was contacted by a reporter from the LA Times based on a pitch she had sent for a client 7 months earlier! The client was tapped as an expert source for a story an got national attention.

At the end of the day, if you had positive media feedback, connected with your audience, and had some fun along the way, then we’d count that as a success!