Authors: Know Your Book and Yourself for Better PR
Successful Book Publicity is Unique and Well Planned
Highly successful book publicity campaigns are the result of creativity and good planning — and even more importantly, they need to be custom-tailored to a book and its author. Because no two books and writers are alike, the process needs to begin with audience and self-assessment. When there is clarity about both, a campaign can be developed that plays to strengths and overcomes challenges. How to market a book is a question that can be answered differently for each title. But even in crowded and competitive genres, success is achievable with the right approach. It’s why seasoned book publicists advise authors and publishers to plan their marketing far ahead.
When you plan a book marketing campaign, keep in mind these five points to improve your chances for success.
- Know your book’s audience: It is important to know its audience—both the mainstream and the fringe markets. For example, a book about organizing your finances and investing should naturally appeal to financial media. However, it could also appeal to women’s and men’s magazines, newspaper lifestyle editors, in-flight magazines, and many others. By identifying the audiences before your campaign begins, you or your publicist can contact the appropriate media during your campaign.
- Be clear with your intentions and expectations: Sharing all of your expectations with your book publicist before you sign the contract is crucial. As publicists, we need to know your objectives for a campaign—be it to secure national television interviews, build a local or regional author presence, or sign a movie deal. By being honest from the beginning, your book marketers 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 targeting the results you’re seeking.
- Set short term and long term goals: By knowing and communicating your short term (3-4 months) and long term (3-5 years) goals, book PR people can execute your campaign with creative and sustainable pitching ideas. They will not only carry you and your book through your campaign but also help set you up for success in years to come. A publicity campaign that builds your author’s brand could now position you as an expert/author as you plan future books and opportunities.
- 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 traveling you do 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.
- Clarify 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. So, 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. Detailed information you provide your publicist about yourself may broaden the media markets they can pitch to. We always say, “You can’t interview a book!” so when your publicist can position you as the exciting part of an interview, your guest appeal increases.
Well-Planned Book PR Campaigns Bring Success
Book publicity is a dynamic process that changes and develops through a campaign, But it needs to begin with certain fundamentals in place. Also, as you’re planning, don’t forget to set a budget. Ideally, you have the funds to prepare an active campaign with many components. But even if the numbers are modest, there are ways you can still promote your book. You want to go into your book launch well prepared and ready to do everything possible to make it a success.