Publicity for Novels: Answer 4 Questions and Make It Work
Getting traditional book publicity for novels can be difficult. As book publicists, we need to do double-duty with our creativity to get real-life media coverage for a fictional story.
If you’re a novelist, you can find a path to traditional book publicity by asking yourself four questions. They might seem simple at first, but when you really dive into them, you’ll uncover some surprising things that can help you with book marketing. The key is turning a made-up story into something real, and newsworthy. This opens the doors to media many novelists think only non-fiction books and authors can get. You have to find the reality behind your fiction, and then turn it into news.
- What was the very first thing you thought of when you decided to write your book? I mean, the VERY first thing. Something prompted the idea for your book. Think about it. The answer may point you to some real-life motivation to write the book, which can be translated into things such as radio and TV interviews.
- Are there real-life locations used in your book in any meaningful, consistent way? Is your book based in a small town; do your characters meet in a real diner; does any location help drive your story line? If so, guess what? You’ve got an angle. Got to that local town’s newspaper, or that diner, or media in whatever location you use, and use this to open the door for a story.
- What real-life experiences motivated you to write your book, or contributed to the storyline? Before you say, “it was all pure fiction,” I can almost guarantee you’re wrong. It’s almost impossible for a writer to not use at some part of their life experiences in some way to shape a book, even sci-fi, paranormal romance, whatever. Think about it. Then think some more. Then find your angle that you can pitch to media to turn your fiction book into a real story.
- How did you pick the names of your characters? If you say, “because it was a cool name,” that’s fine, but you zeroed in on that name, even sub-consciously, for a reason. Find that reason. And maybe you’ll find your book publicity hook. It’s a fun exercise, and I bet you’ll be surprised at what you find.
Take a fiction deep dive. You’ll likely find facts in your fiction. Facts that can be newsworthy.