Some Things a Kindergartener Can Teach You About Book Marketing

You consult with professionals with decades of experience, learn everything you can about book marketing, and you absorb as much information from experts as possible. But like many things, sometimes we over-complicate matters and we forget about some basics. It’s important to return to the fundamentals, those principles and straightforward insights that come from surprising sources … including kindergarteners.

 Play nicely.

In book marketing and book publicity in general, there’s no tolerance for rude behavior or acting inappropriately when dealing or “playing” with the media. At Smith Publicity, we tell authors who receive a bad book review that every author gets a negative review, and even in harsh ones, you an usually find a positive  line or two to pull for promotional purposes.  

If a media contact won’t reply to your e-mail, don’t angry. If they’re not responding, you’re not giving them what they want and need. It really is that simple.

Sharing is always good.

Parents of young children teach sharing, and are thrilled when they see it in action. A child brings Star Wars action figure to school and lets his friend take it home and borrow it for awhile. The next day the child comes home with a different toy. The friend he shared with gave something back to him.

It’s crucial in book publicity to understand the “giving principle.” To get something you want, you first have to give something to others. Some times the best way to market a book is by giving it away. Do a radio interview and offer five free copies to callers. Why? Because when you give your books out, the person who gets the book will first of all be thrilled that he got a book for free, and secondly, he will tell others about it; others who may buy your book!

Share. Give before receiving. Do this and you’ll get much more in return.

Show respect to your teachers, and those you are paying to help you.

We all know a parent who is never satisfied with their child’s teacher, as good as he or she may be. They e-mail, call, complain and incessantly hound the teacher.

Generally speaking, this isn’t a good thing for parents to do, and in book marketing, it’s a downright bad thing to do.

If you hire a publicist to promote your book, chances are you’re spending a good bit of your hard earned money. You are paying someone to do what they are trained and experienced at doing … book promotion and book marketing. You pay a book publicity agency to do what you know you can’t do as well as a professional book publicist.

If you  hire a book publicity agency, you need to trust that the firm you selected will do a good job. Let your publicist do what she does best. Don’t micro-manage. Don’t insist on spending an hour on the phone with her every day. Let her do what you paid for. Respect her talents and experience. Are you paying to have questions answered or to have a professional be an enthusiastic and passionate advocate for your book, working every day to get media coverage?

You should expect regular communication, and you should know what’s going on in your book marketing campaign, but beyond that, let book publicists do what you pay them to do.