3 Key Publicity Tips for Nonfiction Books
By Mike Onorato
Vice President, Publicity at Smith Publicity
Distinguishing your book from the thousands of other titles available in the marketplace can be the biggest challenge for an author. More competition, more media outlets and a news cycle that seems to change by the second makes the publicity weapons in your arsenal even more important! So what can you do? We present three tips you can start doing today that can help your book stand out from the pack…and get some attention.
- Be active – Whether it’s social media posts, blogging on your own site or any others you may write for or writing byline articles, you need to be active. The more content you put out there about your area of expertise or your subject matter, the better. Producers do their homework when it comes to booking authors/guests or deciding which books to feature. They will Google you and the more activity they see, the better. And they want to see you are part of a conversation – that you have an opinion and aren’t afraid to share it.
- The pen is mightier than the sword – You’re going to need to write original content related to the book and your message. Having the ability to write exclusive 600-800 word articles for publication is crucial. In the areas of business, health and wellness and current events, offering up exclusive, written-on-demand articles are integral to getting attention for your book. Your publicist will work with you to identify key targets and subject matter for the pieces. They won’t ask you to write 3 articles a week. But they may keep you busy. In our experience, we have also seen this can lead to a recurring writing gig. Some media outlets will ask you to become a contributor where you have the ability to post many articles at your discretion!
- Help your publicist – You know your book better than anyone. You know the angles you can speak to – pro or con. The biggest key to a successful promotional book campaign is a true partnership with your publicist. As you monitor the news and see hooks and tie-ins, alert your publicist in the form of 3-5 bullet points they can fold into a pitch. Timing is crucial here. With the breakneck speed of the news cycle, you will need to react quickly. While your publicist may not use every angle you send them, it will be a tremendous help – and partnership – to feed them current angles. Your publicist has the creativity and the contacts. You have the knowledge and expertise and, together, you can both make things happen!
There will always be a need for a good story – and a good author to tell it. It can sometimes take time to find the right angle and hook and the old saying is true: When it comes to publicity, it’s a marathon…not a sprint. But, by employing these three tips, you will help yourself. And help get your book out there.