Industry Innovations: The Role of Expert Commentary in Book Marketing

Welcome back to Smith Publicity’s Industry Innovations Series! In this new 12-part blog series, the Smith Publicity team will explore various industry-related topics: from the evolution of self-publishing to the explosion of podcasts to social media and how it’s changed book marketing and much more. Each month, we will discuss how different innovations have evolved and their impact on our work as book publicists and the industry as a whole. Let’s dive in…

Over the past two decades, people have shifted their consumption of news. Articles tying in expert opinions have grown to become the standard. Want to know about the latest tips for handling anxiety? Do you want to learn more about how to keep your resolutions all year long? What about how to handle employee issues? It is all within a quick search online connecting you with various outlets offering advice with several experts weaved throughout the piece. As an author, expert commentary is one of the most powerful tools when considering book publicity. Utilizing this tool allows you to elevate your voice to several top tier publications and opens the doors for new opportunities while also highlighting your new book (our favorite thing to do!) Here are a few reasons why:

Builds Credibility

As a new author, it can be hard to break through the noise. You have spent countless hours researching, building and writing your book but how do you make people find out about it? A great way to bring more attention to you and your book is through expert commentary. Readers might see you quoted in a piece and want to learn more. The more frequently you are featured online, speaking on a variety of topics, more credibility is built.

There may be several authors who have similar expertise as you but you have the power to make yourself stand out. Be thoughtful and powerful with your responses. Take your time curating unique insights. Be sure to not use the same tips, tricks or advice you’ve seen before. Tap into your expertise and offer some fresh new ideas and concepts to help readers.

Publicist tip: Once you garner a few expert commentary opps, be sure to include the logo on your website as “featured in” to show your expert credibility!

Expands Your Topic Expertise

When writing your book, one of the key elements you considered was your target audience. Was this a millennial woman? Leaders facing a new workplace landscape? Either way, you spent time focusing on who you were speaking to. When executing expert commentary, you open yourself up to a variety of new audiences and potential new readers.

Since the topic of expert commentary is almost always chosen by the writer, it often expands your voice to touch on areas you may have not been able to target in your book. Hey, it may even spark an idea for the topic of your next book! 

In addition to expanding the topics you speak on, expert commentary is also a great way to keep a close beat on the news cycle. What relevant topics reporters and editors are sharing with their readers and what people are wanting to learn more about.

From a publicist perspective, we can build off of your expert commentary topics to expand into other areas such as TV or radio to utilize your insights to the fullest.

Publicist tip: Don’t sell yourself short! Know what you can and cannot speak on in regards to your expertise but don’t be afraid to do a little extra research and offer some great advice to new potential readers.

Builds SEO

One of the biggest pros to expert commentary is the power of SEO. We don’t want your name buried in a google search – so, how do you fix it? The more pieces you are quoted, backlinked or referenced as, the more searchable you become. 

Know your tagline and stick with it. For example, “AUTHOR NAME, psychologist who specializes in relationships and author of BOOK NAME.” Keep this consistent and always link back to your website and/or book link to build credibility across platforms.

Publicist tip: We are constantly told by producers, writers and editors that they pay attention to experts quoted in pieces. If they see an author’s name consistently online offering great advice, they often reach out directly to your publicist to use for more articles.

When beginning your publicity journey, expert commentary may not be at the top of your list. Your ideas might include a full book feature, a wonderful review. Although these are all important to the overall publicity campaign, integrating expert commentary into the full scope allows you to elevate yourself as a credible author and is a key piece to this wonderful book publicity formula!

Written by Courtney Link