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Monday, August 12, 2013

The 5 Pillars Of Book Publicity



It takes courage for you to put on the hat of publicist. Welcome to my world of the past two decades.

I guess I could have called this the 7 pillars or 10 or 20.  The number is not important.

But I have found there are certain things you will need to address in order to be successful with your book PR efforts.

Let’s explore the role in book publicity of:

·         Time
·         Money
·         Connectivity
·         Creativity
·         Attitude

Let me take you through what I have done, so that you get a sense of where I am coming from. Always realize that no one is an expert on everything.   I know what I know from experience, observation, what I have read, and what others have told me. I also use common sense and a vivid imagination.

I have had the opportunity to work with over 1,000 authors and have learned that a lot of them follow certain patterns of thought and action.

My goal is to help you see that book publicity is achievable, is necessary, and that you can play a big role in this area. I understand it is not easy nor even something authors want to be involved with.

Of course you would rather spend your time writing.

That is your gift, your passion, your purpose. No one is born destined to be a promoter.

But your books need attention in order for your writing career to continue – and thrive.

I spend a lot of time blogging about book publicity and marketing, not only because I enjoy it, but because it is necessary for my career. I have probably written the equivalent of three books over the past two years on my blog -- http://www.bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com.

The key is to find a balance in your life, with your writing and with your PR. Both are vital to your success.

This week we are running a five-part series and today’s post features the first pillar.


PILLAR ONE: TIME & BOOK PUBLICITY


PR can be time-consuming. It is not always immediate that you see your time investment pay off.

You have a lot to do. You need to research and build your media lists. You need the right media outlets and to find the right people at them. You have to spend time tracking them down and reaching out to them. You need to do follow-ups. You are crafting and rewriting pitches, both verbal and printed. You are creating and updating a web site.

Then there is social media and blogging.

Plus you have the rest of your life and your writing to tend to.

You may feel overwhelmed, but don’t just talk or think about it –  get it done!

Think it through and then convert your thoughts into action.

So how should you schedule your time?

Set priorities. Determine what is needed most, what you do best, what you like to do, and identify what you dislike or are weakest at doing. Break it down into manageable chunks.
Schedule your time, but with flexibility. Leave time to strategize, reflect and to think freely.

Then leave time to execute.

Determine what you can delegate. Time is money: What can you outsource?

Create a timeline of when to start and end your PR campaign. Know what can be done vs what should be done. And what needs to be done vs. your desire to get it done.

Too many authors come to me when it is too late to really be effective. If you miss a deadline or a window of opportunity, just move on. Be timely to capitalize on your launch date, the news cycle, special dates, trends, anniversaries, or holidays.

You will need to experiment in your PR – give it time. Diversify your approach and vary your media pitches. Even try reaching out to the media at various times of day and different days of the week.

Time, no doubt is a precious commodity but make sure you leave some for your book publicity.

How To Manage Your Time

·         Assess your true needs.
·         List your core goals.
·         Examine how you spend your time.
·         Stop procrastinating.
·         Don’t let things bottleneck.
·         Look for shortcuts.
·         Consider lowering your standards.
·         Set time limits for a task.
·         Vary your tasks throughout the day.
·         Acknowledge your time-efficiency patterns.
·         Get more energy by changing your diet, sleep, and exercise.
·         Work longer days and in smarter ways.
·         Reflect often on ways to improve.
·         Model others who manage time well.
·         Cut down on travel time.
·         Avoid long lines.
·         Schedule your days – leave little to chance.
·         Schedule calls/meetings in 15-minute segments.
·         Be aware of time windows to get certain things done.
·         Be ready to react to a changing news cycle.
·         Drop everything to pursue a new opportunity.
·         Respect reviewer deadlines.
·         Respond ASAP to a media inquiry.
·         Contact the media way in advance of a holiday, honorary date, event or anniversary.

Be flexible on time zones/availability

·         Be willing to do interviews
·         In the early mornings
·         And late nights
·         On weekends
·         Wit overseas media

When should you start your PR?

In many ways PR is continuous.

·         There is always something to be done.
·         Always a blog post or tweet to send.
·         Always someone to connect to online.

PR campaigns should begin 5-6 months prior to your official pulbication date. Set your goals and work backwards. Some things need time to unfold. Some can only happen at a certain time. Leave time to learn about the media. Make time available for the media – of any size.

Specific Things Must Happen Early On

·         6 months prior to your book launch:
o   Create your Web site
o   Brainstorm ideas

·         5 months out:
o   Strategically plan your campaign
o   Develop your press kit/media pitches
o   Pull together your Advance Review Copy (ARC ) media list

·         4 months out:
o   Send out your ARC’s
o   Select/schedule book signings and appearances
o   Research the media you plan to approach

·         3 months out:
o   Solicit testimonials
o   Follow up on ARC media
o   Continue to query book stores/speaking opportunities

·         2 months out:
o   Contact non-book reviewer media
o   Approach online reviewers
o   Reach out to tour city media

·         1 month out:
o   Start scheduling radio and TV interviews
o   Finish ARC follow-up
o   Contact more online reviewers
o   Add on bloggers and Web sites
o   Hit daily newspapers, newswires and weekly publications

·         First 90 days of the publication date:
o   This is your time for interviews and stories to run
o   Media and bookstores see it new then
o   All short-term media must be contacted

Stick to your timeline and don’t deviate.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

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