Sunday, July 3, 2011

Promoting Your Writing With Some Excitement

Why do we publish books? Some of you will respond: to make money. Most will respond: to get my message out. You wrote a book because you either want to enlighten, educate and inform others or, in the case of a novel, entertain people. It's a noble cause. But a book is still a product, a commodity in the marketplace. So what's the best way to sell something? You have to promote it. And to do that it means you need to make your story sound newsworthy, sexy, valuable, and interesting. Whereas your book might resemble substance, a PR campaign is all about style.

So how do you put some flash and pop into your story? Well, for starters, be succinct and direct when telling people about your book. If it takes more than a few sentences to summarize what it's about, you're screwed. People will lose interest and the only suspense that awaits them is: When will you stop talking?

When you tell someone about your book, the goal really isn't to become the Spark Notes for them. You don't want them to know about everything in the book, only something. you want to tease them, whet the appetite and make them drool for more. So, less is more here.

The second rule is you need to look at the vocabulary selection you use to describe things. Move from the functional to the descriptive. Load up your verbal diet with adjectives and use verbs that have some sound effects. Don't merely say your book is about how to invest money in the stock market -- it's about how to use the proven strategies and loopholes that rich people use to turn hard-earned money into bigger pots of gold. With this book, you can retire early!

See the difference?

If you have a diet book, it's not simply how to lose weight in six weeks -- it's about providing a revolutionary but proven technique that allows you to drop ugly fat and unwanted pounds so that you can get into your favorite outfit and feel youthful again.

Lastly, always give an analogy or metaphor -- something people can instantly relate to -- perhaps something funny, something timely, something eye-opening. So, use your words wisely and always remember it's style over substance when it comes to PR.

Brian Feinblum is the chief marketing officer at Planned Television Arts ( and blogs daily at You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert.

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