Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Should You Refinance Your Book Publicity?

I just went through the process of refinancing my home mortgage.  I had done so three years ago but surprisingly found I could save some more money by doing it again this spring.  Once you factor in various closing costs the new loan will become profitable to me in about two and a half years and then I start to come out ahead with every subsequent payment.  The idea of refinancing a house has a parallel in the book industry.

Sometimes you need to pay now for a bigger payoff down the road.  This is true in housing and many aspects of life, especially book publicity.

One should engage in book publicity now because of the potential long-term pay off.  You may not make enough sales to recoup your investment of time and money to promote your book but the PR that you do generate can help you build your media resume, positively impact others, and get the attention of individuals or entities that are important to you.  Good publicity can help with your branding.  It can also get people to your Web site, where they might buy your other books or products.  Of they may engage your services as a consultant or speaker. 

Of course, only a small fraction of all authors can or will spend a lot of money on book publicity.  And in many cases no amount of money can be thrown at a bad book to make it popular.  But getting media coverage, at all levels, can be beneficial.

What type of media should you pursue?

·   You want media that will meet your objectives.  It doesn’t always mean you need to be on the most-watched TV show.  Look at the demographics of the media outlets.  Will you be exposed to the type of people who’d be interested in your book?

·   You should vary your message.  Don’t put all of your eggs into one media basket.  Some online media mixes well with radio or have a little TV with your print.

·   You want saturation of an industry or a location.  For instance, if your book is for parents, target media that parents read, watch, or listen to.  Wherever you live, take ownership of your hometown media.

·   You want media of a certain size and quality, no doubt, but you have to be prepared to start at the bottom and collect base hits with smaller media outlets.  Not only do you build a media resume this way, you also leave your mistakes off the big stage. 

·    You want media coverage that portrays your message accurately and in the best possible light.  You also want the best time slot of a show or the best space position on a blog or in a publication.

Don’t mortgage the house to fund a book publicity campaign, but do stretch yourself a little and invest now for the future.  Your book is worth it.  Refinance your book publicity before you find the cost of generating business escalates. 

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.

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