Monday, July 20, 2015

The Job Of Getting Book Publicity

I came across a jobs handbook on the table of a Times Square Starbucks.  It was just laying around but it called to me.  The title is “Your Winning Edge.”  It’s put out by Division of Employment and Workforce Solutions from the New York Department of Labor.  The advice centered around creating a strong resume.  Of course I would find a book marketing message as I thumbed through the booklet.  Promoting a book is like crafting a resume to promote your candidacy for a job.

Page nine of this pamphlet featured a list of scores of action words recommended for resumes, alphabetized to include achieved, collaborated, directed, identified, launched, persuaded, utilized, and the like. There are words that should be used in press releases, pitch letters, emails, and social media that would add color, character, and power to the message one seeks to convey.  We see them all the time – “dramatically,” “rose from poverty,” “charismatically seduced,” “speaks with unbridled candor,” “reveals a truth rarely seen,” and “heroically saved lives.”

On page eight there were do’s and don’ts on resume writing, such as “Be explicit, use action verbs” and “Don’t list salary requirements or past salaries.”  For press releases it would be “Use five to seven bullet points to get across what you can speak about in an interview” but “Don’t make the press release longer than two pages or use curse words unless relevant and appropriate.”

Another part of the booklet spoke about how employers look at resumes and how their bottom line is to find candidates that seem qualified and who will fit in to the corporate culture.  The same is true with the media.  Bottom line here is the media wants a qualified guest/expert source who can appeal to the viewers/listeners/readers of that media outlet.

Who knew that looking for a job is so much like you looking to promote a book.  It’s all about timing, packaging, and researching to find the right match.  Format and personation count.  So does appearance.  There are procedures for contacting companies and submitting forms for a job and there are certain procedures and even forms one must follow or submit in order for a media outlet to give consideration to them or their book.

The booklet contained commonly asked interview questions and provided interview tips such as:

“smile and be polite”
“dress appropriately”
“maintain eye contact”
“answer questions without rambling”
“don’t display nervous mannerisms”

Sound familiar?

Finally, it talked about steps for following up.  The same holds true for your interactions with the media.

I guess comparing media coverage to job hunting may make you feel unsettled, but it should give you a sense of familiarity.  In both cases you have to find a way to show how you fill a need, offer something new or unique, or provide value.  The only difference is once you get a job, you hold onto it for a while, but with the media, even a yes today doesn’t help you when you need a new yes tomorrow.

Knock-em dead!


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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. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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