Many authors, when working with a publicist, ask if physical copies are needed for the media, or whether digital copies will suffice. The answer is yes, no, and depends.
Authors and publishers, always looking to cut costs, would rather not have to foot the bill for review copies but in certain cases they are desired or needed. For instance, fi you want to get people’s attention, a call may go to voicemail and emails may go to spam filters or not get read, so you need to mail a physical book to major media outlets. They might skim it and see if something appeals to them.
In other cases, the media requests a physical copy. The producers of TV shows or editors of newspapers may prefer the physical book in hand. Other outlets may prefer a digital copy, such as bloggers or online book reviewers.
Media that demands it receive an advance review copy of the book three to four months prior to publication date, such as book trades, major magazines, or top reviewers at leading dailies, almost always want a physical book.
The rule of thumb here: don’t be cheap and feed the media the book format that it prefers.
Physical books can make a big impression, especially ones that:
· Are printed on glossy or ice paper
· Have textured covers
· Are written by famous people
· Contain photographs and images
· Are historically significant or stylistically appealing
· Are autographed and packaged nicely
Digital books can also make a nice impression when:
· The digital book is much lighter than the physical one
· It adds more materials, videos or documents not found in the print version
· It comes immediately vs. a few days for print
· The reporter prefers it over print
· Its supplemented by sound
· The reader can change the font size
Just remember that what the media wants is based on its needs, preferences, and priorities – and not your budget or personal preference. Make print and digital available to all media, all of the time. Same with the content you make available to consumers – have your book in all formats. Eventually, your book will be simultaneously released in all languages online. Maybe one day the media will ask for your book and you’ll send it telepathically. Now, that would be super convenient – and save time and money.
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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 email@example.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015
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