Thursday, July 27, 2017

Do You Dare Ignore The 6 Book PR Myths?

Some authors are under the wrong impression about book publicity, so please allow me to bust the following six myths concerning book PR:

1.     My publisher takes care of book publicity. 
Wishful thinking for those with a publisher. Only a handful get PR attention from them, and even then, it’s usually a limited effort in terms of the scope and duration for the work. To properly seize control of promoting your brand and the book you must supplement what a publisher does.  Obviously in the case of self-publishing, authors are completely on their own and must do all that they can to support their work.

2.     All I need are some good reviews. 
True, good reviews will be helpful but it doesn’t end there.  You need more than a handful of nice book reviews to get you on the map.  It’s a matter of quality – you may need dozens of reviews from consumers and 10 or more from the news media and professional book reviewers to get going.  Then you will need off-the-book page media exposure.  In addition to reviewers and the news media, you’ll need social media to be strong.  Interviews, guest-posts, byline articles, feature stories, and other media placements can be just as important as reviews.

3.     It’s all about social media
Wrong. Social media is important as part of the portfolio of what one does to properly promote and market a book and author brand.  Social media should support your efforts in regards to traditional media (print, TV, radio), digital media (blogs, podcasts, online reviews, websites), speaking engagements and webinars, and other marketing strategies.  Don’t ever put all of your eggs in one basket, especially one that has hundreds of millions of competing voices.

4.     I’ll hire someone to help on PR once I sell some books. 
It’ll be too late at that point.  You may feel you’re in a Catch-22 position, where you can’t afford publicity to help your book sell but you won’t get publicity if you first wait for book sales without properly promoting it.  A book has a certain shelf-life and the media has its own deadlines to work under.  You have to promote your book four to five months prior to launch date and up to three months post-publication.  If you first wait until you sell books to hire a publicist you severely limit what type of media he or she can garner for you.  Borrow, steal, and beg so you have funds to pay a publicist during the window of time that he or she can be useful to you.

5.     All of the media is online now. 
A lot of media is online but some of the biggest media is traditional media:  television, radio, magazines, and newspapers.  Do not be fooled into thinking the only thing out there are blogs, podcasts, Twitter, and Facebook.  Authors should still kill to be on national radio shows or featured on the Today Show or interviewed by USA Today.  Traditional media greatly influences other media and still pushes the news cycle in a significant way.  Don’t ignore non-digital media!

6.     My book is better than the competition.
Let’s say such a bold statement is true.  So what?  No one knows it’s great unless you do things to let people know about your book. Everyone needs to do PR, from first-time authors to best-selling ones, from the self-published to the Big 5 authors, from poetry and novels, to non-fiction and scholarly works.  You can never have enough exposure for a book.  It’s comforting to believe your book is great but you have to go out there and prove it to be so.  Don’t be lazy or overconfident -- circulate and get the word-of-mouth going.  Let third parties validate your greatness.

There are reasons these myths are perpetuated -- ignorance, unawareness, money, or time.  Sometimes you hear of one author who followed one of these myths but still managed to do well.  They are the exception – and they would’ve done better if they didn’t buy into these myths. Don’t be fooled.


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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 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby 

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