Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The Why & When of Authors Doing Book Publicity

Image result for book publicity image

Over the years I’ve explained to countless authors that book publicity is not a sometimes activity.  It’s an all-the-time activity.  It is not something you do when you feel there’s a lull or when it’s convenient for you.  

It’s not something you ignore or believe that you don’t need.  It’s a tool that you use to your advantage, to establish, grow, and maintain your brand, to sell books, to position you to earn higher consulting fees, to position you to get speaking engagements, to enhance your message to help others, and to show you’re an authoritative voice and leading expert in your chosen field.

There are times when one does more publicity than just stay on top of social media, and that usually is when a new book is coming out.  The timeline for getting media for a book generally starts four months prior to a book’s release through the first three to four months after its launch.  That is the key window of time for promoting your book to the news media, from book reviews and feature stories to interviews, by-line articles, book experts, and quotes in news stories.  This would cover local and national television, radio, newspaper, magazines, newswires, trade journals, newsletters, podcasts, blogs, and leading websites.

But so many authors fail to get their act together.  They simply focus on getting the book written, printed, and sold and then look to promote when it’s late in the game.  They unknowingly are sabotaging their efforts to succeed.

Other authors mistakenly ignore getting publicity in exchange for other marketing pursuits.  They look to advertising, reaching out to places that can sell the book, and to doing things that keep them busy.  Doing all of those things is fine but they are not mutually exclusive to doing publicity.  You can and should do both – publicity and marketing.

Publicity has short-term payoffs, such as generating some book sales, but often it has a long-term payoff.  It provides legitimate, third-party validation for your work.  

When people search for a topic – or you – media hits pop up.  When people look at your website, they not only see a great book, great credentials, but also media endorsements.  When people see your social media, they are impressed when seeing links to media appearances.  

Your media resume becomes a part of your overall package that gets presented to future publishers, employers, consumers, etc.  It’s like a transcript of getting great grades in school.  It’s your ticket to advance.

Of course, people don’t pursue publicity for numerous reasons – money, time, fear, ignorance.  All of them are understandable but inexcusable.  To be a successful writer, one must successfully promote and market his or her books.  It’s not always easy or convenient to do so.  Nor does every pursuit for media fame work out as hoped for.  But when you get to settle in on the sidelines, you almost assuredly guarantee falling short of the opportunities in front of you.


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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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