A unique blog dedicated to covering the worlds of book publishing and the news media, revealing creative ideas, practical strategies, interesting stories, and provocative opinions. Along the way, discover savvy but entertaining insights on book marketing, public relations, branding, and advertising from a veteran of two decades in the industry of book publishing publicity and marketing.
Sunday, June 9, 2019
The Love-Hate Of Speaking About Publicity
recently moderated a panel of colleagues at MEDIA CONNECT, the leading book
publicity firm based in New York City.For
the second year in a row we delivered an empowering workshop before Book Expo
America, the largest gathering of the book industry in the United States.
challenge is not to overcome stage fright or to find something to say, but
rather it is to find a way to say a lot in a certain window of time.A 40- or 60-minute session merely touches the
surface of what could and should be done to elevate one’s book and author
something mesmerizing and appealing to look out at a sea of strangers who are
eager to soak up everything you have to say.They are curious, excited, maybe even desperate for professional
guidance and support.As a speaker, you
feel special, like you are not only deserving of the platform, but that you are
in that rare position to help another.You feel elevated, important – even special.
the record, I hate public speaking.I hate
preparing for it, anticipating of, dressing for it, and thinking about it.But I love to actually speak and share ideas,
strategies, and resources for those in need of help with promoting their books
and marketing themselves.
do authors need help!
can be hard to give advice in general terms to a group of people without
knowing an individual’s foundation of knowledge and marketing aptitude – and
without knowing what their needs and desires are.But I can assume many things, as most authors need the same things,
namely a shoulder to cry on, a champion, a strategic advisor, and someone who
can give them all of the tools they need to be better at promoting themselves
and marketing their books.
authors are overwhelmed by the process and feel immobilized.Too much to do, not enough time.Others see great opportunities out there but
might be overstating their book’s appeal and their skill to reach and convince
the media to cover them.Some feel
intimidated by the prospect of having to toot their own horn while others are
so driven by their ego that they want to do everything possible to make sure
everyone knows about their book.
are nearly 4,000 books published daily.The author that works at promoting his book is ahead of many who
don’t.But there are so many publishers,
publicists, marketers, advertisers, and authors who compete for a somewhat big
but finite space — with news media, social media, bookstores, libraries, and
speaking engagements.Everyone’s trying
to carve out a space for themselves.
live in the “look-at-me” age, fostered by TV reality shows, rampant self-publishing,
runaway social media, and smart phones with cameras at the ready for our 10,000th
selfie.No wonder authors want and expect
fame from their books.
Q & A time at the end of the panel discussion can be a dicey adventure.It certainly is unscripted.Who knows what someone could say or ask?But it’s an adrenaline-mover.I like the spontaneity, where danger lurks
the minute the microphone transfers from the controls of a well-polished panel
to the loose canons of the audience.
then time runs out.Another panel needs
the room and your audience, seemingly glued to your every word, floods the aisles
to run to their next session where someone else will feel as if they have a loyal,
endearing crowd, only to befell the same fate as us.
lasting value of our workshop will come in a few ways.For the participants, some will apply what
they learned and honor us by proving our methods and opinions worked and have
validity.Others will hire us to promote
them, convinced we know our stuff but are daunted by the idea of doing it all by
truth is, PR is a collaboration between the author, publisher, and an
outsourced publicist.Each one has its
strengths, skills, connections, time, and resources to execute different parts
of a publicity campaign.Teamwork and
synergy equal success.
dread the next presentation that I will make, but I’ll surely love doing it in
the moment it happens.And if someone
learns something or hires us, all the better.
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