Publicity Tips for Authors
By Pam Lontos
So you have finished your masterpiece, you’ve found your press; you’ve lined up a distributor, and then what? Where do you start? How do you differentiate yourself and your book from all of the others available via online booksellers or on bookstore shelves? How do you get the press to take interest in you and your book instead of all of the other authors out there? The answer is publicity!
What’s Your Hook?
The reason people are compelled to read a book, or find out more about an author is because they are intrigued by that author’s “hook.” Your hook is what defines you as unique and what makes the press want to talk to you or cover your book over other people. Maybe you are going against the grain of societal thought. Maybe your characters or settings have historical significance. Maybe you can offer readers advice that will change their life. By developing a good “hook” and using it in your press releases, media kit, and web site, you will gain greater interest in you and your work.
Make Yourself the Expert
Especially for those authors of non-fiction books, focus on what makes you the expert in your field. Use your expertise to contact reporters and pitch yourself as newsworthy and quotable. Even if the reporter’s topic isn’t directly related to your book, getting your name out there, especially in recognized publications like the Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, or USA Today will still help raise your publicity and help you form relationships with the media who may then cover your book.
Writing articles using tips from your book to industry publications, op-eds in the newspaper, and other print media sources provides you the ability to establish yourself as an expert, and market your book in the author’s information box. For fiction writers, you can still use the expertise you built writing your book, or your experience writing your book as the basis of your articles or news writing.
Never Give Up
As a writer you will face more “no thank you’s” than you are prepared for. The key is to not give up! Even if the only reporter who ever calls about your book writes for a small town newspaper, the story they write can be picked up through press news services and be more widely distributed. A few years ago, a client turned down an interview with a small town news reporter thinking they were better off only pursuing the large papers. Only afterwards they realized that reporter was syndicated to the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company and Forbes, which would have provided them national attention. By the time they returned to the reporter, the opportunity was gone. Never say no to an opportunity for press coverage, you never know where it might take you.
Don’t be afraid to think big, but don’t ignore the small opportunities that may come your way. With a good hook, the ability to build on your expertise, and perseverance, you will be able to market your book and your writing to its greatest potential.
Pam Lontos is president of PR/PR and co-author of I See Your Name Everywhere – Leverage the Power of the Media to Grow your Fame, Wealth and Success. Pam has been recognized in her industry with the Irwin Award for Book Publicist of the Year as well as the George Morrisey Lifetime Achievement Award. As a former vice president of Disney-owned Shamrock Broadcasting and with a master’s degree in psychology and advertising, Pam and her team at PR/PR Public Relations (www.prpr.net) know how to get you publicity. You may schedule a free consultation with Pam by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.