Six Pre-Publicity Considerations for Authors

New author model in publicity and PR

Marketing and sales… publicity and public relations – as an author you have to accept that these elements are part of successfully selling your book.  The direction you take and the steps in which you engage must include the following:

Clarify the genre of your book…

With over a quarter million new titles being released each year, it is vital that you understand how and where your book fits – young adult novels, true crimes or detective mysteries… traditional or historical romances… or Christian, spiritual or self-help.  Your choices are expansive, and you must make the right decision or your ideal audience will never find you!

Determine the available market, and what demographics represent it…

Knowing who will most likely be interested in reading your book determines exactly how and where you will market it.  Is there already a niche audience for your book?  Is that market predominately men or women, or both? How can you best reach them and what marketing activities are you willing to engage in to get their attention?

Identify the specialty expertise, knowledge or experience you have that will be useful in promoting your book…

Marketing to media producers and reporters requires what they see as a “platform.”  The platform is about what you, the author, offer that the media considers will be appealing to their viewers or readers.  Your background, and the level of expertise or recognition you have in your subject area, is what the media is looking for. Be prepared to quickly offer responses related to your being a recognized expert in your field, what it is about your background that makes you an experienced and interesting interview.  Social media drives the media searches – authors must be capable of and willing to write, blog and speak about specific topics so that journalists and media hosts know in advance what to expect during an interview.

Establish a realistic budget to expend on publicity…

A budget is derived only after considerable review of the previous elements of successful book publicity.  When you know the amount of money you have, and are willing to expend on publicity, the choices you make will come from a realistic place of clarity.  You may be the kind of author who will absolutely love doing road tours, meeting with readers from a wide geographic distribution; alternatively, you may be more content to spend your time creating and maintaining a web presence with a website, blog posts and social media relationships.  Your preference might lean toward more traditional marketing collateral such as bookmarks, posters, and flyers being distributed throughout bookstores, libraries, gift stores and other retail outlets. Each choice impacts your allowable budget, and once a marketing campaign is in place, prepare to manage it well and make the most of your efforts and resources. Don’t allow your head to be turned by first this suggestion and that sales pitch; stay on course!  You may also want to factor in the cost of hiring a publicist, which frequently is the most economical course if you want to free yourself to do what you do best… write!

Remain committed to following professional recommendations…

It is not uncommon to experience a bit of panic once success opens you to a somewhat noisy, crowded publishing environment.  If your are handling your PR by yourself, understand it is relatively normal for publishers to overlook authors, and retailers have too many pitches coming their way and may not always make quick decisions that are in your favor; you may feel you are walking around in a land mine… all alone.  If you are working with a publicist, accept the reality that it can take an experienced one many attempts and many hours of follow-up and pitching to get a bookseller, reporter, or producer to agree to an event or interview on your behalf, and for you to experience a momentary fear that causes you to balk at the opportunities that come your way is frustrating and creates awkward moments for the eager publicist with the media who has finally agreed to interview you!

Not only is it necessary for an author to be media ready from a marketability standpoint – it is equally necessary to be comfortable with being in front of a camera, feel adept at speaking and always ready to engage and perform.  Without the ability to be able to respond to media opportunities, you are putting a cap on the potential success of your book; you are also losing the outreach that is possible from generating an exciting and essential word-of-mouth ripple effect marketing program.

Whether you hire a publicist or engage a PR Coach, it will be a travesty to waste not only the opportunities you have created by writing your book, but in the added efforts and resources necessary successfully promote it.  All it takes is a desire to remain committed to your book’s success and follow through on all efforts to obtain the promotional attention you desire.

Take some time and think about each of these six elements and decide how each would impact or modify your efforts and leave me with your comments or questions.

This one step – choosing a goal and sticking to it – changes everything. ~ Scott Reed
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2 Responses to Six Pre-Publicity Considerations for Authors

  1. softstars says:

    Thank you..really informative!!

  2. freesoft says:

    Thank you..really informative!!

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