Author Promotion, Not Book Promotion

by Stacey J. Miller

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Are you trying to retain your privacy while you promote your book? Do you want to take the focus off yourself and shine the spotlight on your book instead? As the character in the novel said, “Fugghedabodit.”

Your book isn’t a news story, and the media doesn’t care that you’ve published it. That’s the unfortunate truth. It doesn’t matter whether a major house has published your book or you’ve self-published it. The book itself still isn’t news.

That’s why, we say “book promotion,” what we really mean is “author promotion.”

We focus on promoting authors rather than promoting books. And it works.

If you’re in expert in the field of cloning, and you’ve written a novel about cloning, then try to get science and health editors (and producers) interested in an interview with you. The media will care about you, and how your expertise might tie into a breaking (or an ongoing) news story. Highlight your expertise in your press kit to get the media interested in interviewing you.

How do you “monetize” these interviews? When you pitch yourself to the media, you always mention your book. The media understands that you’re offering your expertise in exchange for their promotion of your book. During interviews, you’ll almost always have an opportunity to build your credibility, disseminate your message, and direct people to your Web site. The interviewer, in turn, will almost always mention your book.

Will this translate into book sales? You can’t guarantee it. But you can guarantee that, if you count on book reviews to promote your book, your book will be ignored by most media outlets.

Which isn’t to suggest that you ignore book reviewers. Of course, you should make galleys available to book reviewers four to six months ahead of the publication date, if you can.

But once the window for book reviews has closed—and it effectively closes once your book is in print—your book promotion campaign really turns into an author promotion campaign. Promote yourself, and book sales will likely follow. Hide yourself, and expect to hide your book from potential buyers as well.

Stacey J. Miller is a book promotion specialist and founder of S. J. Miller Communications, an independent book publicity firm. Visit her online at http://www.bookpr.com/ 

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