It may seem like a counter-intuitive book publicity idea: giving books away instead of selling them to generate book buzz. But, just as book publicists (and authors and publishers who are conducting book publicity campaigns) give away books to book reviewers (and producers, editors, journalists, and bloggers) to garner book promotion opportunities, it makes sense to directly give books away to your intended readers via book giveaway or contest.
A radio producer sent me a positive response to an email pitch yesterday. Eager to book the radio interview for my client, I read the email from top to bottom — and, unfortunately, I noticed that the producer had prematurely hit the “send” button, so the email was truncated. I let the radio producer know, so that we could get that book publicity interview locked in, and I expected an instant reply. It took about 24 hours to hear back from him, though, and that taught this book publicist a lesson.
Science Fiction is Everywhere
A Guest Blog by Author John Taloni
As a long-time fan of Science Fiction, it’s been interesting to see the genre grow and grow, to the point where it is now just about everywhere.
In the days before Star Wars came out (yes, and dinosaurs still roamed the Earth) only a few people could make a living writing science fiction. SF fans routinely referred to the “Big Three” of Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein, or included the more Fantasy oriented Bradbury in a “Big Four.” Their works included technology as a major component of the story. Asimov postulated intelligent robots following three laws. Clarke was famous for the monoliths of “2001.” Heinlein developed an entire “future history” that included warnings of the dangers of nuclear meltdowns. Bradbury’s famous “Martian Chronicles” considered the effect of a new environment on the human race.
How much should eBooks cost? Is Amazon correct when it postulates that every eBook should be priced at $9.99 or less? Or are publishers correct in assuming that book sales hinge on many variables (such as book publicity, genre, subject matter, etc.), and numbers are impossible to predict based on price alone?
This book publicist uses technology for every book publicity campaign (whether it’s a book marketing campaign that includes social networking outreach or whether it’s a book marketing campaign that revolves around traditional book publicity opportunities). So I’m surprised to say that I am hearing about Wattpad for the first time.
Wattpad, according to a goodereader article, boasts more than 30 million users, and it allows authors to write, post, and share content. That would seem to be a great way to bring a book’s content to readers which is one of the main goals of book marketing.
The best book publicity opportunities are in the news. Any time you, as an author or book publisher, can tie your topic into a front-burner news story, you have an opportunity to promote your book. Your expertise is just what the media needs, and if your book publicist (or if you, acting as your own book publicist), let the media know you’re available for interviews, you may just score some.
How is your social network shaping up? Have you begun to put all of your social networking accounts in order so they can help you build your author platform? Book promotion is more than just reaching out to the media. Book publicity also means connecting with readers through blogging, via the social networks that were built specifically for book lovers (such as GoodReads and Shelfari), and the basic social networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, et al.) that also serve as highly effective SEO tools for authors. Is your book publicist ready to step in and take your social networking efforts to the next level? Or is your book publicist still doing all of the same things she was doing 20 years ago to the exclusion of tapping into the potential of social networking for book publicity?
Why do you need a book publicist? You can write your own press release, and you can garner media interviews yourself by tracking down the appropriate producers, editors, bloggers, and freelancers. You can join GoodReads, Shelfari, LinkedIn, Twitter, and all of the other social networking sites that are where readers gather, and you can post messages, and you can build your own author platform online, and you can build your brand as an author offline, too.
A Book Publicist’s Lament
So many authors are in a rush to publish their books. The production process has become so quick and easy that a book can go from the word processor to Amazon in a matter of weeks. That means the first time an author thinks about calling in a book publicist might be days before the book is available for sale online.
Kids’ books are about to receive an old-but-new book publicity opportunity by Reading Rainbow host, LeVar Burton.
The wonderful LeVar Burton has long been a champion of children’s books, and children’s literacy (he was hosting episodes of “Reading Rainbow” even during his Star Trek: The Next Generation days!), but now he’s an innovator, too. Burton is bringing “Reading Rainbow” to kids, classrooms, and homes via a new app. Those who can pay a monthly subscription fee will have all-you-can-eat access to kids’ books that are part of the program. Disadvantaged kids will have access to the kids’ books, too. Along with being a great book publicity opportunity for the children’s books in the program, it’s also a wonderful chance to turn a new generation of kids onto the joys of reading … now and, I hope, for the rest of their lives.