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.
I’m absolutely appalled by what Penguin Young Readers is trying to get away with!!! *tongue firmly planted in cheek*
First, and seriously, congratulations to fans of Roald Dahl’s wonderful book, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, which celebrates its fiftieth anniversary this year. As every book lover knows, Dahl’s classic children’s book inspired the also-classic Gene Wilder movie, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” (The book also inspired a second and more recent “Willy Wonka” movie, not starring Gene Wilder, that I’d prefer not to discuss as well as some candy that, similarly, will not be part of this discussion.
In the midst of all the controversy and drama between Amazon and Hatchette, let’s not forget that CreateSpace (which is the self-publishing arm of Amazon) does something that the traditional New York publishing industry could never do. It lets kids make their book publishing dreams come true.
Book publicists who snare book reviews for authors always want to give novelists and experts what they want: positive, affirmative book reviews. We want authors to feel good about their books, and all book publicists have worked with authors whose egos have been shattered by criticism of their writing. It’s particularly hard for book publicists to read negative book reviews since, as book publicists, we take on only projects in which we strongly believe. That means a negative book review doesn’t only reflect poorly on the author. It also is a statement about a book publicist’s judgment, and a book publicist’s reputation is only as good as the last book he or she promoted…so negative book reviews affect a book publicist’s bottom line, too.
Don’t frustrate this book publicist or yourself! If you’re seeking traditional book reviews for your novel, then approach book publicists between four and six months before your book’s publication date.
A new novelist just approached this frustrated book publicist to let her know about her upcoming novel. It will be published at the end of July, the author told me with great excitement. And could I work with her to get magazines and newspapers to review her book?
Four Ways to Deal With Confrontational Interviewers
A few authors seek publicity in any way they can grab it. Recently, a highly successful comedian stormed off the set during a nationally-televised interview during her book promotion campaign.
The story went viral, and it deserved to, because it was so unusual. Most authors appreciate interview opportunities, and they don’t try to create drama during those interviews. In fact, when they come across hosts whose style is confrontational, most authors see that as their worst nightmare. They hope to make it through their entire book publicity campaign without ever encountering conflict during an interview. Yet, because there’s a built-in audience for highly dramatic interviews, it’s likely that, sooner or later, every author will run into an interviewer whose style is confrontational.
Would you like to see a great example of how to blow a book promotion opportunity? I give you Joan Rivers who walked out on an interview with CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield while promoting her latest book. What was Joan River’s new title, again? It seems to have flown clear out of this book publicist’s head. Sorry about that, Joan Rivers.
And you know what? If Joan’s arrogance and belligerence were a book publicity stunt, then — because I don’t think combative behavior is ever defensible or attactive — I hope it fails, miserably, in the book sales department.