I would like to think that I’m a pretty handy person, and I hate the 1960’s countertops in my bathroom. On Pinterest a few months ago, I saw a pin about painting Formica. I just can’t bring myself to try it though. I’m more than a little worried that the result will deserve a prominent place on one of those Pinterest fail websites, and I already have a big mess in the bathroom where I boldly decided I was taking down the two layers of neon pink wallpaper that are apparently permanently stuck to the walls. Even though I had taken down wallpaper successfully before, one look at my bathroom will confirm that I am not a professional.
Even though you can research the how-to’s to almost anything that can be done, there are some things you really should leave up to an experienced, trained professional. There really are benefits in leaving some jobs to someone who knows what they are doing. One of those jobs is the publicity for your new book.
Let me begin by saying that a publicist cannot do their job without you being an active and willing participant in the process. However, there are many benefits to having a publicist on your book launch team.
• Creating your press kit: As a published author, there is no question that you are a talented writer. However, there is a big difference between writing a novel and writing a press release. A novel is all about the story, but a press release is all about the topic. The two require very different styles of writing.
It also helps to have someone else write about you rather than you writing about yourself. For example, I write and rework author bios for a living. However, I cannot writing a solid, interesting bio about myself to save my life. I would be much better off letting someone else write about me—sharing what they find unique, fascinating and worthy of mentioning.
• Developing your hook: In the process of developing your plot, characters, etc. you created a hook: what got the attention of your editor and what makes readers want to buy your book.
A hook to get readers to read your book is different than a hook to get media to cover your book. How so? Unless you are reaching out to a strictly book review outlet, you aren’t actually trying to get media to read your book. You are trying to get them to talk about your book.
Media doesn’t want to talk about a great love story or an intriguing murder mystery, but they do want to talk about themes or issues. What in your story can be tied to a current event or news story? If not something newsworthy per se, what message do you hope readers walk away with? Is it forgiveness? Men and women in relationships need to communicate more? Your past doesn’t have to dictate your future? What can you talk about that other people can benefit from in the long run?
• Media coaching: A publicist can coach you on how to best talk about your book. There are certain things radio or TV guests do that get their interviews cut short as soon as the interview starts. Your publicist can work with you on what to say and how to say it. They can also help you out on what you need to know to make travel arrangements to certain programs and what to wear on a TV interview.
• Contacting the media: The most important aspect of having a publicist is their relationships with media. Every publicist in the industry has spent years building their media lists and developing connections with radio hosts, TV producers, magazines writers and online editors. A publicist knows what the various programs are looking for in a guest, what topics are taboo on certain stations, and what specifications certain websites look for in guest posts.
Not only do you have to know who to contact at each outlet, that producer/host/editor has to trust that the person they are talking to will provide them with quality content and that they have worked with before. They actually prefer not to talk to individual authors.
When it comes to bloggers, we screen blogs for content and traffic, selecting only the best sites for our program. Who will do your book justice in their book review? Who goes the extra mile to promote a book on their social media? Which blogs get read? Anyone can start a blog to get free books, but who is honestly blogging for all the right reasons? Your publicity team has already done all of this for you and won’t send out books to “reviewers” who will never actually post on your book.
• Letting you do what you do best: Publicity work is a time consuming job and it certainly isn’t easy. Truthfully, with the time you need to devote to your next writing project, you don’t have the time to give your book the publicity it deserves. Leave your PR work to the professionals. And I promise to leave the novel writing to you!
In addition to what is considered traditional publicity, at Litfuse we also do more specialized social media and marketing campaigns as well. In fact, right now, we are working on something very special with Seekerville’s own Mary Connealy to launch her new release, Fired Up.
For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been a coordinating a Kindle Fire giveaway running in conjunction with the blog tour for Fired Up. Tomorrow night, October 8, we’ll be doing all the background work on Mary’s webcast. Throughout the entire blog tour, we’ve been working with Mary and bloggers to promote the giveaway and webcast through Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. We hope you’ll join Mary tomorrow night on Facebook! Click here for more details!
Have you ever had a DIY experience go wrong? Have you ever done something yourself you wish you had left to the professionals?
Audra Jennings oversees the publicity department of Litfuse Publicity Group. With more than 11 years in the Christian publishing industry, she has built relationships with media, publishers and authors. Since joining the Litfuse team, she has developed a great appreciation for their unique approach to publicity through the use of social media in order to reach a larger audience.
Noisemakers for those who write and publish books, Litfuse Publicity Group is a full-service publicity firm specializing in media relations, publicity tours, creative book promotion, author services, and social media campaigns. Stop by the nest and see what's stirring. www.litfusegroup.com | @litfuse | facebook.com/litfusegroup
Today Seekerville is giving away a print copy of Mary Connealy's Fired Up! to one commenter.
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