Analogies between baseball and book publicity are fairly common. I use them often when speaking with authors, because baseball rules and strategy very succinctly help me get key points across.
Book marketing doesn't have to be complicated, but it also can't be taken lightly. For self-published authors, there are many book marketing strategies and tactics that can be employed, and while some may seem quite direct, or even relatively “simple,” it’s very easy to make mistakes that can derail a book promotion campaign. There are generally accepted methods and many nuances in book publicity, and if you’re going to market your own book, don’t sabotage yourself by making avoidable mistakes.
It seems simple enough: a media contact or blogger, online reviewer, etc. requests a copy of your book. So, you toss it into an envelope and send it off. Request fulfilled. Done. Well . . . perhaps not so fast.
It’s a matter of seconds. Perhaps 10, maybe up to 20, but that’s about it. That’s how much time you have to get the attention of an editor or producer when you pitch your book or pitch yourself as the author. It's commonly referred to as the elevator pitch and there's an art to perfecting it.
Ever wonder how book publicists do what they do? Is there a secret formula for getting media coverage? Well, not really, but there are some insider tips and tricks of the book publicity trade that can help indie authors do what the professionals do.
Book publicity can be defined in one sentence: it is using the media as a conduit to spread word of an author and book to general and/or target audiences. It really is, in its simplest form, a “you scratch their back, they scratch yours” scenario. You, the author, offer great material or ideas for a story, article, broadcast interview, podcast, etc., and the host or editor “plugs” your book. Here are ten important tips to consider when you’re trying to get media attention and coverage to promote your book.
Most book publicists agree: compared to working with non-fiction, securing traditional media coverage for novels can be challenging. Unless it’s a household name author, how can a novelist who wrote a made-up story, get meaningful broadcast and print media coverage? That is the nature of fiction, after all – it’s not real and therefore inherently not newsworthy. But fiction can indeed be turned into “real” media coverage, you just need to get a little creative.