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Have You Started Work on Your Fall Book Promotion Yet?

Jul 25, 2008
The scramble for this fall's book promotion is about to get underway.

Whether you're a new author, new publisher, or just someone who's been in this business a long time, you probably understand the reality here.

With nearly 300,000 books published every year, it takes real know-how and promotional intensity to make sure your book stands out from all the other new books being released.

You need that promotional intensity because, with deep pockets, your competition is very serious about how they play the book promotion game.

So, in order to win, you need to know two basic rules.

Rule 1: The Media is Your Best Path to Consumers

The big publishers know the value of great media exposure and what it can mean to the success of a new book. The game to win is getting on the air and in the news, as soon and as often as possible - and ahead of everyone else!

Considering that fall is a prime publishing season, you need to get a jump-start on your competition - preparing your materials and creating your media strategy NOW. Why?

First: RIGHT NOW, every book publicist and publicity department at publishing houses have their strategies defined and press materials in progress, or in many cases, in place.

Second: What many book marketers don't realize is that there are a finite number of media opportunities available for guest interviews.

It's not like buying advertising time to promote your book where your money is all that matters.

Third: There are a finite number of media opportunities for specific topics! Let's say your book is about real estate investing, and there's a similar new book just released from the big boys.

Since the morning news shows are slated to only do a couple of stories, at most, about your topic, the race is on to secure those slots.

Whether it's just you (the author) or a big publishing house, it will still come down to who got to the producer first with the best pitch.

Rule 2: Know the Media Timelines

Timelines are how long it usually takes for each of the different media to "bring you to the public." For example:

1. Magazines. They have the longest lead time - monthly publications often schedule 3 to 9 months "out."

2. Book Signings. If book-signings are part of your strategy, and they should be, even if only on a local level -- you need to work these well in advance of radio and TV.

Particularly if your book is a fall release. Competition for book-signings is fierce this time of year. If possible, we'll start as early as 3 months in advance.

3. Local TV. We find it best to pitch producers 4 to 6 weeks in advance. Yes, some producers ask us to call back closer to the date our author will be in town, but even in this case, we're still there first with our pitch and have hopefully left a positive enough impression to land the segment.

4. Radio Interviews. Two weeks in advance is a good rule of thumb. Sometimes producers will want you sooner, but this depends on the timeliness of your topic.

5. Newspapers. We pitch local newspaper journalists one to two weeks in advance, not earlier. Daily papers are looking for "news" and unlike magazines they're not planning as far into the future.

As you can plainly see, you need to start your campaign plans right now, right in the middle of summer. That's the case whether you're handling your own book promotion or hiring professionals to do the job.
About the Author
For 20 years Marsha Friedman has been a leading authority on public relations as CEO of EMSI. Go to http://www.guaranteednationalpr.com to claim your free "Power of Public Relations" video today!
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