Another Promotion Idea Factory
Not another one, I groaned to myself as I pulled this book out of the envelope. I’ve got a number of how-to books on my shelf (which I’ve read) about publicity and book promotion. I can empathize with M.J. Rose last week who was a panelist last week at ThrillerFest in a workshop called Buzz Your Thriller. She told about reading Jacqueline Deval’s great book, Publicize Your Book. M.J. told the audience, “It’s like a Bible for publicity. After reading that book, I was so depressed.” Why? Because as M.J. said, you can’t let yourself get frustrated reading this information. “You can’t do everything J.A. Konrath says to do in your blog.” J.A. Konrath was also at ThrillerFest (I didn’t connect with him) but he was also at the event. If you don’t know, J.A. Konrath is in the middle of a two-month book tour where he’s determined to reach 500 bookstores this summer. Now that’s a lot of bookstores. I’m afraid I fall into the category like M.J. Rose who admitted she isn’t that outgoing to meet and greet that many bookstore personnel then the people that come for the signing. No matter what it’s an interesting strategy. To some degree you may find these promotion books frustrating but keep in mind this simple fact: you can’t do everything but you can do something.
OK, back to my groaning with this new how-to book called Bestselling Book Publicity by Rick Frishman and Robyn Freedman Spizman which is part of the Author 101 series (don’t get confused because each of these books say “Author 101” in huge letters but the name of the book is something else—and this one has a green cover). I know Rick and Robyn wrote this book to fit into their series of how-to books and Rick is a true expert in this area of promotion because is the president of Planned Television Arts, which is one of the top PR firms in the country. I read this book and it has terrific content. I plan to highlight some of it during the next entry or two on the Writing Life. Here’s a key aspect of book promotion from their introduction, “In order for people to read your book, they must first hear about it, learn that it exists. If they never hear about it, all the amazing information you’ve compiled, all the new ideas you explained, and all of the poetic descriptions you composed will never penetrate their minds. If readers don’t know about your book, your words won’t have a voice.” They continue to talk about the fierce competition for our attention as readers. Then say, “Every author—from the most noted, perennial bestseller to the complete novice—needs to publicize his or her book. Even if your publisher’s in-house team is promoting your title full steam, you also must promote. It can be the difference between its being widely read and not read at all.”
How’s that for a dose or reality?
Here’s the key reason all of us can learn something from this new book, “To publicize your book, you can employ an endless assortment of tactics, the options are virtually unlimited—a bottomless pit. No single formula, guaranteed method, or foolproof recipe can make every book succeed; however, many approaches do work. As professional publicists and authors, we’ve used those approaches. They have succeeded for our clients and us big-time. Now, we want to teach them to you in this book…When we agreed to write this book, we fully understood that we couldn’t cover all of the bases; that it would be impossible to teach you every book-publicity tactic that has ever worked. You see, unlike baseball, publicity doesn’t have just four bases, it has thousands of them, and publicists—a remarkably inventive group—keep devising more every day.”
Welcome to another promotion idea factory. Bestselling Book Publicity contains some great insight and I’ll be back to highlight some of it.