Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Effective Publicity Has Rules

At their own peril, writers ignore their need to use guerilla publicity techniques. Then when they have poor sales, the first tendency for any author is to blame someone outside of themselves. Over the years, I've heard authors tell their woes of poor results for every single publisher--large or small. It's almost a universal truth that authors believe their publisher isn't doing enough for them and the promotion of their book.

And if I'm really honest as an author, I understand that I take the primary responsibility for the marketing and publicity of my books. Why? As the author, I have the most passion for my topic. Do I want to do other things with my limited time and energy? Absolutely but my personal publicity needs to be a consistent part of my efforts--whether I have a book published or not. Many writers forget that they are the brand--no matter which product they are talking about.

In this entry about The Writing Life, I'm including more information about Guerrilla Publicity. They include a full chapter on how to introduce yourself with a sound bite. As they write on page 9, "If you want to get your message across, you need a great sound bite that will immediately capture the attention of busy people. When you get an opening to deliver your sound bite, you better make it good! You must deliver your sound bite quickly, clearly, and compellingly. The more briefly you say it, the better it is." Then the authors give much more detail about how to create this sound bite.

In the third chapter, Your Campaign Starts with You, they emphasize understanding your own area of expertise and how to emphasize the benefits of your expertise as you talk with other people. Then this chapter concludes with some solid wisdom for writers, "Publicity is a full-time 24/7 job. It never stops! Continually tell the world that you're an expert, and how you can help them. Good self-promotion can inspire, excite, and energize your prospective customers and clients as long as you believe in it . Become a walking self-advertisement. Learn to spot opportunities to toot your own and always be prepared to seize upon them."

The fourth chapter, Build Relationships To Build Your Own Empires, is really what I wanted to focus on with this entry. You can't have effective publicity if you don't understand the rules. These rules are fully explained in Guerrilla Publicity but they are worth including here just to give you a taste of the contents of this excellent book:

"Since the media holds all the cards, they make the rules. If you want to play at their table, you have to adhere to their rules. Ironically, there are only three rules and they're alarmingly simple:

1. You are a resource for the media.

2. It's never personal.

3. The media can always change what it wants, but you can't." (page 22-23)

Finally the authors give this sound conclusion, "By adhering to their rules, the media will consider you a professional, someone they can rely on and with whom they'll do business." I hope you can see Guerrilla Publicity is packed with useful information for every writer.

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3 Comment:

At 3:01 PM, Blogger Avily Jerome Left a note...

Thanks, Terry! That looks like a great resource!

Publicity terrifies me, but I'm working on it.

Not that I can't do it- I'm pretty extroverted, and willing to work hard, but I just don't have any idea where to begin.

Sounds like this book is just what I'm lacking. Thanks again!

At 6:10 AM, Blogger Krista Phillips Left a note...

Have you ever watched You've Got Mail? Probably my all time favorite movie EVER, but there is a line in there that I love.

Joe keeps saying over and over, "It's business, it's not personal, It's business."

Then, when he goes to her house to apologize, he says, "It wasn't personal," she responds, "You know, why to people always say that? It may not be personal to YOU, but it's personal to me. If it should be anything, then it should be personal."

Ok, so that isn't word for word, but pretty darn close. The point is, that business IS personal. And that is WHY we should be marketing our own books. It's why we should suck it up, spend $200 getting your hair done so you can look fab in your TV interview and go for it.

"Business" people will delegate their marketing, promotion, and just show up. But people who take their writing personally, who are personally invested, should be out there screaming at the top of their lungs telling everyone to go buy your book.

Your checkout lady at the grocery store? Hand her a bookmark! The lady who does your hair? Make her tip a free signed book. Co-worker's at work? Bribe them with cookies so they'll go buy your book.

*grin* So I know I don't have a book to 'market' yet, but when I do, it will be a VERY personal thing for me to go market it.

At 6:20 AM, Blogger Terry Whalin Left a note...

Avrily and Krista,

Great comments. Passion about your topic will win the day when it comes to publicity but the author can't be shy about their topic. Thank you,



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