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.