Seize The Initiative With Publicity
People who want to be authors, love to put words on the page. I understand because I'm one of those people who love to write and have people read my writing. Yet studies have shown that most authors are introverts and would prefer to sit in the corner and not talk about their book in public.
While you don't have to change your personality to work with publicity, you do have to show others your passion about your topic and figure out how to use publicity tools to gain exposure for your book or your subject area.
Over the last few days, I've been highlighting some of the contents of Guerrilla Publicity, The book contains much more than I can cover in a few entries about the Writing Life such as 15 things the media loves and 15 things it hates, how to create a media kit guerrilla style, how to think in headlines, how to design a seminar, how to become a public speaker, how to use radio, blogging, podcasts and much more.
Today I want to talk about a key area of publicity where many people miss the opportunity--follow up. Here's the quotation which begins the chapter, Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up: "What is promotion without the pro? Just motion. The pros follow up, follow up, follow up. - Rick Frishman." (page 58)
There is a technique which you if you don't know, you will need to learn to keep the door open and be persistent and not a pest. Like the authors write on page 61, "Tell those you contact straight out to let you know when you become a pain. Say something like, "Look, I know that when I'm pitching a story I can get to be a real pain in the butt, so tell me if I'm getting out of line." Ironically, when they see you as a potential pain, they tend to treat you better. Rehearse exactly what you plan to say and get it down. You want to be subtle, to get your message across without sounding threatening or obnoxious." Then the authors include many more specific insights about this area of follow-up.
The author conclude the chapter with a dose of reality related to follow-up saying, "Before long, following up becomes a skill that you've mastered, perfected, and made your own. As for the discouragement of rejection, focus on our version of the Rule of Seven, it typically takes seven calls or emails to actually get a booking. Expect six no's before you get a yes. Or, after seven unanswered contact attempts, it may be time to move on. Following up enhances other parts of your life. It teaches you patience, understanding and persistence. It shows you how to plan, position yourself, wait your turn, be professional and seize opportunities." (page 66-67).
It sounds like it cures everything but it is a critical part of any publicity strategy. You can learn much more in Guerrilla Publicity but the key from my perspective is not just to read the book but incorporate the principles into your writing life.