Book publicity is the process of seeking and getting media coverage for books and their authors. Media coverage can expose your book to a large number of people and it offers more credibility than some other promotional methods. It's also an excellent way to build your author platform, name recognition, and expert reputation.
Although a newspaper article or radio interview won't cost you anything, you may have costs associated with generating interest from the media, such as hiring someone to write a press release, paying for press release distribution services, or hiring a publicist to prepare publicity materials and make media contacts on your behalf.
Hiring a publicist can be expensive, but if your budget is limited you can learn to be your own publicist. On this page are a wealth of tools and resources to help you generate author and book publicity.
Create Professional Quality Media Materials
One of my favorite book publicity tools is the Publicity Forms and Templates workbook from award-winning publicist Sandra Beckwith.
This practical workbook is filled with book publicity forms and templates, along with detailed instructions on how to use them. You'll get both a fill-in-the-blank template and a finished sample for each of these vital publicity tools:
• Book publicity plan and message development
• Book announcement press release
• Author bio
• Author Q&A
• Tip sheet
• Press release
• Press kit quiz
• Book review form
• Website press room
• Virtual book tour e-mail pitch
• Radio talk show e-mail pitch
• Article or broadcast segment pitch letter
• Syndicated articles
• Sound bite
Publicity Forms and Templates is delivered as a Word document, so that you can easily copy the template or form and modify it to meet your needs.
Learn How to Get Author and Book Publicity
• Get a free 25-page report from author and speaking coach Larry James, How to Book Radio Shows and Be a Great Guest.
• Author and marketing expert Marcia Yudkin recently wrote and distributed nine different press releases for her new series of books. In this book publicity case study, she shares the details. Also, take a look at Marcia's article on how to generate media coverage.
• Learn how to create an author media kit in this article from my newsletter.
• This book publicity article by Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound, has some very helpful tips for the most effective ways to pitch the media. Also see her excellent article on how to pitch your story to the Associated Press.
• Joan Stewart also offers an excellent free course on how to use news releases effectively. You can sign up to receive a daily lesson by email for 89 days at no charge, or purchase the entire series in ebook format so you don't have to wait three months to get all these great publicity tips.
• Carol White shares two excellent sample book press releases in this article about how to write an effective book press release.
• This collection of book publicity tips on the Savvy Book Marketer blog includes several guest posts written by experts in book publicity and promotion.
Connect with Journalists and Bloggers
• Before you consider using a free or paid press release service, read this: 60 Free Press Release Sites Tested.
• It's also important to develop your own media list, specific to your own needs. The PressFinder database has contact information for more than 4,500 book-related journalists in newspapers, radio, television and online media. You can do three searches at no charge, or pay $5 for a monthly subscription or $49.95 for an annual subscription.
• Wouldn't it be great if you knew exactly which journalists were looking for information about your area of expertise or the theme of your novel or children's book? Sign up for HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and PitchRate.com to get a free daily email listing journalists who are looking for sources.
• Sign up with Radio Guest List to get notice of talk shows that are seeking guests to interview.
• Another publicity tool to consider is Press Kit 24/7, a site that will host a professional online media kit for you.
• If you're a nonfiction author/expert, get a free Press Room page on ExpertClick and you can distribute one free press release per month on their site.
• Sign up for MediaSync, a free database of media contacts that lets you find journalists and bloggers based on the topics they tend to cover and the outlets they write for.
• To find bloggers who are seeking articles related to the theme or topic of your book, sign up for Cathy Stucker's free Blogger Linkup.
Media coverage is valuable way to gain attention for your book. If you don't already have a book publicity plan in place, get started today!
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