Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Rate Your Publicity IQ

When I was in marketing for B&H Publishing Group I invited John Kremer, author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Book to speak at a sales conference. We had a great time and John has remained a good friend. The one takeaway I remember from John's presentation is that all marketing is relationship. This is especially true in publicity. A publicist must protect his contacts like a reporter protects her sources. As an author, it is critically important to work with and through your publicist to follow up with the media. It is something of an unwritten rule not to ask for a publicists contacts. Your publicist will put you in touch with the right people at the right time. Following is a little quiz created by our friends at Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists/PR for Books. It includes more great tips on ways to (and not to) interact with the your publicist and the media.

Rate Your Publicity IQ

Think you’re ready to start promoting your book? Take our quiz to rate your book publicity IQ.

1) You’ve hired a publicist. Now you:
a) Sit back, relax and wait for the bookings to start flooding in.
b) Contact them constantly to make sure they’re going after all the major market opportunities.
c) Get out there! While your publicist pursues media bookings, you get busy scheduling book signings and other events on a grassroots level to start building buzz locally.

2) A top-tier newspaper requests an opinion column, but the topic they want you to cover has little to do with your book. Do you:
a) Write it! After all, it’s another opportunity to get your name out there.
b) Decline the opportunity; you’re out there to promote your book, not to convert the masses.
c) Ask your publicist to go back to the editor and change the topic to one more closely tied in with the book.

3) Your publicist calls with a last-minute interview request for a drive time radio show you’ve never heard of. Do you take it?
a) Absolutely! No market is too small.
b) If I have time to squeeze it in.
c) I don’t have time for anything other than major media.

4) Your publicist’s hard work has paid off: Oprah requested a copy of your book! In the weeks following the request, you:
a) Call your publicist daily for updates.
b) Try to get a hold of Oprah’s producers to offer additional info your publicist may have forgotten.
c) Let your publicist handle the booking and wait patiently for updates; after all, this is what you’re paying them for.

5) Your weekly campaign report arrives, and it turns out some major outlets that requested a copy of your book for review have decided not to cover it. Do you:
a) Blame your publicist. Obviously they didn’t do their job correctly.
b) Ask your publicist why they declined so you can resolve the problem or reassess the pitch angles.
c) Call the media outlet directly and ask them point-blank why they didn’t want to cover your book.

Answer Key:
C. Promotion should be viewed as a team effort—a publicist works with you, not just for you.
A. Print media is a great source for author credibility, and being featured in any capacity is important.
A. No market is too small. Remember, media breeds media.
C. Producers at any major media outlet have extremely stringent guidelines for contacting them—let your publicist handle all such communication.
B. Every publicity campaign is a process, constantly evolving. Use constructive feedback from media outlets to reposition your message and try again.

1 comment:

Jennifer Behar said...

This is a great blog Paul. I think it has a lot to do with trust also. Authors need to trust that their publisher and their publicist are working in their best interest and the best interest of their book. Authors have ruined prime opportunities to promote their book by getting in between their publicist and a media contact. We understand that authors are close to their books, but learn to trust your publicist and in the meantime start working on other grassroots efforts that will help promote your book.