Sunday, June 18, 2006

News Tie-Ins for Book Promotion

I often talk about how tying into news stories increases your chances of scoring interviews. That sounds good to most people. The New York Times runs a story, and that story ties into their book. So now it's time to move your book promotion campaign forward another notch.

But how?

I've recently learned that the link between news stories and book promotin isn't clear to every author, so it's worth commenting here about what you can do with a news story -- say, in the New York Times -- and what you can't do with it to enhance your book promotion campaign.

First, here's what you can't do with the story. You can't get publicity for the news story. The story is already in print (or on the air or on the Internet). It has publicity.

So what can you do with the news story? You can react to it. In a few sentences, you can: agree with the news story, disagree with the news story, offer a different perspective about the news story, or add something to the news story. Then you can go out to all the media outlets you know about (including the one that originally turned you onto the news story) and provide them with your comment. Writing a letter to the editor is a great way to some book publicity, but what I had in mind is pitching the beat editor related to the news item.

When you approach your book publicist with a news story that relates to your book, be sure to offer your view of the news story in one of the ways that I've described. A book publicist can use your statement as a building block of your book promotion campaign. She can't turn the news story itself into news -- that's already been done -- but, with your help, she can help you become a part of the news story.

One final tip: when you see a news story that you can build on, act quickly. A story that was in the New York Times on Thursday will be a powerful news hook for your book publicist to use on Thursday, and maybe even Friday . . . but, by Monday, it may be too late.

Keep watching the news, and keep deciding how your point of view and your expertise fits into it. Then let your book publicist know in a timely fashion, and you'll see results in your book promotion campaign.

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