Monday, July 24, 2006

When Does the Book Promotion Campaign End?

When your in-house book publicist tells you that she's finished with your book promotion campaign, is that the end of the book publicity for your book?

No, that's the end of your in-house book publicist's book promotion campaign. But, then again, it's your book, not hers, and you have more invested in book promoting your book than your publisher does.

So what do you do when your publisher's book promotion campaign ends? Roll up your sleeves and get to work. Here's what you do.

Ask your book publicist for as many specifics as she can offer about the book promotion campaign she conducted. If she'll give you her media contact list, ask whether you can continue following up on any pitches that might still represent book promotion opportunities. If Oprah's producer hasn't said "yes" or "no," can you go back to that person and try to get closure? What about the book review editor at the New York Times?

If your in-house book promotion specialist won't provide a media contact list, then ask for as much specificity as possible about the media overtures that she made. What types of media outlets did she contact, and what types of people (book review editor, lifestyle editors, hosts, producers, etc.) did she contact? Did she send them all copies of the book and media kit?

Once you know what your in-house book publicist has already done, then you can fill in any gaps in the campaign. For example, if the in-house publicist contacted book review editors at the top 25 daily newspapers, she may not have contacted business editors at those newspapers -- and that might be just the place in the newspapers to pitch a story about your business book. And maybe your in-house publicist didn't contact any weekly newspapers at all, or any radio shows, or any television get the picture. Find out everything you can about what hte in-house book publicist did so you can pick up the campaign where it left off, and build on the book promotion specialist's efforts.

Also, you can do something that your in-house book publicist can't do. You can check out the daily news for any hooks that might tie into your book. You can then approach the media about why you'd be the perfect, timely expert to speak about that current event or breaking news story. That's the way to extend a book promotion campaign for as long as it makes sense to you: keep finding ways to make your expertise (and, thus, your book) relevant to current events and breaking news stories. Then make contact with the media, and let the producers and editors know you're out there...on a regular basis.

Your in-house book publicist would probably love to do that for you, but she can't. Her publishing house has other books that have to be promoted, and she has to move onto the next catalogue, and the next book, and the next project.

You're far less likely to abandon your book and stop promoting it just because the "official" book promotion campaign is over. In fact, the book promotion campaign can go on as long as you have the time and energy and resources to put into it.

And, when you run out of steam, you can always contact an independent book promotion firm to pick up where you left off. Just keep yourself available for media interviews!

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