Tuesday, August 01, 2006

She Whined for Book Publicity.

She whined about the fact that her local newspaper hadn't reviewed her books in a decade. And it worked. She landed a book review.

"She" is Joni Rodgers, and she has a blog right here called BookWoman. In her July 30 entry, "Good grief, I finally get it," Rodgers explains how a "snarky comment" to the Houston Chronicle finally resulted in a book review.

Yes, Rodgers got to enjoy the Chronicle's review of her novel, The Secret Sisters. But I'd argue that she got that review despite the fact that she complained, rather than because of her complaining.

Reviewers don't owe authors book publicity. They are not obligated to provide book promotion to an author, local or not. They're not remiss when they overlook your book. They're making a choice about which authors to support and which books to promote -- and, whether we like it or not, that's their right.

The rule of thumb is this: if your book isn't reviewed by the publication that "should" review it, don't complain. Try a different beat editor, and pitch a story idea. Pitching different ideas to different editors, and to different media outlets, is a better idea than complaining about the lack of book publicity opportunitities 99.99 percent of the time.

Joni Rodgers' situation is the .01 percent of the time when whining worked. Congratulations to Joni, but as this book publicist likes to say, "Don't try it at home."

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