Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Book Promotion Advice from Another Pro

In her blog, Fern Reiss offers book promotion tips that are worth checking out. I have a comment to offer about one of her book promotion tips, though. While Fern suggests that you include other sources in your story pitch to the media, I have experienced some unexpected consequences with taking that approach. I've even taken heat when I've implied that more than one expert is part of the "package" I'm pitching.

Here's a very recent example. Last week, I mentioned in a media pitch that a client's book had been endorsed by Rudy Giuliani. A producer sent me an email requesting an interview with -- not my author, but Giuliani. That wasn't unreasonable, since I had established a connection between my client and Giuliani, but still ... I had my client to offer, and that was all. When I told the producer that in my emailed response, I didn't hear back from him.

Many of my clients hire a publicist because they aren't yet famous. Therefore, I try to position them as the sole experts in my pitches. If I were to tie their names into other, more famous personalities ... it would be easy for the media to make a decision about which person is more newsworthy and deserving of an interview.

So, while I agree with Fern -- it's great to offer journalists a package when pitching story ideas -- I take a slightly different approach in creating that package. I always bear in mind that the goal is book promotion, and the strategy is to feature my client as the expert. Instead of offering other experts to the media, I suggest non-experts to round out a panel. These are lay people who might potentially be on "Oprah's" panel, and who can benefit from the advice of an expert -- and, hopefully, my client will be that expert.

And, hopefully, the media outlet in question will give the expert more than 10 seconds at the end of the last segment to speak as the credits are rolling.

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