Tuesday, July 10, 2007

New Book Promotion Strategies Level the Playing Field

In a recent American Chronicle article, publisher Valerie Connelly raises a good point. With so many books out there -- 80,000 more books were published in 2006 than were published in 2005 -- it's growing more and more difficult for authors to get their books noticed.

For a mainstream publisher, getting media attention for a new title can be as easy as saying, "We're behind this book. Interview the author, please."

Authors who have enjoyed relationships with major publishers know this good fortune only accrues to A-list authors. The rest of the authors whose books are published by even the most prestigious houses have to wait in the line like everyone else for the media's attention. It doesn't help you to have a huge publishing brand name stamped on your book if you're not one of that publisher's favored authors.

Authors who are working with small- to mid-sized publishers, or whose work is self-published, can't topple Rowlings from her perch while Harry Potter is everywhere -- in movie theaters and in every nook and cranny of the media -- all at the same time. Regular authors won't get the media attention that Rowlings is enjoying using traditional book promotion techniques alone. So what are they to do?

News hooks. That's this book publicist's trick of the trade. Find news hooks in what you've written. If you're in the process of writing -- and this applies to whatever you're writing, whether it's fiction or nonfiction -- build news hooks into your book.

You'll be able to promote yourself, as an expert, in connection to news stories using cutting-edge book promotion techniques and tried-and-true book promotion strategies. The twist is that, instead of setting your book up to compete against other books, you're setting yourself up as an expert who doesn't even have to compete against other experts. After all, you're the expert! That makes book promotion a snap -- as long as you find, or build in that news hook, and as long as the media believes that what you're calling news is, indeed, topical and worthy of media attention.

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