Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Book Promotion Post-mortem

Well, now that the year's almost concluded, it's easy to know which book promotion strategies would have worked in 2007. has a list of the top pop-culture moments of 2007 that range from "Grey's Anatomy" actor Isaiah Washington's offensive utterance at the Golden Globes award ceremony in January to the relaunch of Don Imus's radio show in December.

All of these pop culture phenomenons had people talking. More than that, these events had over-the-top media coverage, with producers and editors vying for new angles and competing to find fresh slants on the stories. Of course, that would have provided a golden opportunity for any author or publisher who was willing to provide that news hook. Are you an expert on drug abuse? Bam! Anna Nicole Simpson's demise could have provided a book promotion bonanza for you, beginning in February of 2007. Were you promoting a book about child custody or divorce? You would have had Britney Spears (and your own instinct for book publicity opportunities) to thank when your phone rang off the hook with requests from the media for your insights and input ... each of which was an opportunity to tie your book into a media frenzy.

Do book publicists wish bad luck on celebrities? No, we don't. Do book publicists check out pop culture, and stay on top of "what's hot" in the news so we can figure out how to position you as an expert on the issues all media consumers are talking about? You bet we do.

So if you missed book promotion opportunities in 2007, keep in mind that -- in 2008 -- part of your job as an author or publisher is to keep an eye on pop culture, and figure out how your messages tie into the news. Book publicists certainly don't hope that celebrities will overdose, lose custody of their kids, offend their fans, or otherwise make headlines for all the wrong reasons. But book publicists don't have to wish for these things to happen. They do happen, over and over and over again. Next year, stay on top of those happenings, and you'll come out ahead in the book promotion game.

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