Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Should Oprah Win the Nobel Peace Prize?

I think Oprah Winfrey should win the Nobel Peace Prize because of her humanitarian efforts. But then again, I'm a book publicist, and I'm supposed to support Oprah Winfrey's endeavors. Whether you're an Oprah fan or an author who hopes to appear on her show one day, please express your support for Oprah Winfrey's Nobel Peace Prize nomination. Click here to do so.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Are Student Newspapers Worth Pitching?

The readership of a student-run newspaper may be small compared to the potential circulation of a major-market daily newspaper. But advertisers are finding college newspapers, according to this Newsweek article. So if students are potential buyers for your book, and they may be interested in your media messages, why not pitch the appropriate beat editor (or editors) at student newspapers in the same markets as the dailies you're targeting?

You can compile a pretty good starter list of college newspapers by using Yahoo. Begin at Yahoo, then drill down to News and Media, and then to College and University, and then to Newspapers. Or just click here. You'll then be asked to click on "region" (under Top Categories), and then click on "country" and, assuming you've selected the U.S., you'll then be asked to select a "state." You can then click on "Complete List" to find hyperlinks for the college newspapers in that state. You'll then have to go to the college newspapers' Web sites, one at a time, to harvest the contact information. Send off your pitch just the same as you would if you were contacting any other editor, and conduct the same thorough follow-up.

Is it worth the time and energy? It can be, if you have the right information to share with 17- to 21-year-old college students. They're taking their newspapers seriously these days. If you're taking your book seriously, too, then perhaps there's a good match -- and it may be one publicity opportunity that other authors and publishers are overlooking.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Book Publicity During the Holidays

Everyone in the media is on vacation, so why bother to pitch story ideas during November and December. The day after Thanksgiving is particularly a bad day for making phone calls to producers and editors since they'll all be at the mall scoring those "Black Friday" bargains.


Well, no. "Everyone" in the media isn't away for the holidays or out shopping. A lot of producers and editors aren't working, but newsrooms don't shut down completely. Those journalists who are working today and during the holiday season actually might have more time to hear your pitch since they're receiving fewer pitches. Publicists and authors, too, are taking vacation days, and that can provide an opportunity for you to have a real conversation with media decision-makers when they're under less pressure than usual. It will take more phone calls to reach someone, but keep trying until you do, if you have some free time around the holidays.

You can, of course, take time off from your publicity efforts and enjoy yourself during the holidays, if you so choose. But don't use the "I won't be able to reach anyone" or "No one else is working today" excuse. That just won't cut it . . . as you'll find out for yourself if you pick up the phone now and start to call the media.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Book Promotion: Who Needs It?

Who needs book promotion?

Whether you're a first-time author or have published dozens of books, you can probably arrange (or have your book publicist arrange) radio and television appearances, placements of feature stories in magazines and newspapers, and book reviews.

Book promotion may or may not result in book sales. And it takes time, money, and energy to promote books. So who needs it -- especially if book publicists can't guarantee you'll make your money back in book sales?

The benefits of promoting your book go far beyond book sales. In fact, book promotion allows you to disseminate your messages to the widest possible audience (including book buyers and non book buyers). It also helps you establish your credibility as an expert and, in the long term, it helps you build your client base.

A sustained book promotion effort may lead to book sales, but most authors and publishers who hire book publicists are not trying to create bestsellers. They're trying to reach the right people at the right time with the right message. In other words, they're trying to promote themselves, and they're using their books as calling cards.

If you are the author or publisher of a book, and you're considering a book promotion campaign, visit to find out how S. J. Miller Communications can help.