Sunday, January 29, 2006

Book Promotion: Because You're Entitled.

It always amazes me to hear popular misconceptions about book promotion. One of the most frequent statements is that everyone who writes a book is entitled to media exposure. Here's a quote I found in The Miami Herald from author/wrestler Shawn Michaels: " was sort of ironic that every other book gets a ton of publicity when it comes out, and this one didn't, but I really didn't have the time to publicize it."

Shawn, I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but maybe you need a reality check about book promotion. Some books enjoy visibility in the media because their authors (and/or their book publicists) work their socks off letting book reviewers, beat editors, assignment editors, and producers know about a story opportunity. They give the media something of value -- a news hook -- and keep on plugging away at it until they find what works. Then, having launched their book in the media, they build on what works until, finally, they've created a successful book promotion campaign.

They don't have publicity handed to them because they wrote a book. They're not entitled to the media's attention. They earn it the old-fashioned way: through creativity and hard work.

So, Shawn, I'm glad to see your book was mentioned in at least one major media outlet. That's a good beginning. Now keep going and see whether you can interest other feature editors in your story. And then move on to radio show producers. And so on. Your book deserves the effort. But it's not entitled to the results. You have to earn that yourself.

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