Sunday, April 23, 2006

Book Promotion Budget Under $100?

If your book promotion budget is less than $100, you can't afford to hire a book publicist. But that doesn't mean you can't afford to promote your book.

Do-it-yourself book promotion campaigns consist of:

* writing your own press materials
* compiling your own media lists
* getting contact information for those media targets
* isolating story ideas and news hooks
* creating a pitch
* scheduling media interviews
* following up

If you know your way around promotion, then you have an edge on authors who don't. But you still may want to learn key trade secrets, such as how to pitch the producers at the Oprah show or how to reach the editors at USA Today. Whether you're looking for tips on how to create the perfect pitch or ways to tap the book marketing potential of the Web, you might be able to find what you need at a pricet you can afford.

With several partners, I've just launched a book promotion tools site for those who want to publicize their books but can't afford to hire a book publicist (or who want to continue a book promotion campaign after a contract with a book publicity firm has run its course). The site is, and it's one way you might begin a book promotion campaign on a shoestring.

Another way to begin a modest book promotion campaign is to make a list of local media outlets, open up the phone book, and get contact information for each of those venues. When you can't afford to have a book promotion specialist do it for you, roll up your sleeves and get to work. A tight budget is no reason to delay promoting your book!

If Norman Mailer Had Asked Me...

If Norman Mailer had asked me, I would have told him to re-think the subtitle on his novel, The Big Empty : Dialogues on Politics, Sex, God, Boxing, Morality, Myth, Poker and Bad Conscience in America. Just whom, I would have asked him, do you expect to remember that subtitle? Do you even have it committed to memory? How do you expect that subtitle to just roll off the tongues of television and radio show hosts, and how do you propose that magazines and newspapers find space for it?

Then again, if Norman Mailer had asked me, I would have told him that nearly all the titles of his books (The Executioner's Song, The Naked and the Dead, et al.) were too depressing.

I'm right about the fact that Norman Mailer's book titles (and, in this case, his subtitle) aren't optimized for their book promotion value. But, okay, I will concede that, overall, Norman Mailer's career as a novelist has been pretty much on track -- even though he hasn't listened to my advice with regard to his books' titles and subtitles.