Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Give the media what it needs.

Book promotion tip #1: Give the media what it needs. Usually, what the producer of a radio show (presuming the producer of the radio show has scheduled a phone interview with an author) needs is: the author's phone number (and, perhaps, a backup number), a media kit, and a copy of the book. That's simple enough, unless you're counting on the publisher to send out copies of the book.

Today, I got an early morning phone call from a radio show producer saying that he had a phone interview scheduled with one of my clients, and -- he'd just checked -- he had no copy of the book. We were fortunate in that he still agreed to do the interview on the strength of the media kit (which he was able to download from the author's Web site). But other proudcers would have resheduled or cancelled the interview.

Since the producers' failure to receive a book on time reflects poorly on me, I'm ultimately responsible for getting books out -- even when all I can do is request that publishers fulfill book requests. Most publishers are well meaning and, because they benefit from book promotion opportunities as much as (or more than) their authors, are anxious to get books out as soon as they're requested. But the best thing to do is stay in control of book requests by having the publisher send you enough books to take care of the requests your book promotion campaign will generate -- ahead of time. I wish I'd done that in this case. Oh, well. Live and learn.