Friday, October 30, 2009

Online networking is part of your book promotion campaign.

Online networking is part of your book promotion campaign, and the blogosphere is the hub of your online book publicity efforts.

Having said that, I've only recently begun to learn just how powerful a networking tool a blog can be. I always knew a blog was a powerful networking tool, and I saw very quickly that blogs can be an important part of a book promotion campaign. But it's been hard to sell authors on blogging if they aren't blogging already because I didn't understand the mechanics of why blogging was such a powerful way of networking.

I could tell authors that, if they blogged, potential readers would find their blogs and read their messages. I could tell authors that blogs would drive traffic to their Web sites. But I couldn't tell them how it happened.

And, while I'm still a book publicist and not a blogging expert, I am learning more about how blogs fit into book promotion campaigns every day. I've been lately reading about how trackbacks and pinging work. You can check out the explanations here and here.

In a nutshell, trackbacks and pinging (but especially trackbacks) allow you to have an actual exchange of communication with other bloggers. With trackbacks, you can add your comments to others' blogs on your blog, and your comments will show up on the other bloggers' blogs as comments. So your comment is seen on two blogs: yours and theirs. That provides you with twice the visibility as you'd receive if you'd only made your comment on your own blog. Pinging doesn't double your visibility, because when you ping, your comment is posted only on your own blog. Still, when you ping about someone else's blog, that other blogger is made aware that you've referenced his or her blog in your blog -- so you've still initiated a communication with another person.

In other words, you can use trackbacks or pinging to communicate with other bloggers. That means trackbacks and pinging increase your capacity to network, and networking is the name of the game when it comes to online book promotion.

I hope you'll give it a try and see how it works. Blog about it. You can then use trackbacks and pinging on your own blog to let me know .... and I can root for your book's success with you!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bylined Articles and Op-Eds for Book Promotion

As part of a book promotion campaign, you can write bylined articles and op-eds, disseminate them, and gain visibility through your byline (which can include your name, the name of your book, and your URL). I've had great luck in placing bylined articles and op-eds for authors, but it's far easier for me to get mileage out of a bylined article. There are so many ways to leverage bylined articles. They work as filler in weekly (and even daily) newspapers, magazines, ezines, authors' Web sites, sites that revolve around the articles' topics (for example, a parenting article might fit in on, and web sites for articles and even news stories.

The trick to conducting a successful bylined article campaign is to choose a topic that's general enough to fit in almost anywhere but somehow relates back to your book. That's an art, not a science, by the way, but it gets easier with practice. The second trick is to use a proven format for writing bylined article. My clients (and, the book publicist shamelessly says, I have many who are taking advantage of my $495 bylined article campaigns and am open to taking on more, if the topic is right) receive my writing guidelines as well as sample articles.

Bylined articles are something that works for nearly all authors who, of course, are great (and often prolific) writers and can adapt to a variety of writing styles. Because getting pickup for a bylined article is relatively easy (compared to, say, arranging an interview with a media outlet), I tout bylined article placement campaigns as an integral part of book promotion campaigns. In addition, I can begin bylined article placement campaigns even before a book's publication. A bylined article placement campaign opens the window of book promotion potential before the publication date, and keeps it open once the publication date is long past (sometimes, even many years afterwards).

Once you sign on as a client, I make my writing guidelines and sample articles immediately available to you, and I typically schedule a byline article placement campaign within two weeks of receiving (and approving) your article. Clients' articles recently have landed in the Huffington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Christian Science Monitor. Where could your article land? Better still, who should know about your book ... and who should be clicking on the link to visit your Web site? Click here to find out more.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Too much information about television talk show hosts?

Can you have too much information about television talk show hosts? Those who are involved in book publicity efforts wouldn't think so. Getting book promotion hits requires knowing your venues -- listening to the radio show, reading the newspaper column, watching the television show, and knowing the preferences and, yes, the eccentricities of each host or editor or journalist so that you can play to them.

But from MSNBC comes an interview Rosie O'Donnell that, if you ask this book publicist, provides just way too much information about Rosie and Oprah. Way too much.

I always look for tidbits about the media that will help me in my book promotion campaigns. But do I need information about hosts' relationships? Not so much, is my personal opinion.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Boston Book Festival Is Alive and Well

Even in this scary time for those of us who work in the book publishing industry (and for those of us who handle book promotion), the Boston Book Festival is alive and well. Or so say the organizers of the event. Check out the piece about how the and Amazon price wars, and other oddities, have affected the Boston Book Festival -- or not -- at the Boston Globe's site.

Monday, October 05, 2009

When publishers won't blog

Here's an odd story, and it comes from the Huffington Post. In an article called "Bound and Gagged: Publishers Remain Silent," the Huffington Post reveals that it asked publishing professionals to contribute to a new Books section, and most turned down the opportunity.

As a book publicist who'd probably give up several of her favorite limbs (or, at least, we could negotiate) for the opportunity to contribute to the Huffington Post's new Books section, let me just say this: any publisher who turns away the opportunity to become a Huffington Post blogger is snubbing a chance to reside in book promotion nirvana. I don't get it.

Can it be that there are still book publishers out there who don't see the relationship between blogging and book promotion? If that's the case, I can't imagine what it will take to make book publishers see the light. To say they're behind the curve is an understatement. I think it's far more accurate to just use the adjective "clueless."

Oh, well. Huffington Post editors, if you ever need another blogger, here I am. I understand and appreciate the value of your venue. And I'd be the last book publicist in the world to turn away the world's most perfect opportunity for promotion.