Thursday, January 28, 2010

Book promotion campaign on the rocks?

Is your book promotion campaign on the rocks? If your book is with a major publishing house, and your book publicity campaign has stalled before it started, then it might be because your in-house book publicist has James Patterson Syndrome.

Check out the New York Times's article about the attention a James Patterson books gets from its publisher. Because Patterson's vast number of books reliably bring in a tremendous sum of money for his publisher, Little, Brown & Co. gives Patterson's books all of the attention and nurturing they need -- possibly to the detriment of other books that haven't yet proven themselves as moneymakers.

Every major publisher has its James Patterson, and that phenomenon of highlighting one author to the detriment of all other authors is what I call James Patterson Syndrome. It's when your publisher's in-house book marketing team doesn't know that your book exists.

Is there a news story you could speak about? Could you shed some light on a study, or does your novel tie into a trend? Could you lend your expertise to a season or an event? Maybe, but your phone isn't ringing, and your inbox is empty, and it's because your in-house book promotion team's energies are tied up elsewhere.

So, if your book promotion campaign is on the rocks, and you're hearing "sorry, we're just getting no media response" from your publisher's book marketing people (or, worse still, if you're hearing only silence from your publisher's book publicity team), then it's time to take your book promotion campaign into your own hands.

It's time to conduct your own book promotion campaign, which you can do with, or without, help from an independent book publicist, depending on your time, resources, and goals. You don't have to miss major media opportunities because James Patterson Syndrome has eaten up the lion's share of your publisher's time and energy. You can believe in your own book, and you can use the traditional media as well as the online media and social networking to direct your book's destiny.

We can't all enjoy James Patterson's status, skill, and good fortune. But we can make sure that our book promotion campaigns don't get left in the dust before they even get off the ground.