Friday, February 25, 2011

Good book promotion news.

Here's some good news for book promotion, and particularly, it is good news for self-published authors who are embarking upon book publicity campaigns.

Barnes & Noble is now taking self-published authors who participate in the PubIt! program more seriously. According to a MediaBistro article, Barnes and Noble is launching three initiatives for self-published authors. They are:

First, PubIt! will have its own bestseller list. Every bestseller list is, inherently, a book publicity opportunity. Books that make bestseller lists can promote that fact, and book publicists can create the momentum they need to build new book promotion opportunities.

Second, PubIt! books will be eligible selected for Barnes & Noble’s “Read In Store” program that allows in-store shoppers to read books for free, on their Nooks, as long as they are inside the Barnes & Noble bookstore.

Third, even though PubIt! is pretty intuitive and simple to use, Barnes & Noble will host in-store events to teach self-published authors to use PubIt! so they can upload their own books. That's a potential book promotion opportunity, too, by the way. Authors who need some hand-holding with PubIt! can stop by the store and schmooze with other self-published authors -- some of whom might want to buy a copy of their book. And, as long as they're in the store, they might also talk with the Barnes & Noble staff about their book ... the more buzz you create for your book, the more robust your book promotion campaign.

Book distribution has always been an integral component of book promotion efforts. The more widely your book is distributed, the more it can benefit from your book publicity campaign.

So anything Barnes & Noble can do to turn PubIt! into a serious attempt to help self-published authors with book distribution is a step they're taking toward helping self-published authors with book promotion. Way to go, Barnes & Noble!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Senator Scott Brown scores book promotion win

Scott Brown, the Republican senator from Massachusetts (did I really just say that -- it still sounds amazing to this life-long Bostonian?), just scored the biggest possible book promotion win. Everyone is talking about his about-to-be-published book (Against All Odds: My Life of Hardship, Fast Breaks, and Second Chances) -- an autobiography that, among other things, details sexual abuse that the senator suffered when he was ten years old. If a book could receive more publicity than this one has, this book publicist can't imagine it.

Sixty Minutes taped an interview with Senator Brown. The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Huffington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Daily Beast, ABCNews, CBSNews, Yahoo News, and just about every other news organization in the country has discussed Senator Brown in the context of his upcoming autobiography.

Virtually every political figure publishes an autobiography and, while most of them turn into book promotion -- and, with that, persona promotion -- opportunities for their authors, the media attention Scott Brown's book is receiving is off the chart. You can't click on a web site, or turn on the TV or the radio, or open up a newspaper, without hearing about the senator's new book. Why are all of the producers and editors going out of their way to help promote Senator Brown's new book?

My take on it is that, for whatever reason, some people feel that Scott Brown has provided too much information. The sexual abuse in his childhood, they hold, was his personal business, and he should just do the manly thing, keep it to himself, and move on. In other words, incredibly enough -- and unintentionally, I'm sure -- this book contained enough controversy to keep producers and editors excited about the story and to get their readers, viewers, and listeners interacting with the story. Any time readers, viewers, and listeners participate in a story, the story grows.

Thus, Senator Scott Brown and his publisher are sitting on a goldmine: a book that everyone is talking about. That's what book promotion does best: it finds a charismatic author (that would be Senator Brown, in this case), a worthwhile message or three (the book's title, Against All Odds, says it all), and adds a dash of controversy (intentional or not) . . . and creates a bestselling book.

That's what I think Senator Brown has here: a bestseller. Kudos to him and to his publisher, and I hope the book continues to receive publicity and positive attention from the media. This is book promotion at its best, and it's exciting -- particularly, for this Boston-area book publicist -- to see another great Boston book promotion story!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Borders' bankruptcy is a nightmare for book promotion.

Borders' bankruptcy is not only a nightmare for book promotion, but it's also a horror show for everyone who loves books. Here, for book lovers, authors, publishers, book publicists, and others who haven't yet seen it, is a complete list of the 200 Borders bookstores that are slated to close.

The bankruptcy of one of the two top bookstore chains in the world hurts book sales but, even more, it hurts everyone in the book publishing industry.

It hurts us all.

Monday, February 14, 2011

One final book promotion push for Oprah Winfrey's show

It looks as though the "Oprah Winfrey Show" is set to provide one final book promotion push for an incredibly fortunate book. And -- this may or may not shock you, but -- the lucky book in question is a book about the "Oprah Winfrey Show."

Yes. The last major book publicity push given by Oprah Winfrey on her self-named nationally syndicated television show is likely to be an illustrated coffee table book about the "Oprah Winfrey Show."

Publishers Weekly, which ran the story, declined to name the coffee table book about the "Oprah Winfrey Show." However -- and I'm just going on a hunch here -- I'll bet it's titled something like "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Then again, what does this book publicist know?

Well, this book publicist knows a book promotion dream when she sees it. Congratulations to the Abrams publishing company for sealing this deal with Oprah. A better book publicity prospect is unlikely to come this way in a long, long time.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Book Promotion Tip #239: Don't Let This Happen to You

Book Promotion Tip #239: Don't let this happen to you.

Here's book promotion tip #239 from a book publicist who thought she'd seen it all. Well, now I think I've seen even more.

This "Today Show" segment seemed to hold so much promise when I saw the headline on the MSNBC web site: Girl, 4, treks through snow to save family. Meredith Vieira, polished, professional, and cool as ever, sweat as a one-year-old and a four-year-old made strange noises, crawled around the set, clamored for attention, and generally behaved the way toddlers often do when you want to show them off -- in this case, before a national TV audience.

Granted,in this case, all you had were some disappointed relatives and friends of the family who were hoping to have bragging rights ("yes, those were my babies you were watching!") and, instead, have some explaining to do ("the kids were up all night, and there were dozens of strangers around -- they usually don't behave that way"). And the mom still got to tell her story: her four-year-old daughter walked through snow for a quarter of a mile before she came to a house and got help for her mom and baby brother.

However, had the mom been an author who was on the "Today Show" to sell, say, a memoir...this segment would have been a major disappointment. Viewers would have winced and hoped for the embarrassing segment to end; that would have run counter to the goal of inducing them to rush over to the bookstore and buy their copy of the memoir.

Book Promotion Tip #239, then is, "Don't let this happen to you." W.C. Fields was right: don't work with kids, if you can help it, even if they're part of the story and if, ordinarily, the kids are perfect angels. And, of course, don't work with animals, either!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

New book promotion blog.

For authors and publishers who follow my book promotion blog, you'll notice a new look and feel. I've transitioned from a Movable Type blog to a WordPress blog, and I'm now getting up to speed on the new functionality.

As you know, I've long considered blogging to be one of the greatest gifts the Web has given those of us who are involved in book publicity. So I'll be interested in learning the ins-and-outs of the state-of-the-art blogging software.

Thank you for coming along for the ride with me, and may all of your blogging experiences -- whether they're for book publicity or other promotional purposes -- be good ones. Check out my new book promotion blog at