Monday, January 30, 2012

Book Promotion Perspectives

A Houston Chronicle article talks about book promotion from the different perspectives of several successful authors including Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and others.

The story of how Skloot's created buzz for her book (beginning years before its publication!) caught my attention because, by coincidence, I'd just finished reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks . Of course, I read the book because of all the media attention it had received (yes, successful book promotion campaigns work for book publicists, too). But I found it fascinating to see the extent to which Skloot's generated all that book publicity for herself. She didn't wait for her book publisher to do it for her.

In the article, you'll read about authors who used Facebook and Twitter to generate buzz for their book, and you'll read about at least one author who avoided social networking. Finally, you'll read about an author whose appearance on a national TV show -- "Good Morning America" -- was the making of his book and proved, to him, that traditional book promotion strategies still work best (when you're lucky enough to score the right mix of major book promotion opportunities, that is).

Ask half a dozen authors whose books have been successful how they created buzz for their books, and you'll get six vastly different responses. But the cool thing is that we can learn from all of them, and we can adapt their book promotion strategies to our own book publicity goals, needs, and preferences. There's something to be learned from all successful authors.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Book Lust Rediscoveries Kindles Book Promotion Potential

Nearly every author who works with this book publicist has a dream: "Get me on NPR!" Any author whose book is featured on "Morning Edition" or any other National Public Radio show will be in literary and book publicity heaven.

Which is why it was particularly interesting for me to come across an article about Nancy Pearl, a librarian who comments about books on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition," and who has created the Book Lust Rediscoveries program with Amazon. The program will reprint books some of Pearl's favorite out-of-print titles that were originally published between 1960 and 2000. Pearl will add her own introduction and discussion questions to each reprinted book.

If Pearl puts her stamp of approval on a book than -- fifty years old or not -- there will be instant buzz about the title, and an instant surge of book promotion potential that, ultimately, will be a huge potential gain for the author. So Book Lust Rediscoveries is all good, right? You'd think so, except I ran across the article about Book Lust Rediscoveries in an article (ironically, one that was published on the NPR web site) titled: "Publishers And Booksellers See A 'Predatory' Amazon."

There's no doubt that Amazon's experiments and goals are in conflict with those of many publishing industry professionals. At the same time, the publishing industry is changing so quickly, and so profoundly, that it's almost impossible to single out one company as "all bad" or, even, as "all good."

My job is to keep up with book promotion opportunities, and right now, I'm grateful to Amazon for providing a new book publicity opportunity -- in this case, to books that are no longer in print. Tomorrow, I'm sure I'll lament something else's partnership with Amazon or a decision Amazon has made that can hurt small publishers ... but, at least in this case, I'm willing to give credit where credit is due. And credit is certainly due to Amazon and to Nancy Pearl for their Book Lust Rediscoveries program.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Here's How to Garner Instant Book Promotion

Here's how to garner an instant book promotion opportunity. Sell your book to a producer who creates a successful film best upon your book, and then have that film be nominated for an Oscar. There you have it: a chance to create buzz about your book.

USA Today reports that six of the nine movies that were nominated for best picture Oscars this year were based upon books. Those movies are: "The Descendants," "Hugo," "The Help," "Moneyball," "War Horse," and "Extremely Loud & IncrediblyClose." Last year (USA Today reports), ten movies were nominated for best picture Oscars, and half of them were based on books.

So if you want your book's title on everyone's lips (and all over everyone's social networking pages and emails), simply focus on having someone turn your book into an Oscar-worthy film. Failing that, do what the rest of us have learned works best: conduct a book promotion campaign that blends the best of traditional book promotion and online book promotion strategies, and maintain your efforts for as long as they're productive, cost effective, and enjoyable. Book promotion campaigns work -- perhaps not as well as having your book-to-film project nominated for an Oscar, but still, book promotion campaigns do work.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Book Promotion and Book Marketing Perspective

Shaun Rein, author of the upcoming book, The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends That Will Disrupt the World, shares his perspective on book promotion and book marketing in a Forbes article, Three Tips on Making Your Book a Bestseller.

Since Rein's book will be published by a traditional house, Wiley, it's interesting that he even has to give book promotion and book marketing a thought. Isn't the publisher supposed to take care of book publicity and all things related to selling books?

Well, no. As Rein has discovered, for most authors, traditional book publishers focus their book marketing efforts primarily on their A-list authors, and they leave all of their other authors to implement a book promotion and book publicity plan for themselves. That's not only true of Wiley. It's the case for all of the large traditional publishers that this book publicist has run across.

A small- to mid-sized traditional publisher is driven by economics to care about the sales of the books they publish -- or, at least, to support a greater percentage of the books they publish than larger publishers do. But the truth is that Rein is correct. To ensure that your voice is heard in the media, and your book's title is mentioned in the press, most authors have to proactively take charge of their book promotion and book publicity efforts.

They can ask for (and will often receive) help from a traditional book publisher's in-house publicity department. But they often have to ask for additional support beyond the resources that the traditional publisher can, or will, provide. That's why authors so frequently also engage the services of an independent book promotion specialist, and why they so often regard that working relationship as a partnership and participate in promoting their own books during the course of a book promotion campaign.

As Rein has found, it's never too early to ramp up your book promotion efforts -- and you can never have too many extra helping hands on board.