Monday, June 18, 2012

Local Book Promotion Options -- Part 1

You're looking for book publicity opportunities, with or without the help of a book publicist. What do you do?

Do you stick with national media outlets, or do you also pitch your book and your messages to local media outlets?

So many media outlets have a national audience these days. Radio shows that are streamed online can be heard by anyone in the country, and articles can be read by anyone in the world even when the article is originally printed in a local newspaper or magazine as long as that media outlet has a web presence ... and nearly every newspaper and magazine does have an online counterpart so their readership expands far beyond the areas you'd expect.

That said, media decision makers -- particularly, community newspaper editors -- still search for local stories. So while you're seeking national media attention, don't overlook the obvious: reaching out to weekly newspapers in your area in addition to pitching the daily (or larger) newspapers that cover your media market. You haven't covered all the author promotion possibilities until you've reached out to the local media in your area and let them know you are available for interviews and your book is available for review.

For example, let's say you're an author who's based in Newton, Massachusetts. Of course, you'll contact the editors at the daily newspapers in Boston, Massachusetts and the surrounding areas. You'll contact editors at the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald and let them know about your story idea. You'll probably also reach out to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette (a large daily newspaper in Central Massachusetts), the Patriot Ledger (a top daily newspaper in Southern Massachusetts) and the Boston Phoenix (a weekly Boston-based entertainment and arts newspaper) as a matter of course.

But, if you're a Newton, Massachusetts-based author, don't bypass other print book promotion opportunities in the Boston area -- specifically, in Newton, Massachusetts -- just because they're smaller media outlets. For example, be sure to put The Newton Tab's and Newton Living Magazine editors on your contact list.

Beyond local print media, you'll also want to contact the New England Cable News TV network which is based in Newton, Massachusetts, WNTN-AM (which, again, is based in Newton, Massachusetts), and more along with the Boston radio stations (among them, WBZ-AM and WRKO-AM which have a national listening audience although they still are local radio stations) and the Boston network affiliate TV statons including WBZ-TV, WCVB-TV, WCBS-TV, WFXT-TV (Boston's Fox TV station), WSBK-TV and WLVI-TV (Boston's two independent TV stations), and others.

You can also contact small community newspapers associated with other nearby cities in Massachusetts: Cambridge, Brighton, Brookline, Arlington, Concord, Lexington, Quincy, Massachusetts ... well, you get the idea. If there's a city near where you live, that city has its own local newspapers, and it probably has its own radio station. And maybe it also has its own local cable television station, too.

So, when you're seeking national book promotion opportunities, think local. You'll have an obvious news hook, and you can leverage the fact that you know what's going on where you live and can address happenings (in this case, for example, in Newton, Massachusetts). Because you're a local author (local to somewhere in the country, if not Newton, Massachusetts), you'll most likely know the local media outlets off the top of your head and be able to reach out to them directly with appropriate story pitches -- or, at least, you'll be able to make sure your book publicist has reached out to all of the local media outlets. Never assume your local book publicist has all the media bases covered. Just be sure you have a list of all of the media outlets to which you can pitch a local media story, and don't leave out a single one. Each book promotion opportunity you garner, big or small, is another step on your path to maximum visibility for your book and your messages.

Stacey J. Miller is a book promotion specialist and founder of Greater Boston, Massachusetts-based S. J. Miller Communications. Visit her at

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