Thursday, July 12, 2012

Book Promotion: How to Abuse the Privilege

Would you like to abuse the privilege of embarking on a book promotion campaign and scoring A-list media coverage? Then follow the example of Chase Brandon, former CIA agent. Brandon is promoting his new novel, The Cryptos Conundrum, whose publication was more or less timed to coincide with the 65th anniversary of the incident and subsequent cover up(or non-event, and the crazy myth-making and rumor-spreading that followed the non-event, as the case may have been) as the case may have been) at Roswell, NM.

Brandon (and his new novel) garnered coverage in Time Magazine, the Huffington Post, and other top media outlets. All of that book publicity and the nice timing of the book's publication have helped the book's Amazon ranking; it's just a shade about 5,000 as I write this.

So, evidently, Brandon saw something in the secret files about Roswell that he'd like to tell us about but just can't bring himself to divulge (just like all the other intelligence agency people who saw things in the secret files about Roswell and can't bring themselves to talk about). Touching, isn't it? Brandon has a secret (Brandon has a secret, Brandon has a secret, Brandon has a secret!) but doesn't want to share it with the poor schlubs who'd be scared to death (and, perhaps, scarred for life) if he did.

Now, I'm not taking sides here. Maybe there really was a UFO that crashed at Roswell, NM, or maybe it was a weather balloon, or maybe something else happened that I just don't happen to know about (and, maybe, wouldn't want to know about, since evidently Captain Kirk or Captain Picard weren't around to deal  it -- whatever "it" was). But if Brandon knows more about this then I do, and he'd like to earn the editorial space and airtime that the top media outlets are granting him, then let him spill it: all of it. Book promotion, in this book publicist's opinion, isn't about teasing. It's about saying it. Either saying it, or hushing. In this case, since Brandon has no specificity to offer, I wish he'd taken the latter route and just hushed altogether. And I wish his book promotion campaign were a bit lower key. That's all I have to say.

Stacey J. Miller is a book promotion specialist and founder of S. J. Miller Communications. Visit her at (connecting with her on Facebook or Twitter is strictly optional).

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Book Promotion When the Time Is Right

It's so simple to self-publish a book that, according to a thoughtful Forbes article, it's tempting for many authors to move forward to quickly. According to Forbes, authors are using social networking to promote books that aren't ready for book promotion campaigns. Worse, authors are social networking to connect with book designers, literary agents, publishers, and others in the book publishing industry to move forward their book publishing project when, unfortunately, their books aren't ready for publication. The only thing more embarrassing than publishing a book that's not ready to be published is having your intended readership learn, through your book promotion campaign, that you've had the bad judgment to publish your not-ready-for-prime-time book. Running your manuscript through spell check isn't enough. You have to have your book professionally edited and, in some cases, you might even be well advised to get some help in turning your manuscript from a mediocre manuscript into a polished, professional manuscript that will help you establish credibility and build your brand.

I was scanning Amazon's Kindle bestseller list recently and happened upon a novel that tempted me until I read the reviews. To paraphrase one readers review, "Come on, everyone. Cut the author some slack. Don't be so hard on him. This is his first novel. Could you do as well your first time? So what if it isn't perfect. It's still a valiant first effort." Do I want to read a novelist's first effort? Maybe, if that novelist is J.D. Salinger. Otherwise, not so much.

So Forbes's article is right on target. Self-publishing can be a terrific opportunity to disseminate your messages, sell your products or services, and set yourself apart from your competitors. Book promotion campaigns can work to your advantage when your book is excellent. If your book is anything less than that, then book promotion can wait.