Friday, September 05, 2014

Book publicity idea: book giveaways and book contests

By Stacey J. Miller, Book Publicist
S. J. Miller Communications

It may seem like a counter-intuitive book publicity idea: giving books away instead of selling them to generate book buzz. But, just as book publicists (and authors and publishers who are conducting book publicity campaigns) give away books to book reviewers (and producers, editors, journalists, and bloggers) to garner book promotion opportunities, it makes sense to directly give books away to your intended readers via book giveaway or contest.

Because you can tweet about book giveaways and contests, and post them via all of your other social networks, it's a wonderful opportunity to spread the word about your work -- and to reach your targeted readership without encountering interference from a media gatekeeper. But there are certain conventions and, more importantly, legalities that apply to book giveaways and contests, so see the way other publishers handle these issues...and learn from them before you integrate these strategies into your own book publicity campaign. For example, Orion Children's Books is currently sponsoring a competition to win children's books (read about it in ParentDish).

Take a close look at the way Orion Children's Books is running its book giveaway, and see what you can learn from it. Maybe it's time to think about expanding your book publicity campaign to include something a bit out of the ordinary. You never know which book publicity strategy will work best for you, so try as many as you can.

A lesson for this book publicist.

By Stacey J. Miller, Book Publicist

A radio producer sent me a positive response to an email pitch yesterday. Eager to book the radio interview for my client, I read the email from top to bottom -- and, unfortunately, I noticed that the producer had prematurely hit the "send" button, so the email was truncated. I let the radio producer know, so that we could get that book publicity interview locked in, and I expected an instant reply. It took about 24 hours to hear back from him, though, and that taught this book publicist a lesson.

Book publicity is my world, and it takes up most of the space in my head, day and night (and weekends and holidays, too). But that's not true for everybody.

Somehow, that was refreshing to learn. The whole world does not always move at a break-neck, it-has-to-get-done-this-second-or-else pace, just because it can. Just because I want to get media interviews for my clients does't mean that producers and editors and journalists sit by their smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops thinking about nothing except my authors and their book publicity needs. People still have lives beyond book publicity and book promotion. It's an important reminder -- for this book publicist!