Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Book Publicity: That's News!

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

The best book publicity opportunities are in the news. Any time you, as an author or book publisher, can tie your topic into a front-burner news story, you have an opportunity to promote your book. Your expertise is just what the media needs, and if your book publicist (or if you, acting as your own book publicist), let the media know you're available for interviews, you may just score some.

Your book can be new. It can be a backlist book. It can even be months away from publication. As long as you can tie your book, and your book's topic, into a news story, you have a good chance of garnering book publicity opportunities.

For example, Lenore Skenazy wrote a book called Free-Range Kids, How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry) that was published by Jossey-Bass in April 2010. Skenazy wrote about the fact that she allowed her nine-year-old son to take the subway by himself in New York City, and he -- and she -- lived to talk about it (and, he, to learn from the experience and revel in the memory).

Skenazy's daring-do happened to coincide with a story that's in the news now about a South Caroline mom who was arrested for leaving her nine-year-old daughter alone in a public park while she worked her shift at a fast food restaurant. No less than a CNN reporter covered the story (which you can read here). As the story breaks to a national audience, Lenore Skenazy has a book publicity opportunity (and her book publicist, who sees the news story, has the opportunity). She can lend her perspective to the media that are covering the news story, and she can get her four-year-old book mentioned as part of the coverage of that news story.

Book publicists would do well to keep an eye on news stories to see which book publicity opportunities they can garner -- just by making the connection between the books they're promoting and the news stories of the day. And authors: don't wait for your book publicists to see the connection between book publicity and what's in the news. When you see the opportunity, go for it (or tell your book publicist to reach out to the media on your behalf).