7 Book Publicity Tips for Authors and Small Publishers

The biggest mistake authors make when trying to get free publicity is pitching either themselves or their books.

Don't pitch authors! Pitch issues. Don't pitch books! Pitch entire shows.

Example: If you wrote a book about how children of divorced parents suffer long-term effects well into adulthood, don't try to entice TV producers with the book. Entice them with an entire show around the topic of "Children of divorced parents: Do they ever recover?" Then suggest two or three other guests who tie into your topic and could be interviewed, preferably someone who is on the other side of the issue. If you can do that, you've just given producers an idea for an entire show, and they're more likely to bite because you've done their work for them.

Here are 6 more book publicity tips:

--Be sure you have a good quality professional photo of yourself. I'm amazed at the number of authors I write stories about who don't have photos I can use.

--Use a "tip sheet" in your media kit that ties into your topic. Example: You write a book about how to discipline children. Your tip sheet might be something like "9 Tips for Calming Your Child's Temper Tantrum." Each tip should be no longer than one or two short sentences. The media love these tips because they can reprint them as a sidebar to a longer story. See Special Report #16: How to Write Tip Sheets That Catch the Media's Attention

--If you have a website, place the author's photo and updated contact information at the site. Sometimes when trying to contact an author, I go to their website and then search in desperation for contact info.

--Don't be afraid of controversy when it comes to book promotion. The more controversial you are willing to be, the greater your chances of coverage by the media, particularly broadcast. Radio shows in particular don't want only light. They want heat.

--The author should write an opinion column taking a strong stand on one side of a controversial issue that ties into the topic of the book. Then target the column to the publication that is read by people who you want to buy your book.

--If you want to get into a particular publication, call the advertising department and ask for a copy of their free Editorial Calendar. This is a listing of all special sections and topics planned for the year. Review the calendar and find a specific issue where your topic would be a good fit. Then call the publication, ask for the name of the person who edits that section, and write or e-mail them with your story idea. Do this several months before the publication is printed.

Most importantly, unless you are contacting the book reviewer, most media people don't care what's inbetween the covers of your book. They DO care about what's inside your head, your expertise, and how you can help them. Remember that, and you're well on your way to lots of free publicity.

Joan Stewart publishes the free ezine "The Publicity Hound's Tips of the Week," packed with valuable tips on how to generate thousands of dollars in free publicity. Subscribe at http://www.PublicityHound.com and receive free the handy checklist "89 Reasons to Send a News Release."

In The News:

4 Top Writing Tips to Elevate Your Equestrian Business  Fédération Equestre Internationale
10½ commandments of writing  The Conversation AU
Creating success  Spalding Today
Column: Writing for myself  Chronicle Independent
Lunching with Books guest sharing writings of her memoirs  Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
The Enemies of Writing  The Atlantic
Waterlines: On Writing and Sailing  The New York Review of Books

Taming The Book Proposal

Taming the Book Proposal: The BasicsOh, that most maddening of... Read More

The Top Five Mistakes That Companies Make with Regard to Technical Documentation

I've seen it time and again. One of the most... Read More

Write Strategy: Think, Believe, Attack

Think of writing like karate...it's about DISCIPLINE.Writing, like other forms... Read More

On Giving and Receiving Feedback

Writing is a personal and introspective process. To share with... Read More

Learning to Question Your Elephant Child: Who, What, Where, When and Why

Having problems writing? I don't know why. San Francisco Chronicle... Read More

What Is The Single Worst Writing Mistake?

The following answer sounds simplistic?but think about it. The single... Read More

Seven Important Lessons for Experts Who Want to Get Published

At first, I noticed that I could have written many... Read More

To Write Successful Business & Academic Communications, Learn the Architecture of a Story

Human beings seem to be born with a gene for... Read More

How to Write Funny -- Its All About Timing

My Dad has this old joke that goes, "What's the... Read More

Pairs/Groups Of Words Often Confused - Part 3 of 6

ELICIT, ILLICITElicit means to extract or draw out; illicit means... Read More

Freelancing Doesnt Mean Writing For Free. Does it?

Writer's forums are bustling with debate over whether or not... Read More

7 Steps to Successful Publishing

The decision to publish a book is very exciting! It... Read More

10 Secrets For Writing Killer Complaint Letters

Complaint letters aren't always fun, but sometimes they need to... Read More

How To Be A Published (Non-Fiction) Author

1. Turning your idea into a bookWith non-fiction books the... Read More

How to Have an Effective Writing Group

The works you've written are numerous, ranging from short stories... Read More

Why I Write

I started writing as a way of keeping safe memories... Read More

Top Ten Great Headline Ideas

What Makes a Great Headline?Headlines are far more important than... Read More

Is Someone Plagiarizing Your Work?

About two weeks ago I received an article submissionthat immediately... Read More

Frequently Asked Questions from Writers

1. What Is A Premise?A premise is the point you... Read More

How to Write a Holiday Tale that Isn?t a Turkey

When we write stories, with the purpose of sharing them... Read More

Write On! - Key Components of Successful Business Communication

Written communication is often the first impression you make on... Read More

Kick-Start your Juices

Listen, consider this scenario.You have a deadline to honour. Time... Read More

7 Book Publicity Tips for Authors and Small Publishers

The biggest mistake authors make when trying to get free... Read More

Is The Theme Running Throughout The Story?

Creative Writing Tips ?It's no use coming up with a... Read More

A Mode of Transportation

Great writing transports one vicariously to realms that the reader... Read More