Promote A Book – Is a Book a Book if it’s Never Read?
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Promote A Book – Is a Book a Book if it’s Never Read?
Why choosing a book publicist to promote a book is key to delivering your message
The tree stands majestically in the forest providing shelter for the birds, food for the giraffe and oxygen for everyone else. The day arrives when a storm knocks the tree down. As it teeters on the brink of seeing the earth rise up to meet it, it thinks (you didn’t know trees could think? Did you not see the Lord of the Ring trilogy… I digress), “I wonder if anyone will hear me fall.” The old, “If a tree falls and no one is around to hear it, does it make noise?” question! Right now you are probably asking, “What does any of this have to do with my interest to promote a book or find a book publicist?”
Well I ask you, if an author wants to promote a book that they have written and it never gets read, is it a book?
One can argue that it is physically (or digitally) written; hence the book exists and thus I should be able to promote my book. However, if you ask the author who toiled many a day and night, doing research, planning a plot or sequence, creating characters and pouring his or her heart and passion into a work that SCREAMS to deliver a message… he or she would probably say, “No.” It can seem like that and often one loses hope, because every effort to promote a book has brought little result.
What if it’s not that your effort to promote a book has no hope, but rather that you’ve read too many “so called online book marketing experts” regurgitating the same old methods that worked 25 years ago, but not today? You’ve tried it all, book signings (if you can get anyone to let you do one), blogging (which few people read because they did not know you), social media (where over 370,000 published authors are trying to promote a book and are vying for the attention and wallet of the same people you are), to sending out press releases like they were charity slips to the local pantry, but getting no bites (no pun intended). So what else is there to help you to promote a book? A book publicist!
Oh, I know, you’re thinking that you already did that with your publisher. Well, not to sound like a know-it-all, but there is a difference between a book publiSHER and a book publiCIST. A publisher’s job is to print books. While some publishers have outlets for selling books to those who want to buy them (book stores for example), how will the book store know to order the book if it knows nothing about it or does not perceive that there is a demand for it? This is not the way to promote a book; that is if you want the book to be read.
A book publicist, on the other hand, promotes and markets books with methods that are current and get results, and they already have established relationships to create the interest. They are in the business to promote a book and they have the exact knowledge to know what to do when you say, “Help! How do I promote my book?”
So, what is current you ask? A great question!
A good book publicist will get you on talk radio, TV news and shows, in newspapers, magazines and online publications to help you to properly promote a book. You see, people are tired of commercials and they avoid them like a bad rash. Trying to promote a book on a commercial of any sort can be a big dead end street. They TiVO or DVR their shows, use pop-up blockers in their browsers, skim radio stations and ignore billboards… unless they know the product, company or author! You see, with SO MUCH advertising happening with people trying to promote a book and thousands of other products and services, people filter out the noise. However, they selectively CHOOSE what they WILL pay attention to. What helps this filtering process? Public relations, which a good book publicist engages in with they are going to promote a book!
By being on radio and TV, you are no longer part of the dreaded commercials trying to promote a book and the thousands of other products and services out there. You are in between the commercials, where people are paying attention to their favorite shows. When that happens, you get to engage the audience, deliver your message and give them a chance to get to know you. After all, while the book is what you want to sell as you want to promote a book, nevertheless, you are the product! However, that’s a topic for another article.
Now, you are probably thinking, “That’s got to be expensive! And, what if they don’t get me the exposure I want and need to promote a book? I will lose all that money.” You know you’re thinking it, so let’s get it on the table.
As a wise person once said (I cannot remember who), “Bad advertising is expensive; good advertising cost nothing.” The implied message is that if it’s done badly and does not work (which happens more often than not) then the money was wasted. However, good advertising costs nothing because it will generate sales and pay for itself. Good advertising will allow you to promote a book or for that matter any product or service that you have to offer.
While PR (public relations) is not advertising (different art, but needed more than advertising—read The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR by Al Ries) the same concept applies. The exposure and credibility that PR delivers will pay dividends with the public. But then that brings up the question, “How do I know if it’s going to be GOOD PR?” You really don’t, until it’s been done. However, you DO have the ability to make sure you DON’T lose your investment. How so? Use a pay-for-performance PR agency to promote a book.
A pay-for-performance PR agency charges only for the PR it delivers; hence if you don’t get on radio or TV as you try to promote a book, you don’t pay for it. Most agencies like this will have you escrow the money for a guaranteed amount of interviews and as they deliver, they get paid per interview. If they don’t deliver all of them, you get the remainder back.
While this sounds fair (and it is) not all agencies that claim to be able to promote a book are created equal. So make sure that you do your homework. See how long they have been in business, get testimonials, Google them to see what you find… do your due diligence. When you find the right agency and book publicist, make the choice to make sure that you get your message delivered. After all, you wrote the book. Don’t let your efforts to promote a book be just your thoughts falling down in a forest of paper; make sure others are around to hear your message loud and clear.