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At the Book-Baby Blog (say that 10 times fast!) Carolyn Howard-Johnson gives us 15 must follow commandments for publicity. What do you think? Did she nail them or are there others you would add?
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15 Book Publicity Commandments
by Carolyn Howard-Johnson
If you can’t really afford to spend a lot on a book publicity campaign, carve out some time to do it yourself and apply these 15 commandments.
If you read the newspapers or watch TV, you know that advertising sells. But even those big guys who do all the advertising aren’t sure what works best when it comes to advertising.
A huge retailer once said that advertising works, we just don’t know how, why, or where it works best. Publicity is advertising’s less mysterious cousin. It is the more reliable relative because it is judged on its merit alone and carries the cachet of an editor’s approval. It also is surrounded by the ever-magic word “free.”
Book publicity and marketing are easily identified as kin. They often walk hand-in-hand and yet they can be incompatible. The editors of good media outlets will not allow the advertising department to influence them. Still, in an effort to be completely impartial, they reserve the right to use advertiser’s stories editorially if they deem them newsworthy. That is why it is helpful to use advertising as a vehicle that plays to the audience you would like to see standing before your cash register or clicking to buy your book online.
Advertising can be an entrée to the decision-makers. A contact in the advertising department may be willing to put a news release on the desk of one of his editors, maybe even encourage her to look at it. They can make no promises, but it does sometimes work. If you’re going to try this route, choose a “little pond” – a bookish brochure, an “arty” weekly, or a literary site – so the dollars you spend get noticed.
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