Friday, May 17, 2013

Book Promotion from a Publicist’s Perspective

 Jessica Glenn
Welcome to Jessica Glenn 
of MindBuck© Media Book Publicity

This article was created specifically for you, Our Readers! We've chosen to focus on the 101 level of marketing - with Finer Points to carry you through your career. 

Jessica's message is from the 501 level.

Book Promotion from a Publicist’s Perspective

If you’re working with a publisher, you might have noticed that everything in publishing from finding an agent, to submissions to acceptance to editing to interior design to cover design seems to be measured in eons rather than days or weeks. I hate to break it to you, dear writer, but book publicity relies on the same geologically based calendar.

Whether you are releasing your book through a publishing house or self-publishing, you need at least four months with the advanced review copies (ARCs) in your publicist’s hot little hands before the book release date to have the best coverage for critical reviews. The reason for this inefficient seeming system is that in order for reviews, interviews and news items to be optimum PULL marketing strategies, they have to be newsworthy in some way.

There is a reason you don’t see a lot of Charlotte Bronte books reviewed by critical newspaper reviewers. Unless a book is externally newsworthy (celebrating an important anniversary, referential for a political reason, etc), it’s not going to be news. And, when an older book is news, it’s not reviewed, it’s connected in the context of an interview or other mention. For fiction, being newsworthy is a whole lot harder than it is for non-fiction. In fact, the prime newsworthy element of a fiction book is that is has been published. Period.

With this in mind, nearly all reviewers want to review a book around the time of the book release in order to be doing the literary equivalent of the journalistic “scooping a story.” Review outlets (Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, Kirkus, BookPage, Library Journal, etc), receive a lot of books and need a minimum of 3-4 months with the book in order to decide if they want to review it, assign a reviewer, have the reviewer read it and then review it, send it to the editor and format it into the publication.

What this means to a writer is that all of the work of writing, editing, formatting, etc. must be done about 5 or 6 months before the book release. I strongly caution all of you to not rush the release date however tempting, because you could sabotage your chance to publicize your book with little chance to make up the difference in critical reviews after the release.

In terms of the advice that marketing is a marathon rather than a sprint, I would somewhat disagree when it comes to traditional publicity. It’s more like a loooong sprint! Most important to remember, traditional publicity is over after the book is released. After the book release authors do their previously scheduled book readings and signings combined with publicity aimed to target the news of the events rather than to generate reviews.

All that said, web 2.0 media is fair game for continued promotion post book release. While personally, I like to see most of the blogger reviews around the same time as the book release, it’s great to keep getting your book mentioned by new blogger reviewers each month. Some of the best internet promotions I’ve seen are as follows:
  • Goodreads giveaway contest. This is free other than the books you are contributing and the contest generates a ton of reader interest. 
  • Focused release day internet push. Make your release day an international event on FB, google+ and other social media sites and invite people and follow up with them. 
  • Buy Day. A couple of weeks after your book release, organize a Buy Day. The idea is to spike sales rankings and create a post release event. To do it, send a message to all of your contacts with a simple, specific request such as “Please post this link to my book on your facebook on Oct 28th saying that it’s Buy Day and encourage people to share.” Don’t ask for this more than once or it will quickly become ineffective. 
  • Kindle Nation. Kindle Nation is not connected to Amazon and features free and new Kindle releases. You can sponsor these posts for around $150-$300. It usually causes at least a bit of a rankings spike and you can do it a month or so after release. 
  • KDP Select. I realize that Amazon is a polarizing company in the publishing world, but if you chose to use the Kindle Select program, you agree to have your ebook exclusively on Amazon (not B&N or iTunes) for 90 days. In turn they promote you and there is a 3-5 day free book giveaway period. If you time the free 3 days to around 2 or 3 months after your release release, you can get a last engineered spike in rankings. 
It is possible to organize all of the above internet strategies in advance of the release. I would suggest authors do that so at the time of the release authors are focused on their book tours, topical interviews and... the next book!
From Therese & Morgan: We recommend that you research hiring a Publicist when you have A Deserving Novel and are professionally ready to boost your career to the next level.  If you should choose to hire a Publicist, take your time and find a service that fits your needs....and Never Forget that they work for You!

What Does A Publicist Do?

Book Publicity Services - MindBuck Media is your full service, primary public relations representative for authors, books and publishers.
1. Goal development
2. Branding
3. Buzz strategies
4. TV placements
5. Radio placements
6. Print review placements
7. Blogger review placements
8. Website Content
9. Ad Copy
10. Social Media
11. Mailing services
12. Event coordination
13. Book reading tours
14. Awards applications, Wikki materials, etc
15. Multimedia mashups
16. Book Trailers

Manuscript Services - MindBuck Media gets deserving manuscripts out to the world
1. Read manuscripts and give marketing feedback
2. Supervise editing process (plus cover, design and interior design process if needed)
3. Develop target market, marketing and publicity plan
5. Publisher, reviewer, online reviewer, editor, agent and author introductions
6. Quality blurb acquisition
7. Complimentary publisher queries
8. Mailing services
9. Publishing consultation

MindBuck     Marketing Services


  1. Thanks for these good reminders. I especially appreciate the suggestion for waiting for a "deserving book." I know I want to think every book is deserving, but some are more deserving than others ;)

  2. Interesting about the 4 to 6 months timeline for reviewers. I do believe that is the traditional way of doing things, and probably is required to get print books reviewed. However, even traditional publishers are changing that up as they ask authors to series with typically three books a year releasing. And traditional publishers are doing eARCs instead of print book ARCs as much as possible. Yes, some big places like Kirkus and PW still require print books, but the question is do they still carry the clout for buying decisions. Personally, I'm not sure they do.

    I'm going to be testing NetGalley review response over the next month for my first two books in my YA Fantasy series. Reviewers will have the eARCS only two weeks in advance of release and up to four months after release (depending on others at Windtree who may also use NetGalley for eARCs). My test will be how long does it take to get more than 100 reviews AND at what point (if ever) does it spike sales.

    1. Hi Maggie - how did it go with NetGalley? Curious!

  3. Thanks, I plan to use some of your suggestions. My book, "Why Every Black Woman Should Marry A Jewish Man- A Book for All Women Looking for the Perfect "Alpha" Male- will Debut Aug 2013, I have been posting on facebook and twitter, @NazHinesStarr and blog: I am still really new to social media but I am learning.

  4. Writing is my hobby and most of the time I am try to writing some books and now I've a change to make believable my writing dream. Your new writer and informative speech topics for college that helps me a lot to makes success my writing career.

    1. Thanks, Rashida, for reading. Please keep us updated on your progress!