Real Book Publicity Requires a Professional's Hand
Media and public relations (media and PR) is a necessity for good book sales. If you have a book, or are writing a book, be sure to reserve funds for a media relations specialist. This article tells you what to look for in a media relations specialist, so that you won't waste your money.
Media and public relations is definitely an art form. It's not my area of expertise, which gives me complete license to write about it honestly and ethically.
Media and PR for a book is especially important because most authors (myself included) are clueless about marketing. So, it's important to choose wisely.
One media relations specialist may only act as a consultant, charging you sometimes exorbitant fees to tell you what could just as easily be found in one of the hundreds of great books on media relations. Another media relations specialist might focus on public speakers, helping you to be seen and heard on TV or radio. These media and PR specialists might have many of the skills you need, but may lack an intimate knowledge of the publishing industry.
There are a few media and public relations specialist who do focus on helping people like you to sell your book, and this is the primary focus of this article.
One such specialist with whom I've worked, Marika Flatt of PR By the Book (http://www.prbythebook.com), has worked with dozens of authors, many of them first-time authors. As Marika says on her web site, "The mission of PR by the Book, LLC is to attain, or aid in attaining, as many quality media 'hits' as possible.
The real mission of media relations is to help you sell books
Sure, it would be nice to be on a live radio show, but not if it makes you look like a fool. A great media and public relations specialist won't just help you get on TV or radio - she or he will help you to prepare for your 30 seconds or fifteen minutes of fame.
There are many ways to present yourself and the message about your book on TV and radio, and most of them are wrong. Someone like Marika will help you craft a compelling message and let you know what to expect when you're on the news.
Preparation is the key to success
Few authors go to the trouble of hiring a media relations specialist, which leaves them lost in the crowd of published, but unread authors. Those that do hire someone to help with book PR will find that the real work has just begun. A good media relations specialist will help you to prepare for your contact with the media. And, media contact is critical to selling a book. Even two minutes on a local radio station can help launch the career of an author.
Thus, you need to prepare.
Be methodical - create a good list of media contacts, and nurture that list until they love you and see you as the "expert" they've been needing. You've got to be patient, and slowly pepper them with newsworthy sound bytes that will help keep your name at the top of the list.
Again, this is one of the things a good media and public relations specialist will do for you. They've got the connections and contacts, and if they are well-established, they know how to get the attention of the right media contacts so that you get the publicity you need and want. Don't scrimp on media and public relations. Maybe you saved a bundle by getting your book printed through one of the so-called free book publishers. You want to sell your book, and the absolute best way is through good media contacts.
Unless you've got a rabid fan base ready to buy your book, people won't know who you are (or care for that matter) without the right publicity at the right time. That's when you call someone like Marika - a media and public relations specialist.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sid Smith is a writer and copywriter, and owner of Business WordSmiths, Inc. If you've got a book or are writinng a book, you need to visit http://www.writeandpublishyourbook.com. Tips & resources for writers; advice on publishing or self-publishing, and relatively unbiased media relations assistance.