If there ever was a giant sucking sound in publishing, this is the arena that usually gets the most votes. Mega thousands of dollars can be kissed off in the area of PR.
Most people, and certainly authors, would assume that if a program/plan was created, moneys committed to it, that there would be success. Maybe, maybe not.
In PR and publicity, authors and publishers quickly learn that there are no guarantees. You may be scheduled to do a segment on a coveted program and get bumped at the last minute because of a late breaking news (.i.e., Paris Hilton was arrested!). We know, your info is more important … but producers have quirks of what “they” think is important. Paris, or whoever the celebrity of the week is, is in … you are expendable. You are “out.”
And you, or the person you hire to rep you, could pound the media circuit and pitch … and get zero results. You have to ask: Did your PR rep do a crummy job? Is there no interest in your topic? Is your information material, including media release or hook mediocre? Is there major news that is bumping everything? What?
What we do know is that it’s critical to be focused and targeted. PR and no-guarantees go hand-in-hand. The more that the author steps up to the plate to assist in the orchestrating of the campaign—even pitching it—the more success can come your
way. And, it’s important to understand that “traditional” media—such as pitching to national television or radio, may not be the right fit.
What does your crowd—your book buyer—watch or listen to?
- PR and media should be directed in avenues where there are buyers for your book.
- Use a list of top book buying cities (Minneapolis, Seattle, St. Paul, St. Louis,San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Denver, Portland, Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Atlanta and Washington, DC).
- Media and PR are basic to sales … sell the benefit to the listeners, viewers and readers.
Oprah isn’t for everyone. There are, though, hundreds of other venues that are the perfect fit for your topic.
Source: Show Me About Book Publishing by Judith Briles, Rick Frishman, John Kremer