Our thanks to veteran literary and entertainment publicist Tany Soussana for this guest contribution. Can media buzz build your book brand? Read on…
Congratulations are in order if you are an author who has made it this far – getting your book published. Be it independently or traditionally, this certainly was no easy feat to accomplish. A sigh of relief plus a good pat on the back were most likely not too far behind upon reaching your published fait accompli. What could be sweeter? We’ll get to that just a little later.
Consider how, like writing your manuscript, getting your book to appear in print happened by no simple measure. Remember how you felt when that day finally came? The exhilaration of being able to see and hold the first actual printed copy of your book – as if it were a newborn baby – your newborn that you created. From pride of authorship, there is no mistaking the “I wrote that” rush.
Further considering the discipline and labor pains it took to even deliver your first published work; for some of you perhaps felt more like giving birth to triplets. Sound familiar? If this semblance of a flashback to publishing nirvana is hitting home, then do not pass – go! Your book ride is about to get more interesting.
Remember what followed your first published day of reckoning, and sharing the wonderful news with your family, friends, co-workers, and anyone else you could possibly think of? After all, this was a big deal in your life… becoming a published author.
However for the author whose book has been published, for a while, and is now looking to make a difference between where their book is at today (perhaps just puttering along), or where it can be (with a publicist in tow), then ask yourself this: If not now, when?
For the author who is looking to create public awareness, and well beyond social media, to bring their book brand recognition to the next level with traditional press (the other media), it comes down to two words: Public Relations. Where the name of the game in publishing is getting the ‘word’ out and generating a buzz on your book, think PR… publicity!
Enter the PR Dragon. If you are looking to enhance your book’s market, publicity is the most powerful strong-arm in marketing communication your book can enjoy. Consider, unlike a proud new mother who just gave birth with hopes of seeing healthy movement from her baby, it is up to the author to create ANY movement with their baby – publicizing their book!
This particularly holds true in the beginning upon a book’s initial release. A critical period for any newly available book that goes to market. This is the time when authors should recognize and understand the significant value of promotion, aka PR (Public Relations) – the big brother in the pecking echelon of marketing.
Next to PR, the other components making up today’s long arm of marketing include – sales, distribution, advertising, social media, blogs, viral platforms, etc. (virtually as infinite as your creativity can take you, your book). These primary areas are among the collective ‘workings’ of the marketing machine.
The PR route will apply to you only if you are interested in having media – as in press/journalists – talk about your book as part of their ‘editorial’ coverage. This would also include radio and television bookings for interviews. The key building blocks for entering your book into the fame game. This is where your publicist (PR expert) will be instrumental in cultivating the media landscape and making those connections for you. Yes, there is tremendous value in PR – an integral ‘platform builder’ for your book (also a further source of support, reinforcement, for the other facets of marketing, as they come into play).
Positioning your book and steering public perception in its favor is the name of the game in publicity. The relentless force of public relations plays an influential role through well-crafted press releases that can draw the attention of thousands of eyeballs to look in your book’s direction.
It is important to note, marketing as a whole is quite complex. With much to consider, you will have the opportunity to pick your ‘positioning’ battles and ultimate methods for promoting your book. How you attempt to achieve a high-profile presence is certainly up to you. The good news, and of further note – there is no shortage of marketing options, and PR is a good start.
For those less familiar, if you are an author looking to establish recognition in the publishing arena, particularly through editorial media coverage, you should become familiar with the function of a PR professional (a publicist) – either for your current book, and/or possible future releases.
Whether you have a book out now, or setting the stage for releasing your newest book, this a good time to take note; for the sake of where any of your books go beyond their pub date.
If you care to give your book a fighting chance in this competitive market, you should explore how a publicist can become your fiercest marketing ally. It’s either that route, or going DIY-PR on your own trying to figure out the rough trenches of marketing at the expense of your book (as possibly a year passes, beyond its original release date, and before you know it, your book suddenly flatlines out of relevant existence). With all you have put into writing your book, as long as that process may have taken you, isn’t it worth it to promote your baby properly – with the right professional help?
Publicity news can be your book’s greatest channel and it starts with the help of your expert publicist to attract the coverage it deserves. The value of media coverage is both priceless and boundless.
As editorial coverage is more credible, so is the value of what someone reads with lasting effect. Gaining media attention for your book won’t happen by chance. By utilizing some basic PR techniques, your book stands to reap the rewards – going from media buzz to book brand.
So remember, if your book is possibly experiencing a lack of public awareness, publicity, ask yourself this: if not now, when?
Tany Soussana is a veteran literary and entertainment publicist whose roots in PR stem from her longtime tenure at Rogers & Cowan. She went from working in the company’s Motion Picture Group and Celebrities Dept. to forming their Literary Unit – as a result of her unprecedented, successful campaign for the diet mega-bestseller, The Zone. She now runs her Los Angeles-based PR company, The Soussana Group, where she continues to represent a mix of clients in publishing and entertainment.