In this guest column by Livia Blackburne, an MIT neuroscientist by day and a YA writer by night, she talks about book publicity tips she got when she recently attended “Publishing Books, Memoirs, and Other Creative Nonfiction,” at Harvard Medical School. The tips came from Rusty Shelton, managing director of Phenix and Phenix Literary Publicists, who spoke about book publicity at the event.
I picked a few of the tips below and think you should check out Livia’s fascinating blog, A Brain Scientist’s Take on Writing. And read to the end for details on 2 Super Cool Contests you won’t want to miss!
5 Tips on Book Publicity…
1. Media is changing
Before the Internet era, the media landscape was like a classroom. The teacher (i.e., The New York Times or the Washington Post) stood at the podium and disseminated information. Now, with social media, the students are passing notes amongst themselves. Plus, if a note gets very popular, the teacher picks it up and reads it to the class.
2. Your website is not about selling your book
Many authors mistakenly think their website is about selling their book. But in that case, people would have no reason to visit your website except to buy your book. Instead, make your website useful to people so they keep coming back. Keep a blog so there’s always fresh information. Then, you start building up a base of followers who may not only buy this book, but future books as well.
3. It’s more important than ever to write a good book
With the old media landscape, you might have been able to trick people into buying a bad book with advertising or a high-profile review. But now with social media, people are sharing information, and people trust their friends more than they trust professional book reviewers.
4. Don’t be a media snob
There is an urban legend about an author who went to New York City for a book signing. He couldn’t book many venues, but he was offered an interview in a small upstate New York radio station. A NY Times reporter was driving through, heard his story, and write a feature story on him. The moral of the story? You never know who’s watching or listening.
5. On choosing a publicist
Look at their recent media bookings to see what kind of media contacts they have. Also, be wary if the publicist agrees to take you on without even looking at your book. The publicist should be interviewing you the same way an agent does so he can make an educated decision about whether he can help you.
Read the full guest post with even more tips, here.
And 2 Super Cool Contests…
Aspiring Writers – Your break-out opportunity is here!
For all you aspiring writers out there – don’t miss this fantastic contest that bestelling author Allison Winn Scotch is currently running – her amazing agent, Elisabeth Weed, is opening her inbox to your submissions. Get your query lettters and first chapters all snazzy and enter this outstanding contest. Check out the details and don’t miss Allison’s new novel coming next week: The One That I Want.
Bestselling author Lisa Unger Fabulous Giveaway
Just in time for your summer reading pleasure, bestselling author Lisa Unger is giving away a complete set of her hardcover novels – signed! All you have to do is “Like” her Facebook page and leave a comment to be entered to win. Her 4-year-old will pick a winner on Friday – you’ll be all set to read her incredible books all summer long … and then dive into her new highly anticipated, superb novel Fragile, coming in August!