Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What to Expect from Your Publicist

I often joke that public relations is much too much like Tinker Bell's fairy dust. You sprinkle on the dust and hope for the magic to happen. When promoting a book, you actually have to rely more on basic analytics and measurable results to understand how and where to promote the book. I've discovered over the past several years that you have to determine which promotional channel (online, print or broadcast) will produce real sales. Here is what I've found overall about each of the channels.

Radio -- lots of radio guest appearances are good for cementing the brand name. Radio appearances don't typically trigger sales. They spread the word about the book and cement brand recognition. Books that go into the bookstores will profit from this name and brand recognition. The casual Amazon browser might buy a "familiar" sounding title. Don't expect your book sales to rise right after a radio show appearance.

Blogs and Online Magazines and Newspapers -- bloggers can have a very heavy influence on book sales, especially Amazon sales. I've seen books in our catalog like A Feast at the Beach greatly benefit from blog reviews. In fact, larger blog reviews can trigger tremendous sales with the results being a book that can go all the way to no. #1 on Amazon in its categories. The key is to find the right niche blogs targeted toward the reader audience of interest.

TV -- now I've been told big TV appearances can trigger sales, but I have frankly never seen a TV appearance even on a national news show dent sales. We do all know, though, that one appearance on Oprah could turn a book into a bestseller. The only time I saw a TV show trigger sales was when an author got a syndicated spot that aired in all of the major markets. So, like the blogs, you want to reach as many viewers in the MAJOR markets to make a difference.

Now add the dust -- here is the reality: you really don't know what is going to make a great PR campaign. You have to leave it up to the great experimentation of trying everything and seeing what really works. You have to identify the effective promotional media and not continue down a track that while it gets attention and placements doesn't produce real results in terms of sales. You do want brand exposure, though, so you will want to mix it up in favor of what produces sales.

If you would like to hire 3L Publishing to provide your book publicity services, send an email to info@3LPublishing.com.

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