You can have a book that is new, original, innovative, and perfectly solves the problems of your ideal customers, but are your ideal customers going to buy your book if they have never heard of you or what you can do for them?
Publicity is the art of creating general, or targeted, public awareness of something. Whether that something is a product, a service, a person, an organization, or just about anything else is often irrelevant. Who can best provide the publicity that you need for your book?—the media. The success of a book publicity campaign depends on providing the media with something they need. Publicity is more effective than advertising—and much cheaper.
Targeting the most effective media is a very important first step. You have to evaluate what it is you are offering and consider whether it is something that absolutely everyone must know about, or something very specialized that only a select group will be interested in. This will allow you to narrow down the best media contacts and ascertain if you should have a wide scoping blitz, or target publications directed to your industry.
There are also certain techniques and methods for approaching the media and for communicating with them. You must have all the proper materials, therefore, news releases and media kits are vital. It is also important to ensure that your information is presented in the most professional manner possible, and because the media are constantly inundated with materials, you want to make yours stand out from the rest.
The news release is actually the most important element of your publicity and promotions campaign: it is the initial piece you will send to the media and the one you use to grab their attention. The media kit persuades the media to write a story about you. No doubt you know that your news release must have a “hook”. A “hook” is the most vital component of a news release—it is the one thing that captures the reader’s attention and convinces them to want to learn more. A news release should offer a potential story and/or controversy to the media. It should not simply announce the existence of your book, but it should express the benefits of that product or service to the reader. The media want news. They want to be able to offer something of value to the audience, and you must provide that for them.
Awareness and visibility are the obvious benefits of receiving publicity for your book, but credibility is also an indisputably positive result. Media exposure can quickly turn you into the expert in your field. Media are trusted sources of information, so if you can convince them to endorse your product or service, your target audience will listen.
Catching the interest of your target audience is your primary goal when developing your book publicity campaign. You can have the best book in the world, but if no one knows about it, no one will buy it. You may not even have the book in your industry, but if yours has credibility, and it is the one most often “in their faces,” yours will be the successful one.