5 Book Publicity Tips

1.) Never do a radio interview in your pajamas. Whether you realize it or not, how you sound on the phone is indeed affected by what you are wearing and where you are. If you do an interview on your back deck while sunbathing, chances are you will sound a bit too relaxed and nonchalant and not be on top of your game. Do interviews at your business desk, and wear business casual clothes. Yes, it does make a difference; you’ll sound more focused and serious.

2.) Go old-school and actually send a letter. The dominance of e-mail as a preferred method of communication makes snail mail more valuable. This may not make sense at first glance, but think about it. A hand-addressed envelope sent to a reporter or editor is probably more likely to be opened, percentage wise, that an e-mail. Why? Because it is so relatively rare today.

3.) Watch TV and listen to the radio. If you want to get exposure for your book by securing broadcast interviews, then it makes sense that you should actually watch the types of shows you want be on. Seems like common sense, but many authors don’t do this. Listen to your local talk radio station and get the feel for the rhythm and pacing of radio interviews. Watch TV shows, both locally and nationally, which interview authors. Particularly with TV, you’ll come to appreciate how relatively little time you will actually have on the air, and why you have to be concise in your answers and stay on topic.

4.) Less is more. Whether you’re e-mailing a producer or writing your own press release, follow the “less is more” rule. After you write something, review it again and force yourself to reduce the length. What you’ll find is that you’ll have a release or e-mail that is tight, on target, and covers the most essential elements of your message.

5.) Read The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. As author Malcolm Gladwell says, “The best way to understand the dramatic transformation of unknown books into bestsellers, or the rise of teenage smoking, or the phenomena of word of mouth or any number of the other mysterious changes that mark everyday life is to think of them as epidemics. Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do.”

Sandy Diaz is the President of Smith Publicity, Inc. Beginning in 1997, Smith Publicity is one of the world’s leading promotional firms, specializing in book publicity. Fueled by a passion for making good things happen for clients, the company has worked with over 900 individuals and companies–from authors and entrepreneurs to publicly-held companies and businesses representing a wide range of industries. The Smith Publicity reach is international with offices in New Jersey, New York City, Los Angeles, and London. For more information about Smith Publicity, Inc., please visit www.smithpublicity.com.


  1. says

    Great tips. I was on radio recently and it reminded me of another point – don’t talk over the other person. In face-to-face conversations, especialy one where you are enthusiastic about the topic, you might well jump in with an answer before they’ve finished their sentence. But on the radio that makes you sound impatient and domineering. Even though time is short, don’t rush.
    Loved the pyjamas point!