Happy New Year! Once the major holiday buzz subsides, media contacts are back in their offices, and the New Year’s news is unfolding. This is an important time to map out your book publicity plans for the next several months.
These six simple book publicity tips will help set you on the path to book promotion in the new year.
1) Tie your book into the New Year hype. What makes your book a good one for the New Year? Consider all of the relevant themes in your book and points in your message and see if any can be shaped into a ‘New Year’ pitch.
–Put a New Year spin on a children’s book that teaches kids manners:
“Rudeness – A Trend of Last Year: New Book Sets Children on the Path to Good Manners”
–Tie your business management book in with the 2011 hype:
“What’s Your New Year’s Business Resolution? New Book Helps Managers and Executives Set Reachable Goals for the Coming Year”
2) Look up appropriate magazines’ editorial calendars. Make a list of magazines whose content fits the themes in your book and key points of your message. Research on each magazine’s website the editorial calendar – can usually be found in the ‘media kit’ or ‘press’ page of the website. Knowing what features are being planned gives you the opportunity to pitch the editors your book to supplement the articles. Also, knowing when the articles are expected to run will allow you to plan the best time to submit your pitch.
*Reminder: Magazines typically work 3-4 months ahead of each issue.
3) Research holidays, awareness months, and remembrance days. Fill your calendar with dates that relate back to you and your book. By researching ahead of time which remembrance days, holidays, and awareness months and weeks tie in to a theme in your novel, a chapter in your business book, or a part of your personal message, you’ll be able to map out when you need to begin pitching. Remember, give yourself 3-4 months for magazines and at least three weeks for newspapers and online publications.
*For a list of holidays, awareness months/weeks, and remembrance days, visit http://www.epromos.com/education/calendars/.
4) Book your book fairs/tradeshows. Not only should you consider attending the major book fairs and trade shows, like BookExpo America (www.bookexpoamerica.com), you should check out fairs and festivals taking place in your region, some in your own backyard! Make sure you’re equipped to attend with business cards in hand. The easier you make it for people to get in touch with you, the higher your chances become to hear back.
*For a breakdown of U.S. and worldwide book fairs and festivals, visit www.bibliobuffet.com. You can locate the lists under ‘Books & More Books’.
5) Start your blog. Make it a New Year’s resolution to start your author blog. Your blog will be a great way to incorporate ongoing industry trends and news developments that relate to your book and message. For novelists, your blog will give you a platform to discuss ‘real life’ issues that relate back to themes in your fictitious story. For nonfiction and business writers, your blog might become a place where you can offer additional tips or advice that expand on the points you’ve made in your book. By incorporating some of the tips from Cathy Stucker’s article above, you could be well on your way to building a successful blog by February!
6) Set three long term goals for you and your book. By brainstorming and setting a few practical goals for you and your book at the beginning of the year, you’ll be able to monitor your progress towards reaching them. The above tips should help you hone in on which goals are most appropriate for you and your book. Are you interested in hiring a graphic designer? The book fairs and tradeshows will be a great place to start networking! Do you want to be branded as an expert in your field? Tying your message in with awareness months and causes will solicit opportunities to highlight your expertise.
Bottom line: If you devote a few hours to completing these tasks, you’ll give yourself a year’s worth of promotional homework and be well on your way to raising awareness for you and your book. So, what’s your book publicity resolution?
Corinne Liccketto is the Sales & Marketing Manager at 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.