1. Website: Having a website in place prior to launching a book publicity campaign may be the most important element. You should think of your website as your “home base.”
Media contacts will often visit an author’s website to learn more information about the book before they initiate a request. Consumers will review an author’s website to see what other readers are saying about the book before they make the purchase. Don’t lose out on any opportunities by not designating a specific website for your project. The six website essentials we recommend for a book/author website are:
- About the author: Your bio should include information about your background that relates to your book’s content/storyline.
- Book synopsis: Start with your back cover copy and expand it to intrigue audiences.
- Book reviews page: The reviews page should be designated to professional and reader reviews and feedback.
- Press page: The press page should include links and references to media outlets where information about you and your book have been featured. You should also include your publicist’s contact or a press contact information. It’s best not to lump reader reviews and press placements together.
- Purchasing information: We recommend including purchasing information on every page of the website. You never know what information will move a consumer to follow through with the purchase and having a link on every page will make it easier to take the next step.
- Social network connections: By including icons to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blog, Google+, and any other social network that relates to your book, you’ll encourage website viewers to click through and connect!
2. Distribution: As your publicist begins to spark awareness for your book, you’ll want to be sure that consumers can take the next step and make the purchase. It’s no secret that you’ll profit more if book buyers purchase through your website; however, it is extremely important to have your book for sale on a trustworthy book-selling site like Amazon.com. Consumers will feel most comfortable inputting their credit card information to a credible a site.
3. Book (in all formats!): As e-publishing increases in popularity, many authors are publishing a print and ebook edition. Having both formats available by the launch of the publicity campaign will allow you to plug both editions and will give consumers the option to purchase the format of their choice. Lastly, your publicist will likely require review copies on hand for their personal review and to distribute upon media request.
4. Availability: Many authors who come to us for representation are not full-time authors and we know that scheduling around their availability is important. However, it is important to communicate your availability to your publicist to make it easy to confirm media opportunities. Remember that if a media contact wants an interview, they’ll be as flexible as possible. Knowing your availability ahead of time will ensure confirmation in a timely fashion.
*Bonus tip: If you plan on traveling for business, pleasure, or personal reasons at any time during your campaign, let your publicist know! If you anticipate any free time during your trip, your publicist may pitch for opportunities within the market where you’ll be traveling. Keep in mind that it is preferable to have a three-week time period to pitch for opportunities leading up to your arrival.
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.