How to land coveted ink in trade publications
There are numerous trade publications within the book industry, including Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, CBA Retailers + Resources, Publishers Weekly, and several others. While each trade publication reserves most of their ink for book reviews of upcoming titles, they also feature content focused on current events within the publishing industry. For example, PW is packed with bestseller lists, news on recent acquisitions and sales, Sara Nelson’s wisdom, a slew of reviews on upcoming titles and other tidbits. Coverage in book industry publications like PW can be extremely important to an author’s career and such hits are among the most sought after bookings for publicists and publishers.
In Wednesday’s post we showcased a starred review for a book that releases this fall, Entering Hades. Though an early review in PW is a boon for your publisher and a great stamp of credibility for your book, there are other ways to get coverage in trade publications. Most people know how to submit advance review copies for consideration, but how do you get coverage in other parts of these trade pubs?
Position your book as something that is part of a bigger trend. This week religion book editor Jana Riess wrote a story for PW titled “Not Your Mother’s Parenting Books” and discussed the ever changing nature of parenting in a world filled with MySpace, Facebook and other social networking nightmares. Bonnie Batey, Key Brands Marketing Specialist, at B&H Publishing Group garnered some great visibility for B&H and Vicki Courtney, by positioning herself as a resource on the topic. Here’s an excerpt of the coverage:
"Getting the word out about any book requires going after media exposure, and B&H Publishing Group has a multilevel campaign planned for the September release of Vicki Courtney's Logged on and Tuned Out: A Non-techie's Guide to Parenting a Tech-Savvy Generation. According to Bonnie Batey, key brands marketing manager, Courtney will do a national blitz of paid radio "Virtue Alerts" to help parents stay abreast of the latest technology, while continuing as a regular talking head in national print and TV news segments about Internet safety."
Bonnie was able to connect B&H’s innovation with Riess’ interest in this trend and scored some great press for Courtney.
Be okay with not being the center of attention. See the last point for PW’s emphasis on trends and trendsetters. It’s great if the article or mention is all about you or your book, but understand that coverage of your book will likely be in addition to others in the article. If you are looked to as one of several sources for an article, be thankful that they thought enough of your insight to cite your expertise.
Enlist your publisher’s help. Publicists at major publishing houses often have the best relationships with editors at trade publications because they ship advance review copies of each title they represent as soon as the manuscript is available. If you have an idea for a story idea, ask the publicity team at your publisher to see if they have a contact they think is appropriate for the pitch.
Don’t forget the the e-newsletter. Industry e-newsletters often tout unique coverage on more niche topics – material that didn’t make the cut for the magazine. These are great opportunities for exposure that are often overlooked by authors and their publicists. For example, you’ll want to alert the editor of PW Religion Bookline or PW Daily to let her know when you’ll be appearing on a nationally syndicated radio program, a popular talk show, or in a top daily newspaper talking about your book for their “Authors on the Air” coverage.