Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Fatal Flaw #3: Not playing your part

Making the most out of the author-publicist relationship

It is important for authors to understand that even though their publicity campaign is being led by (hopefully) a great publicist, there are still a number of things that can be done to assist that effort. Your work is not finished when the campaign starts. In fact, the best author-publicist relationships are centered around teamwork and the ability to work together effectively to get as much media attention as possible for your book.

So, how can authors stay involved and effectively work with their publicist?

- Follow breaking news related to your topic

While your publicist is responsible for staying up to date on current trends, breaking stories and other news related to your book, do you part and keep an eye on what the media is covering and how it might lead back to your book.

Don’t send an email that says “I saw a Washington Post article today on a new study regarding health care for boomers…why wasn’t I included?

Do send an email that says “Here’s a great article on a new study about health care for boomers—this may be a great lead for us.”

No one knows your topic better than you do, so keep an eye on stories that relate to your book and send your perspective on the story to your publicist (w/ formal quotes).

- Study up before each interview

Unprepared guests = poor interviews. While you can't do anything about an unprepared host, you can make sure that you are ready to give a good interview. Here are some things to pay attention to:

*Know the market where the interview is running and have specifics from that area ready to discuss (read the local newspaper online the morning of the interview).

*Know the focus of the interview going in and prepare accordingly (have three examples ready that relate to that topic).

*Research the format of the program and understand the market they are trying to reach (tailor your examples accordingly).

- Turn one media interview into three

Every interview an author does is an audition for more opportunities, so keep that in mind during your publicity campaign. Send a thank you note to the host and offer your expertise when they need a source on that topic in the future. Remember that media breeds media and your publicist is not the only one that can benefit from solid media relationships.

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