Come in close, we’re going to share a little publishing secret with you… A happy publicist makes for a happy author. The secret to happiness all around? An active and engaged author! While publicists will not admit to having a favorite author or client, there are a few tips, tricks, and things every author should do to stand out from the pack and set yourself up for a successful book launch campaign.
- Respond quickly to all correspondence. While email is the primary source of communication between authors and publicists these days, we are all battling crazy inboxes. Emails can quickly get buried as new ones come in. To prevent an email from getting buried and forgotten, make an effort to respond to your publicist as soon as you see the email come through. A major media opportunity can quickly turn into a missed media opportunity if you aren’t quick to respond.
- Share your scheduling boundaries in advance. If you are never available on Fridays, tell your publicist to block that day for interviews. If you prefer interviews to only be scheduled during work hours during the work week, share those preferences too! This will cut down on the back-and-forth email chain to get your interviews booked.
- Use social media for everything and anything. Your accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. are your own platforms–use it to promote not only yourself but anyone else whose work you admire, enjoy, and respect. Use your profiles to engage with and share the content you like from other creators, writers, journalists, bloggers, podcast hosts, and media outlets. You’ll steadily build and grow your audience while also getting your name in front of these VIPs in an authentic, genuine way. By starting with these building blocks to establish relationships, the door will start to open for bigger collaboration down the road.
- Always make a good impression. For every interview and opportunity, show up on time, be prepared, meet deadlines, be gracious and grateful, and share the press links on social media. If you check all the boxes of being a great source or expert, you will improve your chances of being invited back.
- Use your digital calendar. Nothing is worse than a no-show to an interview, especially if it’s live TV or radio. And it’s damn hard to come back from, as your publicist will have lost trust in you to be reliable.
- Be open to all opportunities, big and small. In order to secure A-list media, you need to have already had press coverage in B- through Z-list media. To use a basketball analogy, you can’t always shoot for 3-pointers. Even 2-point baskets and free throws can add up to give you that big win. As you plan your book launch, make sure you are accessible and available for as much media coverage as possible–this includes blocking out time for all types of interviews. Podcasts may take up to an hour or more, TV segments may only take 5-10 minutes, email interviews could take 20 minutes to an hour.
- Share your own ideas! A publicist will never be offended if you share contacts, outlets, podcasts, opportunities, and story ideas. Two working brains are always better than one.
- Watch, read, and listen. We’re going to say that one more time: Watch, read, and listen. As an author, you need to consume the content from the exact media outlets where you hope to be featured.
- Know what’s happening in your industry. With a strategic publicity campaign, pitch angles and interview opportunities will expand beyond just the topic of your book. And giving your publicist the chance to pitch you as an expert in your field is sure to garner more and different coverage for you.
- Get brainstorming. Be ready with ideas and topics for articles you can write for publication. Your publicist will provide guidelines from the outlets (deadline, word count, link requirements), so make sure you are following those guidelines for a faster turnaround time to publication.
- Share, share, share! As a courtesy for the coverage and to continue your relationships with the media, share every press hit on your social media, tagging both the outlet and journalist. The journalist-source relationship is always a mutually beneficial one, and they will remember who shares and supports their work.
If you are consistent and act on the publicity suggestions listed above, your publicist will have the extra tools to do their part to make the launch a success.
As a final note, if you’ve been happy with the partnership between you and your publicist, the best way you can say, “Thanks!” is to share a testimonial of your experience as well as provide referrals to your community and network. Word-of-mouth travels quite far! Check out some of P&C’s testimonials here!