If you have had your book published by an independent publisher (like The Single Feather) or you’ve self published your novel, you won’t have a huge marketing department working behind the scenes. Indeed the marketing department could be you on your own. If so, before your book comes out officially it’s worth thinking about what marketing you are going to do and I would urge you to think about the press and radio.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised that bar one paper, and one magazine, so far all the press coverage I had planned, has all been published with a couple of articles in the pipeline.
To do this I had a system, which I first read about on Belinda Pollards blog. I’ve found it really does work. To start off you need to do a bit of preparation and prepare a media pack. This is going to be a folder you email to the press if they respond to your first introductory email. Don’t send this pack unless they ask you for it, as it will just clog up their inbox and annoy them.
In my pack, I had.
1) A Synopsis.
2) A photo of the front cover of The Single Feather, and one of the back.
3) Details such as price, ISBN, where it can be bought, a selection of advance reviews.
4) Five sample questions and answers, about my background and why I wrote the novel.
5) An author biography, and author photo. (High resolution for photographs.)
I named each document, media pack 1, 2,3 and so on and it’s better in one folder than lots of attachments.
Don’t inundate them with pages and pages of material. Keep it short and keep it interesting.
First step is the introductory email. A bit like a query letter this needs to grab the editors attention. Lots of people write books, so it’s not enough to say, I wrote a novel. If you are doing book signings you could advertise them, but I would still try and make your introductory email, into a ‘story’.
For example, for the local press – I told them I’d been in an accident, that I’d noticed how few disabled people were in novels, and that’s one of the reasons why I wrote The Single Feather. To finish off I gave a list of the local signings and said if they were interested in covering this, I had a media pack I could send them.
I also tailored the introductory email for each publication. I mentioned something about their newspaper, to show I actually had read it, and wasn’t just sending out random emails. So, I might say, I always read your paper, the campaign you did last year on x or y was very interesting.
Then it’s a waiting game If they’re interested you’ll definitely hear from them. If they’re not interested it’s unlikely you’ll get a reply.
If a paper is going to do a book review, then first, you will have to send them ‘a review copy’ – free copy, and secondly, you won’t have a say in what gets printed, so there is that risk of a poor review. If you’re asking for a review, then do send them an introductory email, followed by pack and wait until they ask for a copy.
With radio stations, I used the same system, and that worked with them. It’s always worth thinking about.
Finally, I should mention blogs. Many people do blog posts for authors. Obviously, it helps if they have a good sized Twitter following, or people following their blog. The most important thing, I think, is being a supportive author. If someone does a blog interview for me, then I will return the favour and it definitely helps if you’ve already got a good relationship with them.
Thanks to author Belinda Pollard, the media pack was an idea I read about on her informative blog – http://smallbluedog.com