Blog Archives

Book PR in a Digital World

Sometimes when you attend a panel here at SXSW, you wind up hearing a topline conversation of things you already know and not a deeper dive into things that you really want to know. Discoverability and the New World of Book PR offered a refreshing instance of the latter with a variety of tips for today’s authors.

While the discussion on the changing media landscape, use of social media and basic pitching were things we know and practice, Rusty Shelton and Barbara Henricks – book PR specialists – made it clear that timing and access are critical to success in this digital world (sounds familiar).

With fewer reporters and publications, authors need to begin the process earlier and earlier to build proper momentum and enhance success after a book is published. A bottom up approach – starting with social media and working your way to top-tier broadcast — while seemingly slow at first can have greater impact than an initial hit or two.

To kick-start your book marketing journey and enhance PR efforts, consider the following:

Timing: Start talking up your book as soon as you have a title and topic. This will help gather interest from your inner network of respected friends, family and associates to get the buzz started. Waiting until the last minute will put you behind the eight ball when it comes to securing more traditional coverage.

Social Media: Begin talking about your book or topics closely related to it on Facebook, Twitter, a blog and with bloggers to share your expertise and engage with potential readers. Once the book is available for review, these supporters will be the first to offer a positive review and start spreading the love. And don’t feel like any outlet is too small – optimization is your best friend — so take advantage of those blog opportunities.

Video: Don’t have the time necessary to dedicateto social media? Start small with an hour per week and progress from there. In the meantime, create a video for your website that allows visitors to visualize you as an author and engage based upon your passion and expertise (not to mention help with broadcast pitching efforts).

At the end of the day, it’s up to you to write a good book; it’s up to you, your community and PR team to help make it a best seller. With the proper timing, community and tools in place, this can be a reality.

David Carr and His Love/Hate Relationship with Content Curators

This packed-housed session featured NY Times Media Reporter David Carr — if you’ve seen the documentary “Page One,”

David Carr of the New York Times

you know the wise, humorous, and tenacious energy he brings to speaking engagements — and some of the country’s best-known content curators from Flipboard and Brain Pickings.  As a producer of original content, Carr pointed out that while content curators make his pieces beautiful and more widely read, they also strip the ads, “which are how I eat.”

Most of the panelists agreed we’re headed towards a model where subscribers pay  for the content they want  — unwelcome news to advertisers and there’s still the pesky question of how to make that model work at scale.  So what is the role for brands in this new era of curation? Percolate (co-founded by ex-Barbarian Group  exec and panelist Noah Brier) is one company trying to answer that question – making brands themselves the curators. Needless to say, the one-hour panel didn’t resolve the issue, but raised many interesting questions about publishing’s financial future.

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