Even so, it is now a common industry practice for authors to provide the publicity campaign to ensure their books sell more than a few hundred copies. That doesn’t mean your publisher is doing nothing. Typically, they will provide the standard one-page boilerplate press release, submit the manuscript for review consideration to Publisher’s Weekly and other trades, and distribute the galleys to mainstream book reviewers (the few that are left) and to key press in your category (such as science reporters). In addition, they might book a signing in your hometown (leaving it to you to fill the event) and make a few phone calls, if your book qualifies as news (in other words, is filled with new revelations about a topic with wide appeal).
“One of the biggest mistakes authors can make is to assume that this will be enough,” says Lyla Foggia, a veteran national publicist and marketing consultant who has launched dozens of new titles, including her own as the award-winning author of a landmark book (Reel Women) published by Beyond Words and Random House.
“If you want to sell more than a few hundred copies, you’re going to need feature stories instead of blurbs, as well as TV and radio. And to get that requires a dynamite media kit, press release, website, and messaging to convince recession-weary consumers that buying your book is going to somehow improve their lives,” Foggia adds.
Traditionally, mounting an effective national marketing campaign has required hiring a professional publicist at fees that can reach six figures, depending on whether there’s a tour. Foggia suggests saving money by learning to do it yourself, even if you plan on hiring some or all of it out later.
At the request of a client, she recently created a DIY mentoring program that gives book authors the skills necessary to launch their own titles and ultimately build a brand. While working at their own pace, participants learn how to identify and target their book’s core audience; leverage cutting-edge publicity, niche marketing and social media networking techniques and platforms to connect with it; angle and craft a compelling synopsis, media kit and press release; design a Wordpress website; target and pitch the media with precision; schedule and promote book signings and speaking engagements;
For more information, contact Lyla Foggia at (503) 622-0232 or visit http://www.foggiapr.com. Visa and MasterCard gladly accepted.
Lyla Foggia is a former vice president of publicity for TriStar Pictures and the chief architect behind the groundbreaking campaigns that played a strategic role in establishing “LIVE With Regis & Kathie Lee” as a daytime ratings institution. At the same time, she served as Regis’ and Kathie Lee’s personal publicist, scoring over a dozen major magazine covers in 15 months for the dynamic duo who had never even been featured in an inside story. Foggia began her career as an award-winning visual arts critic, before spending a decade on studio staff in Los Angeles, where she worked on over 75 studio motion pictures. Foggia’s clients have also included history-making events, breakthrough products, and the performing arts. She has taught publicity at UCLA Extension in Los Angeles for four years, led workshops including for the Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference, and trained staff for companies like Columbia of Pictures and 20th Century Fox.