The process of arranging media interviews is arduous, but eventually rewarding. Soon your proposal will connect with the right people at the right time, and you will be invited to appear on shows. Your objective at that point is to promote your media appearances. Not only must you alert booksellers and your distributors, but you must build your audiences by telling people in advance to tune in. You might even give your friends lists of questions to ask when they ring up to talk to you during radio call-in shows.Here’s what you can do to promote your title:
- Tell your distributors and wholesalers about your promotional efforts. Let them know what shows you will be on and where each interview will occur. Their salespeople will tell bookstores in those locations to stock up on your books in anticipation of increased sales.
- Contact area bookstores, particularly the independents. Trim excess book covers to use as postcards, and mail notices of your performances to as many stores in the interview regions as possible. Offer some special incentive to stock your books, such as mentioning a store’s name on the air (with a minimum purchase).
- Alert your fulfillment service so that they can make sure their telephones are covered properly during and after your shows.
- If you are selling to consumers directly, obtain a toll-free number. Before you call the telephone company, have several numbers in mind that spell out easily remembered seven- or eight-character words that will remind people about your book. Call each number first to see if it is available. If appropriate, arrange for VISA, Mastercard, and/or American Express services so people can use their credit cards to place orders.
- Expand your media exposure by sending press releases to newspapers and other publications in the cities along your tour. The television or radio stations interviewing you will usually also promote your guest appearances with 10-second or 15-second announcements prior to your shows.
- Tell friends, relatives, and prospective customers about your engagements. Invite them to come to your personal presentations and book signings. If you are on a listserv, alert your listmates to tune in to your performances on the air (or online).
The Payoff of Promotion
Promoting your tour as described will serve you in several ways. First, people will know in advance where you will be appearing, and they can tune in to hear what you have to say. Second, your distribution and fulfillment people will be alerted and prepared. And third, the retail outlets will know you are actively promoting your title and may be inclined to give you a better shelf position. This all translates into selling more books.Brian Jud is a book-marketing consultant, author of 17 titles (including the video, “You’re On The Air,” and its two companion guides, “Perpetual Promotion” and “It’s Show Time”) and host of the weekly television show, “The Book Authority.” Contact Jud at PO Box 715, Avon, CT 06001-0715; phone 800/562-4357; fax 860/676-0759; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site http://www.marketingdirections.com.
|This article is from thePMA Newsletterfor December, 1998, and is reprinted with permission of Publishers Marketing Association.