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National Salsa Month Matters: Making the Most of Timeliness

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By Marika Flatt

You’ve probably seen the statistic by now. More than one million books were published last year alone. Did you hear that? ONE MILLION! Needless to say, competition for air time and review space is fierce, so books have to stand out in a big way in order to stand a chance of being covered.

imgresHooking a book’s topic or the author’s expertise to current news is integral to receiving book coverage. In a saturated book market, being newsworthy is the single best way to get noticed. Ask yourself, how do I relate to what is making news today, this week, this month?

You’ve probably heard that Children’s Book Week was in May and you know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – both valid hooks that many authors will be leveraging. Consider taking it one step further: the wackier, the better!

Have you heard about “Fresh Celery Day?” Who cares, you ask? Food journalists and bloggers, for starters – that’s who. Do you have a cookbook? Offer recipes highlighting celery. A book on healthy living or raising healthy kids? Share fun things to make with celery so your kids will eat it (it’s not just ants on a log anymore!) Are you a dietician or nutritionist? Explain why celery might be one of the more under-appreciated veggies and tell us WHY these green stalks deserve more respect!

Not only is January the optimal time to discuss organizing your life, it is also the bearer of “National Clean off Your Desk Day.” Take advantage of the more specific of the two angles, cleaning off your desk, and stand out from everyone else vying for New Year’s coverage.

It’s not uncommon to hear that journalists like a story idea, but just need the right reason to use it. So look into how you can relate to Baby Safety Month in September, Fire Prevention Week in October and yes – even National Go Barefoot Day on June 1st!

Marika FlattAbout the Author: Marika launched PR by the Book, LLC in 2002, combining her love of the media, public relations and books. Prior to that, Marika spent seven years leading the publicity team of an Austin-based book publicity firm. She received a Gold Bulldog Award for a publicity campaign that resulted in exposure in over 700 media outlets. Marika is a past-president of Women Communicators of Austin, serves as an Expert for IBPA, is listed on Twitter’s Women in Publishing (#womeninpublishing) and serves on the selection committee for the Texas Book Festival. As a hobby, Marika has been a freelance travel writer for over a decade and serves as the Travel Editor for Austin Lifestyle magazine.

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