Our mailbox here at FictionAddiction.NET fills up with questions that are common to authors trying to promote their work. As an author myself, I know the actual advertising and promotion involved in successfully marketing your book can be intimidating if you don’t have any experience in the workings of the industry.
But once the book is written, you have to step out of your writer shoes and put on your advertising, promotions and marketing hats. This can be quite a challenge for writers of any experience level.
Writers just want to write and don’t want to have to deal with the dedicated efforts it takes to successfully promote their books.
The following Q&A segment details the daily questions that often crop up in the book promotion game.
Q: Would you mind giving a little advice to a struggling author? At this early stage in the game I am unable to afford a publicist, so I’m doing my own publicity.
When I pitch to a radio producer, does it help to mention that I was on [another radio show] and that the call-in lines were jammed? Or do they hate hearing about the competition? Will this [city name withheld] interview turn off producers at [surrounding stations] (within 50 miles of each other) or make them more interested?
A: Great question and congratulations on your success so far.
Radio stations don’t “hate” hearing about the competition but you do have to be careful when you mention being on other shows. If you’ve been on four radio stations in one market and you mention this, a show’s producer may pass on an interview with you simply because the interview’s been done over and over and they want a fresh interview on the show.
That doesn’t mean if you’ve been on an extremely popular show in your market that you can’t mention it. And the fact that the phone lines were jammed is a good thing. It shows you’ve got great appeal to the audience.
Don’t make that the focal point of your pitch, though. Your news is that you have a new book out and you’re available for interviews – not that you’ve been previously interviewed and it was a success.
Now if you’re talking about stations in a completely different market, it’s a whole new ballgame. Let’s say you’ve been interviewed in Los Angeles and you’re willing to travel to San Diego and San Francisco. Mentioning your interviews in other markets is a good thing. It shows you have interview experience and can pull off a good interview. You won’t freeze up or freak out when the cameras go on and the microphone is hot. This can be quite comforting to a producer’s hectic daily life.
Same rules apply regarding the focal point of your pitch. Remember, you’re pitching news – your book. Your news is not that you’ve been interviewed in other cities and shouldn’t be your headline.
As you can see, playing the promotions game is tricky. You have to work it just right or you’ll miss out on an interview opportunity.