Wednesday, June 24, 2015

10 Media Relations Tips for Authors and Publishers

The Publicity Hound
Writers and publishers in the St. Louis area are blessed to have the active and resourceful St. Louis Publishers Association right in their backyard. In addition to monthly meetings and an annual class on getting your book published, occasionally a national speaker is brought in. Such was the case last Saturday when Joan Stewart, aka The Publicity Hound, came to St. Louis for a jam-packed three hour workshop on tips for profitable self-promotion. Joan is a publicity expert, speaker and trainer who works with businesses, authors, marketers and many others who need assistance with their publicity endeavors.

Saturday's workshop covered working with the media, creating video and audio, blogging (and repurposing your own content), press releases and pitching to journalists. Here are my top ten takeaways from Joan's presentation:

10. Pinterest is one of the fastest growing forms of social media. This visual platform is predominantly used by females.

9. Join LinkedIn groups that contain influencers who can help you with your promotions, not just author and/or publisher groups.

8. The Freelance Directory of the Society of Professional Journalists can help you locate journalists who write about your topic.

7. Once you have identified the journalists who represent what you write about, then read their blogs. Research them before you pitch to them.

6. Authors need to blog. Ideally, a blog post should be around 700 words so Google can find it.

5. Repurpose your content. Turn blog posts into podcasts, create YouTube videos, put tips on Pinterest.

4. Review existing podcast topics. Small, niche topics do well here because not too many people are doing it.

3. Complete a Google profile, and make sure that you have linked all of your websites to it.

2. Creating videos and audio content is imperative if you want to be found on Google, and to be recognized as an expert in your field.

And the top tip learned from Joan...

1. Promote yourself as an expert, do not promote your book. If the media sees you as an expert, they will call upon you for stories. The publicity for your book will follow.

Joan's presentation was professional, entertaining and enlightening. The fifty some attendees were attentive and engaged. What a productive way to spend a Saturday morning.

If you are not currently following Joan, I would highly encourage you to do so. Her publicity tips are priceless, though many of them are offered for free. To receive her free DIY publicity tips, you can subscribe here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A House History Book

house history book
There are many ways to get your book into print. If you have a story that relies heavily on photos and you only need a couple of copies of the finished product, then one of the online photo book services may be just what you need. I have used and with good results. I recently finished a photo book on the research I have compiled on the history of my house. There are many photos in the book, both historic ones that I obtained from descendants of the previous owner as well as pictures I have taken over the years as we have made changes to the home.

I only needed one copy of the finished product for myself, so with the coupon I had the book was fairly inexpensive. These two companies, as well as their competitors, are always running specials so there is no reason to ever pay full price for a book. In fact, through the years I have received many coupons for free books.

The quality of both companies is comparable, so it may come down to the length of the book in terms of which one you select. Snapfish allows a lot more pages, so be sure to compare the specifications of the companies to see which one will fit your needs.