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I love learning about book publicity and promotion, and it's an area authors can always learn more about. So today I interviewed Kerry McDuling who is a book publicist working with The Creative Penn. She helps authors promote their books to media effectively.
In this video she offers tips for getting media exposure, pitching TV, what should be in your press kit plus the top thing authors do wrong in pitching their books. I have also summarised her main points and contact information below the video (which is 8 mins).
Kerry's main points:
- Publicity is important because people will not be able to buy your book unless they find out about it. If you write a book, you need people to know it is there so it can help or entertain them.
- Pitch Process: Know what your target market is -> then find out what media channels they access e.g. radio, magazines, internet and where specifically -> who are the contact people you need -> decide on your news angle for the pitch -> prepare the material for the media e.g. press kit
- Press kits should have book excerpt or copy, author bio and experience, press release, background info on the topic you are pitching
- Authors get pitching wrong because they often don't pitch at all! or they send the wrong format, or don't frame it as newsworthy
- Publishers only publicise about 20% of their product range – the top sellers so first time authors are unlikely to get a publicity budget from a publisher. So look after your own publicity!
- Pitching TV: Determine your program and get to know everything about it. Find the best person to pitch. Don't send a blanket pitch. Personally targetting is important. Your piece has to have a news angle. Remember to follow up with a phone call.
- Author as a brand. The book is a product of the brand. This gives you that ongoing platform to promote other books and products.
- Kerry is also an author of 3 textbooks aimed at a high school audience. She understands the work involved!
Kerry is available for hourly consulting on book publicity if you need help with your press kit or someone to get you started. She is also available to run book publicity campaigns in Australia. Click here for more information.