Wednesday, October 26, 2011

[Build Book Buzz] 3 Unexpected Ways to Create Book Publicity Opportunities via @sandrabeckwith

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Tips, tactics and tools for generating media awareness and other buzz about your books.

Sandra BeckwithOctober 26, 2011

In This Issue:

Buzzing Around

Halloween WreathHi Sylvia,

Happy Halloween! I'm not sure how I managed to find time to indulge in Halloween decoration crafts this year, but I did. Doing so offered a nice break from work deadlines, volunteer obligations, and sandwich generation stresses.

Actually, mindlessly gluing candy corn to a styrofoam circle while watching evening TV was oddly therapeutic. The result is pictured here - ta da! - and the instructions are here: I would show you the Martha Stewart-inspired pumpkin crawling with rubber gray mice that I made, too, but my daughter insists that it's too creepy to share. (It has something to do with living in Manhattan and seeing more mice than she'd like as part of the urban lifestyle.) 

Have a great Halloween!



Be Opportunistic:
3 Unexpected Ways to Create Book Publicity Opportunities

If you've been promoting your book for awhile, you know that you often need to create your own publicity opportunities. It's not hard - and some think it's a lot of fun. And, all three of these ideas apply to both fiction and nonfiction, so there's no excuse for not brainstorming some great ideas for your book. Here are just three of the many things you can do to be opportunistic: 

Conduct a survey and announce the results. Social media makes this easier than ever. Discover what your target audience is most interested in, create a short and focused survey that lets you uncover viewpoints, and announce the results to the press. For example, when I was promoting my humor book that explained male behavior to women, I asked women what they wanted to receive as gifts. I announced the top three answers in a press release during the winter holiday shopping season. 

Write an op-ed related to your book's topic. The beauty of op-eds (the guest opinion essays that run in newspapers and on media websites) is that you can place them in newspapers in non-competing markets and use them as guest blog columns. Here are some writing tips:

Get on the radio. You've got something interesting to say that's related to your book, so find a "real world" or online radio show to give you a platform for it. Internet radio shows are so specialized that there are opportunities for nearly all authors. Find conventional radio stations at; find online only interview shows at

Whether you do these or other activities, it's important to constantly look for opportunities to get your book title into the news.

Tip of the Month:

Novelists might be interested in exploring, which describes itself as "a full service portal dedicated to bringing all the news, blog, sites, and information about books, writers, and readers under one link." There are many paid promotional opportunities for authors on the site, but I couldn't find anything there that detailed the number of book readers (vs. authors) who spend time on the site. 

Using another resource, though, I learned that the site has nearly 150,000 users and ranks in the top 100,000 websites worldwide. If you like what you see, I'd recommend asking the owner for more information about the number of book readers (rather than book writers!) who use the site and how they use it, before buying any promotional services. 

To learn more, go to

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About Sandra

Sandra Beckwith, a former publicist who has won several national and regional publicity awards, teaches authors how to generate long-term media buzz for their books. She is the author of three books on publicity, conducts publicity workshops, and writes frequently on small business marketing and management topics. Please visit her book publicity site and publicity blog to learn more.

Need a writer's conference speaker or workshop presenter? Sandra's workshops at the American Society of Journalists and Authors annual conference, the University of Wisconsin Writers Institute, and at other industry conferences share priceless how-to information you won't get elsewhere. Contact her at for more information.

Build Book Buzz is a free e-newsletter published twice monthly by Beckwith Communications. Please forward this newsletter to anyone. To subscribe, visit We do not share our mailing list with any individual or organization for any reason.

Build Book Buzz
Sandra Beckwith, Editor & Publisher
Phone: 585-377-2768

Beckwith Communications

25 Erie Crescent
Fairport, NY

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