'Book Promotion is Critical to an Author's Success' Says Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

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Eighty percent of all books are sold by word of mouth, but it's publicity that primes the marketing pump and that's why hiring a book publicist is critical to the success of any book marketing effort.

Writing your book was only the first step. Promoting your book by making it known is the survival step, says book publicist Scott Lorenz, President of Westwind Communications, a book marketing firm. "With 200,000+ new books every year, the world is not waiting for your book to hit the stores. So take all the time you need to market it correctly and make sure getting publicity is part of the plan."

Lorenz says "The key to book marketing is to really know who'll read your book." Ask,"What is the overwhelming message your book conveys?" Who would be interested in reading such a book?' Whether you self-promote or hire a professional, you must identify your audience so you reach them through the marketing campaign."

Lorenz recommends that authors purchase John Kremer's 1,001 Ways to Market Your Book. This is a collection of techniques and tactics that have been used by other authors in the promotion of their books. "Sometimes it's better to follow a path created by someone else than to spend time and energy forging a new one," says Lorenz.

According to John Kremer, "Eighty percent of all books are sold by word of mouth, but it's publicity that primes the marketing pump. Remember that you cannot do everything, so hire the right persons to do the things you can't do. If you're not comfortable doing your own publicity, then hire someone who does it for a living."

Lorenz says he does not recommend self-promotion. "For the same reason you don't cut your own hair. You can do it, but it's not going to be that good. Book marketing and promotion requires special skills and most authors simply do not know how to market a book nor do they have the time or, more importantly, the patience."

At a media conference that Lorenz attends in New York City, the producers of the Today Show and Good Morning America said they each receive about 75 books every day! Lorenz says, "With those incredible numbers, unless an author has a PR person trying to get their book on top of the heap for them it's unlikely their book will ever get on the radar screen."

One of Westwind Communications' secrets to getting media coverage is to create interesting 'angles' so the media will be compelled to cover the book. According to Lorenz, "I try to find out everything I can about the author using a questionnaire that even asks about fraternities or sorority membership, roommates in college, and other tidbits about them personally and about the book itself. We then use this information to craft a pitch that entices the media to want to interview the author. To me it's like going fishing, you use whatever bait you can and keep changing it until you find the one that really works. And, like fishing, the bait that works today may not work tomorrow and that's where most people will give up. With thousands of media outlets, this is a very time-consuming task. Unless an author has someone skilled in book marketing, their potential best-seller is just one of a million books lost on the shelves of Barnes and Noble, and in the "ether" of Amazon.com."

Westwind Communication's approach to book promotion and book marketing involves the following:

  • To successfully market your book, you need to determine who will read it. Once we really zero in and determine who your audience is, we can target the media they read directly.
  • We make sure ARCs and PDFs are sent to the reviewers at major publications and broadcast outlets. We write and send press releases, pitch letters in an electronic press kit and make follow up phone calls to media outlets encouraging reporters and reviewers to write about our client's book.
  • Being reviewed by The New York Times, Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times and USA TODAY are major goals. In fact USA Today has millions of readers every day. Furthermore, it gets more notice from the other media than the other four newspapers combined. That's a major reason why we will make a concerted effort to get our authors noticed by USA TODAY.
  • We also contact national magazines and others that may be interested in the author's "personal" story. Sometimes the media is more interested in the author than the book itself and that is just one more angle we'll use to promote our client's book.
  • We contact TV and radio outlets. Every day thousands of interviews are conducted on TV and Radio stations across North America and several hundred are with authors. If you are not trying to get interviewed by the producers of those shows they won't find you because they simply don't have time to look for you. We have developed relationships with many producers over the years and those contacts combined with well-thought-out pitches produce results.
  • We attend a national media meeting in New York where we have face-to-face meetings with journalists, editors, writers and producers from top national magazines, newspapers and radio/TV programs. We have successfully pitched such media outlets as 20/20, Prime Time, CNN, People, Good Morning America, Newsweek, Time Magazine, Dateline NBC, The View, Oprah's O magazine, Cosmopolitan, Fox News, Good Housekeeping & Newsweek.
  • We create book trailers which are videos that bring a book to like. We'll publish the trailer on YouTube http://westwindcos.com/releases/YouTube-A_Powerful_Arrow_in_an_Authors_Book_Marketing_Quiver.htm YouTube - A Powerful Arrow in an Author’s Book Marketing Quiver and dozens of sites online.
  • If you don't have a web site for your book we'll create one. We'll refer media to your site for more information and to download book jackets, author photos etc. In the world of Kindle and Amazon it's essential to use Twitter, Facebook and other social media in the promotion of your book.

Remember, writing your book was only the first step. Marketing your book by making it known is the survival step.

About Scott Lorenz
Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors.

Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it's their first book or their 15th book. He's handled publicity for books by CEOs, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. He's generated media coverage for numerous genres including, fiction, health, romance, business and children.

His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC Nightly News, The New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Family Circle, Woman's World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

To discuss how Westwind Communications helps authors get all the publicity they deserve and more call 734-667-2090 or email scottlorenz(at)westwindcos(dot)com. For more information visit http://www.book-marketing-expert.com

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