Publicity for Buzz Marketing for Authors

Congratulations, you've written a book and even gotten it published! Now, all you have to do is get people to buy it.Getting people to actually enter a bookstore with the purposeof buying your book is not easy because you're not a "brandname" yet. But you do have a potent weapon at your command--the telephone. Use it.

Call the editor of the books section of your paper. Say you'dlike to send a copy to him or her. Ask if he has a few minutesso you can briefly tell him about the book on the phone. Afteryou send the book, give her a chance to read or at least glanceat it, then call again.

If you can possibly tie the book to something in the news, that's great. Let's say you wrote Cooking with Chocolate andthe health section of your paper has an article on the healthbenefits of chocolate. Call editors and reporters in the health, food and book sections.

If there's a human interest reporter or columnist, call and thensend them a copy of the book. Human interest reporters canusually write on anything that interests them. Try to interestthem in you. What did you do before you wrote the book and whydid you write it? Do you have eight children and wrote it atyour kitchen table every morning between 2:00 and 5:00 am? Did you gain 20 pounds writing the book? Or, did you lose20--proving that chocolate really isn't fattening?

Call the assignment editors at television news programs.Frequently, if there's an interesting hook, they will interview you. Track down book shows on radio and televisionand call the producers.

Don't be afraid to make the phone calls and don't believesomeone when he says he'll get back to you. He won't. Theperson who has the most to gain (you, in this case) has tomake the call. Too often people are afraid to call. Askyourself what's the worst that can happen. They'll say no,right? Editors are not going to gather menacingly on yourdoorstep or come after you with garlic and torches. They'llsay no. Can you live with that? Of course, you can, socall.

Put on a comfortable pair of shoes, gather up copies of thebook and hit the pavement. Stop in at every small bookstoreand beg to leave copies. I assume you've already called thebiggies. Offer to appear to talk bout and read from your book 9or doi a mini-seminar.

You've got to do things to create a buzz. The author of theaforementioned book on chocolate could give away chocolatebars with each copy. Or slices of cake she made (recipe inthe book) during her appearance in the bookstore. It wouldn't be a bad idea to drop off a cake with the book inthe newsrooms.

Don't forget retailers. They might agree to do a windowaround your book. I once got a prominent jeweler to do awindow with diamonds falling out of toe shoes and copies ofthe book, written by a dancer, displayed.

Miriam Silverberg is president of Miriam Silverberg Associates,a publicity firem in New York City. Listed in Who's Who ofAmerican Women, she has publicized authors, restaurants, hotels, New York City Ballet and people in the fashion, beauty and medical fields. She is a guest on the publicity panel at Marymount Manhattan College's seminar for writers.

She may be reached at

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