Publicity on a Low Budget for Publishers


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Presented at LittWorld Congress of Christian Literature, organized by Media Associates International in São Paulo, Brazil, November 12 – 17, 2006

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Publicity on a Low Budget for Publishers

  1. 1. Publicity on a Low Budget by Carlo Carrenho LittWorld World Congress of Christian Literature - MAI November 12 – 17, 2006 Atibaia Residence - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
  2. 2. Advertising x Publicity <ul><li>Advertising </li></ul><ul><li>It is paid </li></ul><ul><li>The costs are high </li></ul><ul><li>Less credibility </li></ul><ul><li>Contents and formats are decided by the advertiser </li></ul><ul><li>Publicity </li></ul><ul><li>It is free and spontaneous, with no direct costs </li></ul><ul><li>It is cheaper also because you can focus on several books at the same time </li></ul><ul><li>More credibility </li></ul><ul><li>Contents and formats decided by the media or journalist </li></ul>
  3. 3. Terminology Advertisement ≠ Article Advertisements are paid and placed on a space sold by the media vehicle. News, pieces and reviews are editorial space, the so-called spontaneous media . Release ≠ Review Release : information material distributed to journalists before or during interviews, events, film and book launching etc. The text usually includes summaries, biographies and specific data to make the journalistic work easier. Review: critical or informative text about a book. Journalists NEVER make advertisement and publishers NEVER sent out reviews!!!
  4. 4. The Different Types of Media <ul><li>Television </li></ul><ul><li>Huge audience </li></ul><ul><li>Few space dedicated to books </li></ul><ul><li>News programs and talk shows are the real target of the publishing industry </li></ul><ul><li>David Letterman, Jay Leno, Larry King </li></ul><ul><li>Radio </li></ul><ul><li>Huge audience </li></ul><ul><li>Gets little attention from the publishing industry </li></ul><ul><li>News and variety shows are more receptive to book publicity </li></ul><ul><li>In Brazil, morning news have huge audience </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Different Types of Media <ul><li>Newspapers </li></ul><ul><li>Selected audience formed by readers </li></ul><ul><li>Good space for books and literature </li></ul><ul><li>Ephemeral publicity, stories and articles last for 24 hours </li></ul><ul><li>Journalists are receptive to books and their cause </li></ul><ul><li>Newspapers have different sizes and coverage </li></ul><ul><li>Magazines </li></ul><ul><li>Selected audience formed by readers </li></ul><ul><li>Good space for books and literature, but selection is tougher </li></ul><ul><li>Less ephemeral. News and articles can last even for a month </li></ul><ul><li>The 4 types of magazines: general news, specialized publications, history and religion magazine, Christian publications </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Different Types of Media <ul><li>Internet </li></ul><ul><li>High speed spreading of news </li></ul><ul><li>Demands fast responsiveness from the publishers </li></ul><ul><li>It’s easier to reach audience niches </li></ul><ul><li>Low cost allows the appearance of many websites. The consequence is a smaller audience on each site, but a better chance to get publicity </li></ul><ul><li>Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Great variety of media spaces, from blogs to well-known websites </li></ul><ul><li>Sites that specialize in books and literature </li></ul><ul><li>News last forever </li></ul>
  7. 7. The News Departments <ul><li>Culture Departments </li></ul><ul><li>They are used to deal with books </li></ul><ul><li>The simple publication of a new title may be enough for the journalist to write an article </li></ul><ul><li>Tend to be more interested in fiction, literature and non-fiction titles related to humanities </li></ul><ul><li>Usually they are not very open to religious and self-help books </li></ul><ul><li>Other Departments </li></ul><ul><li>They are not used to portrait books in their media </li></ul><ul><li>The publication of a book is rarely enough to reach the news; it is necessary to link the book to a more appealing fact or happening </li></ul><ul><li>They are more open to self-help and religious books </li></ul><ul><li>The religion and lifestyle departments are the most important to the Christian publishers </li></ul>
  8. 8. Publicity Solutions <ul><li>Long term contract with a PR company </li></ul><ul><li>Professional work </li></ul><ul><li>Professional infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Lower cost per book, but higher overhead cost </li></ul><ul><li>To higher a PR company on a book-by-book basis </li></ul><ul><li>Professional work </li></ul><ul><li>Professional infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>No overhead costs, higher cost per book </li></ul>
  9. 9. Publicity Solutions <ul><li>Free-lance PR professional </li></ul><ul><li>Professional work </li></ul><ul><li>Smaller infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Lower costs </li></ul><ul><li>Long-term or per-book contract </li></ul><ul><li>In-house publicity </li></ul><ul><li>Better knowledge of company’s products and interests </li></ul><ul><li>Development of a good mailing </li></ul><ul><li>Less efficient and shows less credibility to the media </li></ul><ul><li>It’s possible to achieve a good cost / benefit ratio </li></ul>
  10. 10. Publicity Strategy <ul><li>Product analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Translation or original work? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the author available for interview and events? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there a book signing event? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the book subject interest the general public or just an specific audience? </li></ul><ul><li>Would it be interesting to get national publicity? </li></ul><ul><li>Which are the primary regions or audiences that should be focused? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it possible to relate the book subject to something that the media is already interested and covering? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Publicity Strategy <ul><li>Media Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Which magazines, newspapers and news department would be interested in the book? </li></ul><ul><li>Which TV and radio programs could be pitched? </li></ul><ul><li>Which media vehicles normally cover the subject? </li></ul><ul><li>Which subjects have been covered in the media recently? How to relate the book to this subject? </li></ul><ul><li>It is crucial to know and follow the media in order to develop a good publicity strategy. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Publicity Tools <ul><li>The Press Release </li></ul><ul><li>The press release is the most important publicity tool. It is the first contact the journalist will have with your product. </li></ul><ul><li>The press release is not a commercial or marketing text. It should not try to sell the product, but its subject and importance in order to reach the news. </li></ul><ul><li>The press release has a double role: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To present and pitch a story to the journalist </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To be an usable journalistic text </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Nothing substitutes the press release, especially editorial texts </li></ul>
  13. 13. Publicity Tools <ul><li>The Qualities of a Good Release </li></ul><ul><li>It should describe the book objectively, its subject and its author. Try not to use adjectives and subjective analysis. </li></ul><ul><li>It must be complete and include all the book information. It should also include the contact info and all the details concerning book signing events. </li></ul><ul><li>It should include information about the author and ways to contact him, if possible. </li></ul><ul><li>It should include images and information about how to obtain them. </li></ul><ul><li>It should show the importance of the book and its subject in order to catch the journalist’s interest. </li></ul><ul><li>It must be a publishable text, that can easily become a printed article . </li></ul>
  14. 14. Publicity Tools <ul><li>What Should Be Avoided </li></ul><ul><li>To praise the book. This is the reviewer’s job. </li></ul><ul><li>Long texts. It should not be more than one or two pages. </li></ul><ul><li>Technical language. Don’t expect the journalist to understand about paleontology and freudian analysis. </li></ul><ul><li>Grammar and style mistakes, typos. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Publicity Tools <ul><li>Promotional copies </li></ul><ul><li>Book publicity has a great advantage: it is easy and cheap to send out the product to the media. </li></ul><ul><li>The chances of getting an article or review increase exponentially when the book is received by the journalist. The most important media vehicles should always receive promotional copies. </li></ul><ul><li>Besides that, any journalist that asks for a promotional copy should receive one. If someone is interested enough to receive the book, the chances of a review are great. </li></ul><ul><li>You should consider the cost of promotional copies to be the printing costs. </li></ul><ul><li>The book never substitute the press release!!! </li></ul>
  16. 16. Publicity Tools <ul><li>E-mail and Online Materials </li></ul><ul><li>The Internet is a great tool for publicity. If before it was necessary to visit newspapers offices and lots of phone calls, today e-mails and sites are one of the best tools for book publicity. </li></ul><ul><li>Releases can and should be sent through e-mail. But you should be careful not to send huge messages or too many e-mails. Be wise. </li></ul><ul><li>The publishing house’s website must always be complete and updated. A press section is mandatory, where texts, releases and high resolution images can be downloaded. The easier it is to the journalist, the better. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Publicity Tools <ul><li>Feedback and post-publication actions </li></ul><ul><li>A quick phone call after sending a press release is OK, but limit yourself to that. </li></ul><ul><li>Be very careful when saying thank you. The journalist is just doing his job, not making favors. You can comment the article or review, but you should avoid to thank the article publication itself. </li></ul><ul><li>If the article is negative or came out in a bad way, it is important to avoid conflict. Don’t make a storm in a glass of water. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Publicity Tools Clipping A good clipping service may be useful, but it is rarely complete. A good cost / benefit analysis should be done. Exclusivity You can offer exclusivity for a media vehicle in order to generate more interest and conquer more media space. But you must be careful not to become a hostage of the journalist. Creating events to create news Sometimes you can organize book signings, debates and other events in order to generate more news to be pitched to the media.
  19. 19. What you should NOT do <ul><li>To call mobile phones </li></ul><ul><li>To call journalists close to the deadline hours </li></ul><ul><li>To be insistent and inconvenient </li></ul><ul><li>Heavy e-mails </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic releases in non-friendly formats (PDF, images) </li></ul><ul><li>Childish strategy such as to alter the computer date </li></ul><ul><li>To beg </li></ul><ul><li>To personal relationships and friendships to get favors </li></ul>
  20. 20. Carlo Carrenho [email_address]