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Book Publicity – Who, What, When, Where and How

Chuck Monroe, founder of Gold Dust Publicity LLC, was my guest on the SkillBites Show podcast.  Chuck has been instrumental in the successful launch of more than a thousand books in virtually every genre.  As Chuck stated, if you don’t publicize your book, people won’t know about it, and then you won’t sell very many copies of it.  

Chuck recommended starting with radio, as it is less expensive than TV and less time consuming to get on a radio broadcast.  Further, TV viewers tend not to be as avid readers as radio listeners, particularly broadcasts such as NPR, and for TV, you have to be there in person.

If you are doing your own publicity, the first step to getting on radio (or TV or podcasts or magazines) is to do a Google search for local stations in your community.  You can also use a free tool called radio-locator.com. Determine which shows are likely to be in your genre, and note the producer and the host who talks about either books or your subject matter.  Try to obtain their email address and phone number. If only the main number is listed, call it and ask the receptionist if you can get the email address and/or phone number of the host that covers your subject matter.

Start with finding out as much as you can about the host.  Listen to some of their other interviews. If you are seeking to be on TV, notice what they are wearing and what their guests are wearing.  Who is their audience? What topics do they like to cover?  

Next, email them a short message of your interest in being interviewed.  No one has time to read anything lengthy. Choose an enticing subject line to hook them into reading your email.  If your topic can tie into something that’s hot on the news, that will entice them. Let them know that you can provide a copy of your paperback book or the file of your eBook, as well as more details if they are interested. 

If you haven’t heard from them in a week or so, send another email or text, if you have a mobile number.  Know that you need to be available to answer their call if they call you. If you miss their call, you may not get another chance.  Be ready to provide a press release of your book launch, jpg files of the book cover, your headshot, bio and contact information, a summary of the book and some suggested interview questions.  Also, have a book website set up.

If you do get a radio interview, make sure your equipment works properly and you have a strong signal.  Don’t use a mobile phone. If the audio is not good quality, your interview will not be aired.

The bigger your social media presence, the more likely you’ll get an interview.  One way to do this is to promote other authors and have them promote you.

To make sure your interview comes off well, you should practice it, and record yourself so you can listen and evaluate the quality.  After the interview, try to obtain a copy of the recording so you can post it, and can listen to it and learn from it what you can do better next time.

If you don’t want to do all the leg work yourself, you can hire a PR firm.  Firms typically charge anywhere from $1000 to $10,000 per month. You can contact other authors to find out who they used, and whether they felt they got good value from the services.  The advantage of using a PR firm is that they have built relationships in the industry and know who to reach out to for you; thus they are more likely to be successful in being able to get you booked on a show.

Chuck’s firm charges only for actual bookings.  You can reach him at chuck@golddustpublicity.com, and can get more information from his website, golddustpublicity.com.