Traditional book publishers usually do a wonderful job garnering advance book reviews. But, once the book has been published, they often have used up their book promotion resources.
Authors do not have to passively watch as their book promotion campaigns come to a full stop after the book's publication date, nor do they necessarily have to convince the publisher to exceed its book marketing budget (it's always better to let your literary agent do that sort of haggling, anyway, so that you don't risk tainting your relationship with your publisher and jinxing the possibility of working on future book projects together).
However, there's at least five things you can do to pick up your book publicity campaign where your publisher has left off. You should:
- Circle Back. Find out what your publisher has done as part of its book publicity efforts. Has your in-house publicist created a press release (and other media kit components) for your book? Great! Ask whether you can use it in your publicity efforts. Find out, in general terms, which categories of media outlets have received the press release, and an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC or galley). Your in-house publicist probably won't be willing to share the names of the people at the media outlets to whom she reached out, but if she will, that will be a terrific help. You don't want to duplicate her efforts but, rather, build on them. Find out whether your publisher followed up on its media outreach. If not, then you can offer to do that follow up yourself (or have your independent book publicist do it for you).
- Make a Book Publicity Plan. So now that you know what your publisher has done to promote your book, decide what else you can do. That might include organizing a book tour; using a wire service to disseminate your press release; responding to news stories with an offer to serve as an expert or guest; pitching media outlets on an interview; contacting your local television shows, radio stations, and newspapers to let them know what you can offer their viewers and readers; conducting a bylined article campaign; sending out op-eds that relate to your topic; and so on. Bring your plan to your publisher. Is there anything on your list of book promotion strategies that the publisher can handle for you? If not, will they provide books so that you can conduct the book publicity campaign less expensively (and, better still, will they handle the mailings for you in house if you provide contact information)?
Since there are so many things you can do to promote your book even if your publisher's book publicity efforts have stopped, don't get angry or frustrated about the lack of book promotion opportunities that are coming your way. Do something about it. The book's life you save might be your own!
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