As a publicist, I get frantic calls from first-time authors when they realize their publishing company is not helping their book get off the shelves. After calming them down, I explain that it’s not the publisher’s job to get the books off the shelves, but rather it’s my job.
In an ideal world, the author would consult with their publicist while writing the book. This would involve developing a list of potential audiences for the book and discussing the title, cover, and chapter titles. Each chapter title could become a media release title for optimal success!
As an example, with the books of Suze Orman, the topics of finance are usually quite boring, but through the careful selection of titles and graphics, her books have sold well due to the sound bites they have created in media interviews. A publicist can also offer advice on the choice of colors and graphics in order to reach a specific audience. The title itself can make or break a book.
Stephen Covey’s first book, “First Things First,” didn’t do so well due to the lack of an engaging title. When he released his second book, “7 Habits” with great chapter titles, it was a marketing dream and the sales reflected that.
Finally, when it comes to launching a book, timing is everything. A proper book launch should be planned weeks in advance and involve a website, press room, press kit, social media following, enewsletter, blog populated, launch event, book reviews, and other important details. Decisions about ebooks, audio books, and serialization should also be made in advance. Once all of this is done, the media tour and corresponding speaking engagements should begin.
If authors want to have a successful book launch, they should include their publicists in all aspects of the planning process. Otherwise, their book launch may end up feeling like a rushed, last-minute event. With the right amount of planning, however, authors can have a royal launch that will result in great sales.