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As a publicist, I get frantic calls from first time authors when they realize their publishing company is not helping their book off the bookstore shelves. After calming them, I explain it’s not their publisher’s business to get the books OFF the shelves; it’s their business to get the book into the bookstores and ON the shelves. It’s my job to get the books OFF the shelves.

 But in a perfect world, the author would chat with their publicist as they are writing the book to develop a list of audiences the book would reach. They would talk with their publicist as they were dealing with the title, cover and chapter titles. Consider every chapter title becoming a media release title! How much faster those books would jump off the shelves? Suzie Orman’s books are a great example of great chapter titles. Her books are about finance, which are typically boring books. However, her choices in chapter titles and great consistent visuals on the cover create sound bites for her interviews on TV shows which sell her books.

 A publicist can give an author great advice about colors and how the graphics effect the audience they are trying to reach. Often times, the title can make or break a book. Take for instance Stephen Covey’s first book, “First Things First”, great book not so great title. When he developed his second book “7 Habits”, it covered basically the same principles as the first book. But with a different title and great punctuated chapter titles, his second book was a marketing dream, and the sales reflected the dream.

 Finally, you only have one chance at a big book launch, don’t call the publicist 2 weeks before the launch. A launch, when properly done, is similar to a wedding. Everything needs to be in place BEFORE the date of the event. Website, press room, press kit, speaking engagements, social media following, enewsletter, blog populated, launch event, book reviews gathered, and other details of a great campaign all need to be in place before a launch date is set. Decisions about ebooks, audio books, serialization of the book all need to be made before the launch. Finally, the media tour with speaking engagements (the honeymoon) should be scheduled before the launch.

 So if you want a Royal Launch for your book, with sales to match, include your publicists in all aspects of planning your book. Otherwise, your book launch will look more like a Las Vegas Quickie rather than a Princess wedding.

 

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