Book Update

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

[Build Book Buzz] 5 Ways to Make Google Your Assistant Publicist via @sandrabeckwith

Tips, tactics and tools for generating media awareness and other buzz about your books.

April 11, 2012

In This Issue:

Buzzing Around

Hi sylvia,

March MadnessAre any of you attending the ASJA (American Society of Journalists and Authors) Writers Conference from April 26 to 28 in New York City? I'll be there all three days and would love to say "hi" in person to any subscribers who might be attending. If I know you're there, I'll make an effort to look for your nametag! 

I'm looking forward to seeing my writer buddies from all over the country and speaking on how important those friendships are to me on a Saturday morning panel. During "Nurturing Writer Friendships," moderator (and friend) Irene Levine will ask me and fellow panelists Jackie Dishner and Margie Goldsmith about how we cultivate and nurture these relationships - and how we avoid problems with them, too. 

I hope you can join us! Learn more about this always amazing conference online

Finally, remember to subscribe to my blog by e-mail or RSS feed so you don't miss the helpful information I share there, too. The most popular post in the past few weeks include: 

Feel free to share the links with your networks if you find the articles helpful.



Expert View:
5 Ways to Make Google Your Assistant Publicist
By Rusty Shelton

The media environment has changed dramatically over the past four years. According to Forrester Research, between the years 2000 to 2008, one in four media jobs disappeared. As startling as that statistic is, when you consider that the time period surveyed is before our current recession really got underway, you can start to appreciate why media members are so overloaded with potential stories to cover. 

There are fewer of them covering more stories than ever before and the last thing they have is time. They are so deluged with books that often the best way to reach them is not by chasing them - it's by giving them a reason to chase you. 

As counter-intuitive as that sounds, based on a variety of factors, media members are increasingly taking a "don't call us...we'll call you" approach to selecting those they will cover. 

A recent Cision/George Washington University study backs up this trend, finding in a survey of journalists that when researching stories:

  • 89% look to blogs
  • 65% turn to social networking sites
  • 52% use Twitter as a resource 

This shift in the way that media members operate has the potential to play right into the hands of authors who understand it and widen their net to catch those queries. 

When journalists hit Google or Technorati looking for a "cardiologist" or "turnaround expert," those credentialed authors who have developed unique and interesting content surrounding the topics journalists are searching for have a great opportunity to not only provide their readers with great value - but to also position themselves for more traditional coverage. 

Here are five ways to make Google your publicist:

  1. Push out timely blog posts. Every author should have Google Alerts set on at least five keywords related to their topic area. Each morning, review the stories that are running in your topic area and consider how you can add to the discussion. Odds are the media members are searching for resources and insight on those timely topics and when you create a blog with your take and tag it correctly, you widen your net to attract attention from journalists looking for experts just like you.

    Extra tip: Host your blog on your website and make sure one of the main links will take media members to a "press room" where they can find links to previous media coverage, press materials, and contact information for you or your publicist.

  2. Conduct an online brand audit. If I am a radio host and you tell me what a perfect guest you would be for my show, when I Google your name to book you, what will I find? If you don't currently have a website or any online platform, do I have any way of getting in touch with you? If I can't find you quickly, I'm moving on to the next guest. If you do have a website or blog, is what I find when I arrive there going to reinforce my decision to have you on my program or make me wonder about your credibility? Also, think about those media members who might not know your name, but are searching for someone with your exact credentials...does your website or any of your blog posts come up in even the most specific search?

    Extra tip: Watch every single video that comes up in a simple search for your name on both Google and YouTube. Put yourself in the shoes o f a producer at a top morning show and ask whether or not the video would encourage or discourage them from booking you. Take down any videos that detract from your brand.

  3. Pay it forward to journalists doing a good job in your topic area. When you read articles or hear stories in your topic area that you believe are well done, pay attention to the name of the media member responsible and find a way to help them drive traffic to the story. The best way to do this is to search for the journalist's Twitter handle and drive your followers to the story with an encouraging tweet: "Love this story by @JohnSmith in the Wall Street Journal today (link). Really smart take on this, John." While most journalists get hundreds, if not thousands of e-mails a day, they get far fewer @ replies and often pay attention to those talking about them on Twitter. One key point is to never pitch with an @ reply on Twitter...all of your journalist-related content should add value and contribute to the discussion.

    Extra tip: Use MuckRack.com to sort and find journalists on Twitter by category and media outlet.

  4. Consider your social media infrastructure as an online press kit. In today's changing media environment, the first place that readers, media members, colleagues, and others are likely to interact with you and your book won't be at Barnes & Noble or even Amazon - it will be on your website, or perhaps more likely, via your various social media extensions. In many ways, these online extensions make up your virtual press kit, and you must make sure that your branding is consistent and you are providing value across each.

    Extra tip: Nothing looks worse to media members or readers than a social media extension that hasn't been updated in months. Don't set up a Facebook page or Twitter account unless you intend on engaging and providing consistent, valuable content there. If you have social media accounts that you don't update, cancel the accounts.

  5. Be interesting. Your odds of getting your content in front of a journalist within social media are dramatically improved if you are writing pieces that your readers want to share with their networks. People don't engage with those who stay in the middle of the road—so be interesting and thought-provoking with your content and make sure you give people a reason to share your insight.

    Extra tip: Blog titles often make all the difference in the world. Consider ways to spice up your headlines to attract more attention from journalists online.

Rusty Shelton first spoke at Harvard on the changing world of public relations at the age of 23. Now he is the president and CEO of Shelton Interactive, a full-service digital agency focused on helping authors build larger platforms. The firm builds dynamic websites, handles social media strategy and training, and runs digital PR campaigns for numerous bestselling authors. Shelton Interactive is also the lead digital agency for Chicken Soup for the Soul and Harvard Health Publications and has worked with top brands like IBM, Amazon, and others. Contact him at rusty@sheltoninteractive.com or visit the firm's website.

Discover Where to Find Millions of Readers to Review, Recommend, Buy Your Books

Joan Stewart (known as the "Publicity Hound") gave me a complimentary pass to her recent webinar, "Where to Find Millions of Readers Online to Review, Recommend, & Buy Your Books." (I would have paid to attend, though, because her information is always so good!) I shared some of what I learned from the webinar on my blog yesterday. Read the post to discover how to figure out how to get the most out of Goodreads.com without advertising, the site you need to know about if you write romance novels, and much more.

Register for June 2012 "Book Publicity 101: How to Build Book Buzz" E-course

Are you ready to learn how to get the word out about your book? It's time to register for the next "Book Publicity 101: How to Build Book Buzz" e-course running online from June 4 to 29, 2012. Both sections - one for traditionally published authors and the other for those who have self published - emphasize the planning, strategy, tools and tactics needed to get - and keep - your book in the news so that you sell more books. (The course for self-published authors includes a section on how to announce a book's publication and generate reviews.) You'll leave the class with your own book publicity blueprint, tools you can use immediately to get media exposure, and a solid understanding of how to get attention in both traditional and social media worlds. 

The class is taught online in a forum format. There are no scheduled meetings or sessions - you work at your own pace according to your own schedule. I provide very personalized guidance and feedback as you move through the course. 

For details on the original course, "Book Publicity 101: How to Build Book Buzz," go to http://buildbookbuzz.com/how-to-build-book-buzz-workshop/

For specifics on the self-published authors course, "Book Publicity 101 for Self-Published Authors: How to Build Book Buzz," go to http://buildbookbuzz.com/self-published-how-to-build-book-buzz-workshop/.

About Sandra

Sandra Beckwith is a former publicist who has won several national and regional publicity awards and teaches authors how to generate long-term media buzz for their books. She is the author of three books on publicity, conducts publicity workshops, and writes frequently on small business marketing and management topics. Please visit her book publicity site and publicity blog to learn more.

Build Book Buzz is a free e-newsletter published twice monthly by Beckwith Communications. Please forward this newsletter to anyone. To subscribe, visit www.buildbookbuzz.com. We do not share our mailing list with any individual or organization for any reason.

Need a writer's conference speaker or workshop presenter? Sandra's workshops at the American Society of Journalists and Authors annual conference, the University of Wisconsin Writers Institute, and at other industry conferences share priceless how-to information you won't get elsewhere. Contact her at sb@buildbookbuzz.com for more information.

Build Book Buzz
Sandra Beckwith, Editor & Publisher
Phone: 585-377-2768
Email: sb@buildbookbuzz.com

Beckwith Communications

25 Erie Crescent
Fairport, NY

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