Monday, June 4, 2012

Building the Buzz for Books - The New Book Publicity

Pictured from right to left are Susannah Greenberg, Patrick Brown and Jim Milliot, speaking  with attendees at uPublishU at BookExpo America, after their panel presentation on book publicity for the self-published author, "Building the Buzz for Books."

Building the Buzz for Books - The New Book Publicity was the name of the panel I moderated, organized and spoke at yesterday, Sunday June 3, 2012 at the new education event for self-published authors called uPublishU as part of the major annual book trade show BookExpo America, now underway at the Javits Center in New York, NY.  I will be posting the text of my presentation here soon!  The key points for book pr in my view are: 1) Advance planning is critical 2) Story is paramount. Create a mediagenic narrative about your book.  The media want a news story. 3) Be a media junkie.  Get inside the head of the journalists, producers and bloggers, to know who is interested in what and how they work.  Other tips included building your online presence  on social media and the internet, and to take advantage of the pr opportunities afforded by seasonal roundups like beach reads, holiday gift guides, Jewish Book Month and National Poetry Month.   More information about Susannah Greenberg Public Relations at

Patrick Brown, Community Manager of Goodreads, the social reading site, the largest community of readers online, spoke after me.  The growth at Goodreads is exponential he said with 9 million members now and 42,000 authors. He said ideally self-published authors should print advance review copies to try to get reviews on Goodreads, and they need to do this well in advance of publication date.  E-galleys are not yet accepted.  He said the measure of success or your goal should be the number of people who add your book to their virtual shelves on Goodreads and to get as many people as possible to review your book.  Every mention or review helps potential readers and book buyers to find your book.  The mentions and reviews also go to update feeds on Facebook and are deeply integrated with Facebook.  Goodreads also pushes reviews to other online media of bookstores and libraries and further, many bloggers cross post their reviews from Goodreads to their blogs.  The site also has an algorithmic book recommendation feature but that feature only starts when a book has several hundred reviews.  The new erotica New York Times best seller which Berkely just bought, Bared to You by Sylvia Day, was boosted in part by becoming linked algorithmically to 50 Shades of Grey, and receiving some 2500 reader reviews on Goodreads.  He concluded by recommending advance giveaways of ARCs (advance reading copies), to do the giveaways well in advance of publication date, to give people a long time to respond to the offer of review copies and to give away as many copies as possible, although there is no requirement for that and you may give away even only one copy.  More information on giveaways, (the service is free by the way), can be found at   Greenberg added it was an important first step for authors early on to also build their author profile on Goodreads, join and participate in relevant groups on Goodreads, and to take to look at all the opportunties offered in the Goodreads author program.

More information here:

Jim Milliot, of Publishers Weekly and PW Select, an advance review service spoke next.  Publishers Weekly is a 135 year old book trade magazine, now available on line as well at and also via the blog PWxyz.  The magazine and PW Select still prefers print galleys to e-galleys, and needs them three to four months in advance of publication date.  Their reviews are seen by the book trade including CEOs at companies such as Random House and Barnes & Noble, agents, distributors, librarians, media and more.   PW Select is a four times a year self-published book announcement issue.  For a fee of $149.00 you receive a listing guaranteed, and 25 to 30% chance of receiving a review.  You are not guaranteed a good review though.  They are in the process of becoming more flexible about the lead time necessary for review recognizing the changes in the book printing and production process and plans are in progress to begin reviewing e-galleys in the future.  Another benefit of PW Select reviews are that their reviews are licensed to 30 licensees and carried by them on their sites, including Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Apple and more.  In the future, they will be reviewing more eBook originals as well. The price of the PW Select listing also includes a six-month digital subscription to Publishers Weekly, and you’ll receive a print copy of the PW Select issue that features your book.

More information here:

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