Whether hardback, paperback or digital, books can be excellent tools for marketing your business and elevating your reputation as a credible expert in your field. “Done right, having a book to promote can dramatically increase a company’s reach and visibility,” says Media Relations Agency Partner/COO Heather Champine. “But you’ve got to have the right expectations and be smart about how you present yourself to reporters and producers.”
She points out that thousands of new business books are published each year. Many of those are written to draw positive attention to the author’s core business. “Long before our CEO Lonny Kocina became a best-selling author, we were using PR to help other authors use books to achieve their business goals. In fact, over the last 30 years we’ve represented dozens of business authors. We’ve learned some valuable do’s and don’ts for promoting books as part of a larger marketing campaign.”
Her list of those do’s and don’ts includes:
DON’T: Presume the media will want to book you for interviews specifically because you’ve written a book
“According to one estimate, more than one million books were self-published in 2017. There are a plenty of authors vying for the media’s attention. Having a new book may be a deciding factor for the media to interview you, but it shouldn’t be your primary angle.”
DO: Come to the table with measurable experience to support what you’ve written
“If you’re a board-certified nutritionist who has spent decades helping clients use dietary changes to overcome health challenges, and now you’ve written a book on the subject, then you’ve got a mediagenic hook.
“Likewise, when Lonny Kocina penned The CEO’s Guide to Marketing, he poured 30-plus years of practical marketing experience—working with thousands of clients from around the world – into 236 pages. The business media are interested in what he has to say, and his book has been an Amazon-best seller almost from the time it debuted in October 2017.”
Champine adds that if you’re not accustomed to being interviewed, getting media training is time well spent. “You’re more likely to come off as conversational versus promotional. And the residual payoffs can be huge. Whereas being overly promotional can push people away, being conversational makes them feel comfortable with you. As he does these interviews, Lonny finds a casual way to mention our business. We’re proud to hear from people who express interest in doing business with us after hearing one of his interviews then reading his book.”
DON’T: Make your own gain the top priority of your book publicity campaign
“Unless you’re already a celebrity, don’t waste valuable interview opportunities by talking about yourself. Most people only care about what they’ll get from reading what you’ve written.”
DO: Consider what’s in it for the media’s audiences
“Tell your story as they may see it through their eyes. Why should they want to know what you have to say? How will it make their lives better? From authors who share their very personal and motivational stories of overcoming adversity, to business writers such as Lonny who want to help other business people become more successful, our PR strategists know that to have a successful book PR campaign, you’ve got to focus on the value of your message.
“Only then will your book—your story—become the type of high-value content that attracts media attention. Only then will your book help you establish rapport with your target audience. Only then will your book help to elevate and reinforce your reputation and that of your business.”
Here’s the pleasant surprise
Champine stresses that a successful book PR campaign may not result in an avalanche of book sales. “Book sales are secondary to the positive media coverage and resulting reputation boost that you’ll get from promoting your book. That’s because many of the people interested in your story will find it easier to jump onto your website and browse your social channels for more information about you and your business. And while they may never actually read your book, but they may come to trust you because of your media interviews. That’s the power of the media’s third-party credibility.”