May 12, 2015
Having secured a bookstore event, you are now going to notify two important constituencies about two important events: 1. the publication of your new book! 2. Your ‘book party’ and launch at the local bookstore on such and such a date. The constituencies are: friends and family (FF) and local media. Do some reconnaissance phone calling ahead of your bookseller visit to your core base of supporters: could be your parents, siblings, children, close friends, or mentors. You need to make sure that whatever date you suggest to the bookstore is an available date for them. Now that you have confirmed the date with your bookseller, phone your core supporters thanking them again, and letting them know the date is now set. Then send all your FFs an invitation to your bookstore reading and talk with a personal note urging them to come. Include a snippet about food and drinks in any notices you create. You might be surprised at what a difference in the turn-out this will make. You may not have the budget to provide food at all or any of the other talks you give, but this is one occasion where it might actually make sense to splurge. If you are like most successful authors, you have many people to thank for their support. Feeding them well at an event is a great start to acknowledging them in a way that is at least momentarily rewarding for them. Thinking of others at a time like this is actually the perfect antidote to the powerfully intoxicating effects of finally having your work seen by others. It will ground you, and being grounded in your humanity is one of the great secrets to having a success as an artist or writer that you will actually be able to enjoy.
Now you are ready to tackle local media. Having the right contacts is half the battle. Start by asking your local bookseller which media they think are the main drivers of their business. If they get specific, that’s what you are really looking for—could be, for example, a specific show or host on the radio, or book reviews or author features in particular magazines or newspapers. Plus, you might get lucky and discover that your bookseller maintains a current media list and they are willing to share it with you. In that case, your work of compiling a media list is complete and you can move to the next action. If you are not so lucky, you will need to spend some time in media research. Between online Google searches, asking local friends and family for their recommendations, plus an examination of the free newspapers and magazines found at a multitude of retail locations (usually near the entrance) around your town this information can generally be pieced together. Once you have newspapers or magazines in hand, look for the masthead where the company lists its editors, ad sales, publishers, and writers. You are looking for book reviewers and general editors who may be interested in doing a feature on you. What’s important to know is that media exposures are not all equal in impact. The top three local media might be worth as much exposure as all the others combined.
If you missed Phase One you can view it here.