From The Bookseller:
What’s the one question authors ask me most frequently?
“How long do I have to market my book?”
I never deviate from this answer: “Only for as long as you want to sell it.”
Every author hates hearing that. By the time most get around to asking it, usually a few weeks from their launch date, they’re exhausted and broke. By then, it’s much too late.
To save you time, trouble and disappointment, I’ve collected the most frequently asked questions I hear about book publicity. But first, let me explain why you have to market your book only for as long as you want to sell it.
Authors publish more than 600,000 books a year in the United States. That’s 50,000 books a month! As many as half, or even more, are published by indie authors.
If only a fraction of those authors promote their books with blog tours, articles, book reviews, YouTube videos, print and online publicity, and social media content—and you’re doing nothing—your book languishes. And then it dies.
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5. “What’s the difference between a press release for my book and a pitch?”
A press release is a digital file that explains the main information about your book such as the topic or storyline, the genre, price, ISBN, publishing company, why you wrote it and where people can buy it. Most authors only write one version of a press release. They link to it from a customized pitch to a specific media outlet or journalist.
Let’s say your book is a romance novel. You can send a short email pitch of three paragraphs to an editor of a woman’s magazine and pitch your quiz called “Are You Dating the Wrong Men?” Within the pitch, link to the press release at your website or elsewhere online.
If you’re pitching your local weekly newspaper because you’re doing a book signing in your town, you can send a different email pitch highlighting the fact that you’re a local author, mention the event, and link to the same press release. See my two articles The pros and cons of press releases vs. pitches and When to use a press release and when to deliver a pitch.
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6. “I can’t afford those big media databases of $1,000 or more. How can I get names and contact information for journalists?”
Those expenses databases are used mostly by PR firms and publicists. You don’t need them. Besides, I don’t recommend pitching dozens or hundreds of media outlets because you won’t have the time to send a customized pitch to each one.
USNPL.com is the best free resource for contact information for thousands of media outlets in the United States. It’s short for U.S. Newspaper List. Read more about it in my article The Best Free Media Contacts Tool You Probably Aren’t Using.
Another terrific free resource is the Society of Professional Journalists Freelance Directory which lets you search by topic.
Link to the rest at The Bookseller