Think About What You Want —

Not About What You Don’t Want:

Book Publicity and Media for Authors 

As I’ve mentioned before (and I’m sure I will again), when it comes to getting media coverage for your book and your message, it all comes down to mindset. Of course, then you have to take lots of action, but until you are in the right mindset, the actions you take will be limited, conflicted, and possibly full of angst.

When you consider an Olympic athlete, do you think they entertain doubts during training or prior to a competition? I doubt it. (That’s why I selected the photo of the skier, by the way. We are celebrating the Olympics now.)

I have seen this more times with authors that I can tell you. You have got to believe in yourself first before anyone else will. Sounds simple, I know, but doubts can creep in and you have to be vigilant about not letting them control your mind and your feelings. Stop whining to other people about your fears. They simply get stronger when you do that. This is not to say that you should deny your feelings, but wallowing in them simply does not help you and it actually hurts you.

If you want to entertain doubts and fears for a minute or two, I guess that’s OK, but then you must redirect your mind and get onto the business at hand, which is focusing in on what you DO want, and then going for it.

Have a timeline:

This is determined by your publication date. The publication date (or pub date) is the date your book goes on sale; it’s not the date they arrive from the printer. Are you going to speak? Are you going to be doing book events of some kind? Are you going to have a launch event? Get them scheduled early and get them on your timeline.

Prior to publication:

For several months leading up to pub date, this is the time to go after all the long-lead opportunities, e.g., reviews,  national television programs, many podcasts, and other video opportunities. I have found with some online media, they are not as driven by timeliness, so what may seem urgent to you, may not be to them. They can take awhile to land, so if you want coverage around pub date, approach them early.

Soft launch:

You can sell to your own networks prior to publication date if you want to. This can help you to get additional reviews and feedback prior to the big day. Some publishers will not allow this, however, so you need to talk to them about your plans.


Publication Date:

This is the date you are officially on sale, and it’s a hard launch. It’s exciting, but it may seem anticlimactic to you unless you’ve planned for some big activities on this date. Perhaps a book launch party of some kind. If that isn’t possible because of the date of the week or you couldn’t book a venue then, take yourself out to dinner with your spouse or good friend. Celebrate. This is a big deal!

Consider it a line in the sand that marks the beginning of public sales of your book. If you have presales this is when that all comes through and  pays off. That alone can be very exciting.


After Publication Date:

These are all the other media opportunities that don’t require a long-lead time. Many websites can easily put up another page, so it doesn’t have to take long at all. Interesting to note that getting actual hard-copy print magazines has become more attractive in recent years because of limited space and they’re tough to land. Keep in mind though, with ten different media channels, there is no shortage of opportunities.

One of the big issues I see authors face is making the mistake that they have to be everywhere all the time. It’s understandable since many “experts” out there keep saying it’s true. Usually this is because that is their business, to help you do that. But I say, “Not true.” You don’t have to be everywhere, but you do have to ask yourself these questions:

  1. Who is your market?
  2. What forms of media do they consume?
  3. What do you like to do?


Regarding #1: If you answer the first question with, “Everyone,” then you you’re not ready yet.  No book is for everyone. If you target to everyone, you target no one, so get clear on who specifically your book is for.

Regarding #2:  Then, where do they hang out? Do the research. If you have a community, ask them. If you don’t have a community, it’s time to build one. (Hmmm….How to that may be an upcoming subject of this blog.)

As for question #3: What do you like to do? If you like photography, take lots of pictures, particularly if your topic translates easily into visuals. Instagram and Pinterest are all about photos. Facebook loves photos too, by the way.

If you love doing radio and podcast interviews, focus on securing those kinds of interviews. You might consider starting your own podcast.

If you’re a Facebook fan, use Facebook. If you hate Twitter, don’t torture yourself by insisting that you tweet (and then procrastinate doing it because you hate it. That’s just a recipe for misery.)

If you love being on camera and your topic lends itself to visuals, create some B-roll.

Get booked on TV. Do Facebook Live. Consider other interview opportunities on webcams.

On the other hand, if you hate being on camera because you don’t like how you look, you have options. You can forget about television and video all together. Or, you can take some action regarding improving your appearance.

Then you need to practice being in front of the camera so that you desensitize yourself as to how you look. In other words, if you see yourself on camera and say, “Oh no! I don’t look like that, do I?”

Then you need to practice some more and get used to seeing yourself and how you look. (And, yes, you do look like that. We all do.) We all have to have some objectivity around seeing ourselves in order to enjoy doing video and television.

Bottom Line: All these tips are intended to help you figure out how you want to get your message out there. Knowing your market, knowing where they hang out, and knowing what you love to do will, lead you in the right direction.

But none of that will help without the right mindset. Remember, it’s not about denying your feelings, or insisting on the moon without considering what your current limitations are. It’s intended to help you keep doubts from creeping in, while at the same time focusing all your efforts and attention toward what you DO want.

To your success!


P.S. if you want some help determining your market, and positioning yourself in the best way possible, perhaps it’s time for a Media Strategy Session with yours truly.