Writers Tricks of the Trade ISSUE 1, VOLUME 9 - Page 19

Advertising can be an entrée to the de- cision-makers. A contact in the advertising department may be willing to put a news release on the desk of one of his editors, maybe even encourage her to look at it. They can make no promises, but it does sometimes work. If you’re going to try this route, choose a “little pond,” a bookish bro- chure or an “arty” weekly so that the dol- lars you spend will be noticed. Sometimes a magazine or newspaper runs a special promotion called advertorial. These are sections where you pay for an ad and then the newspaper assigns a reporter to cover the story you want told. The article carries some of the prestige of editorial copy—that is the general reader may as- sume the article has been chosen only on its merits because of its copycat character. The writer or editor you meet can be ap- proached later when you have an excep- tional story to tell. Publicist Erin Shachory handles consumer publicity and consults on advertising strategies. She knows that her clients hire her—at least in part—for her “great database.” It is something that, over time, you can build for yourself. Still advertorial isn’t FREE when you have to pay to see yourself or your book featured. If you can’t make room in your budget to approach a publicity campaign this way, carve out some time to do it your- self and follow these 15 commandments for getting your freebie campaign moving and keeping it chugging along:  E DUCATE Y OURSELF : Study press re- leases that come to you from suppli- ers, stores and other authors. Read books like the multi award-winning Frugal Book Promoter, now in its se- W RITERS ’ T RICKS OF THE T RADE P AGE 14   cond edition. Take a marketing class especially designed for people in your field. Authors will find online classes given by most universities these days. Why take a chance with the vagaries of the Web when these classes have been vetted. R EAD , READ , READ : Your IBPA and writers’ groups’ newsletters. Your newspaper. Your e-zines. Even your junk mail. My daughter found a flier from the local library in the Sunday paper stuffed between grocery cou- pons. It mentioned a display done by a local merchant in our local li- brary window. Now we’re going to install one for my book, too! Rub- bish can be the goose that laid the golden egg. K EEP AN OPEN MIND FOR PROMOTION IDEAS : Look at the small details in your book. There will be angles there you can exploit when you’re talking to editors. My first novel, This Is the Place, was sort of romantic (a ro- mance website will like it) but it is also set in Salt Lake City, the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics© and, though that’s a reach, I pitched it to sports desks, and as a related idea to feature editors as Olympic fervor grew and after the Olympics when editors still needed stories but they weren’t receiving as much infor- mation on them in their e-mail box- es. (I use the past tense here be- cause This Is the Place is out of print and available only through Ama- zon’s new and used feature.) S PRING 2019