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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
How a writer might self-promote, or lauch their book on peanuts.

Submitted: December 24, 2009

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Submitted: December 24, 2009



Thus far I have sent press releases to 540 major daily newspapers in the U.S. and Canada. In the email body of the letter I invite the editor/reviewer to call or email my publisher for a free review copy of my book. Then I give a brief description of it to entice interest (two sentences), followed by my best review on Amazon, along with the contact information. So if any staff are relunctant to open an attachment, which most of them are, I have it covered in the body of the email.

My attachment has a brief synopsis, the book's cover, my human interest biography, and my creds--along with the urls of my website, publisher's site, and my agent. So if they're brave, and their system denotes no virus, they'll go ahead and open the attachement.

I personalize each invitation by getting the name of the respective editor that I'm interested in contacting--book reviewer--features--lifestyle--arts & entertainment, for the most part. If I can't find the right contact person, I intro with "Dear Editor", which I don't like to do. I try to put in a personal line specific to that editor, commenting on a recent article they've done, compliment them on their layout, or make reference to a story I enjoyed by one of their staff. This is hellacious and requires a tremendous amount of keystrokes per press release (also reading). It's taken me 18 days, six hours a day, just to get this far, but I've saturated all of Canada, New York, California, Pennsylvania, Florida, and I'm now half way through Illinois. (I start with the most populace states, and those that I feel are more liberal, since my book runs with those colors).

About 10% of all the dailies require you to fill out a form, supplying your name, address, phone number, and message. My message is a cut and paste of my email content, only. Again, this requires time, and these messages usually go in the general newsroom bin. But...I'll address it to the appropriet editor in that message so it's at least routed properly.

I word the email in such a manner that the editor/reviewer really has no reason to contact me back. However my response so far has generated interest (letters to me) from nine majors, including the Mid West Book Review. I know that my publisher has even received a massive contact experience, and they haven't told me who has gotten a hold of them on their end (they are too busy in the mailing department keeping up with the requests--I'm starting to run them ragged).

(In this fashion, there is no need to send out review copies cold, with the hopes of pulling a review. This technique requires the editor/reviewer to make an effort to solicite the book).

All I know is that it has worked a little bit better than I thought. It's that 1--5% rule of advertising--you just don't know WHO is going to respond--so you hammer all of them. In my case, state by friggin' state.

This is not spam. Each letter is different and requires a certain amount of creative diversity. That's important. Although the energy expended for such a campaign is tedious, boring and hell on the system, I feel that it is working and I'm learning a lot about what promps or piques an editor's attention. Canada, for some reason or another, has been the biggest supporter and responder. This is probably due to the fact that my publisher is Canadian. And my home state seemed to be more receptive, naturally.

Didn't mean to jack this thread. But I didn't know where else to explain this experience.

I also can't explain, or do I know the reason, why I have taken over the #1 bestseller position on Amazon out of my own publisher's 41 titles. I tend to think that those author's books are just doing more poorly than mine, and that I am not selling tons of books. But I sure would like to know if this campaign had ANYTHING to do with it. What a neat case study if I could lay down the facts, figures and percentages!

© Copyright 2018 Chris Stevenson. All rights reserved.

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