4 Book Publicity Facts That Can Help Authors Succeed


How does getting book publicity work? Here’s a quick-start guide with four book publicity facts to help you expand your audience reach.

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Authors often overlook book publicity when creating their book marketing plans.   That’s usually because they:

Don’t know what it is

Don’t realize it’s a realistic option

Want it but don’t know how to get it

Those who grasp key book publicity facts and appear on TV or a podcast, or have their book featured in a “best of” list. Or are interviewed for an in-depth article on a subject they are highly knowledgeable about?

Those authors have mastered the power of publicity.

Not sure what it’s all about? I’ve got four book publicity facts that help demystify the topic and process so you can use book publicity to introduce more readers to what you write.


Table of Contents

FACT #1: Book publicity is the free media exposure you get when your book is mentioned in print or digital media.

With the growth of social media, that definition has expanded to include social media mentions. For our purposes, though, we’ll focus on just the news media.

The main distinction between publicity and other marketing methods is that it cannot be purchased. You can’t pay to be interviewed by a legitimate news outlet.

Moreover, research indicates that publicity is 10 times more impactful than advertising, which involves paying for and controlling the message’s placement and timing.

It’s because of the implied endorsement from the editorial. The idea is that if a journalist interviews you or references your book, it means you are an expert or have a valuable resource.

While publicity is free, authors often pay for related services such as press release distribution or a publicist.

Fact #2: Free press release distribution services and sites don’t actually “distribute” press releases.

Many authors mention using free press release distribution sites, but in this case, you get what you pay for.

“Free press release distribution service” is a misnomer. Free sites don’t distribute press releases to reporters, editors, or bloggers.

The releases are waiting on the service site to be discovered. It’s better than having nothing, and you never know what might happen. It’s possible that it will be discovered and used there.

If you want your newsworthy press release to be distributed to the right media outlets and journalists, a paid press release distribution service can help.

Fact #3: Book publicity is about more than sending press releases.

Book announcement press releases  are important, but they are only one piece of the puzzle.

Don’t forget to pitch your book-related story or segment ideas to media outlets where you can contribute as an expert source. 

Study the media outlets, blogs, and podcasts consumed by your book’s target audience to understand the content they publish.

Once you’re familiar with the type of content they utilize, you can start brainstorming article and segment concepts to propose as an expert resource.

Authors often write by-lined articles or essays on topics related to their books. The author’s book title is often included in the writer’s credit for these.

Fact #4: You don’t need relationships with journalists to get book publicity.

To succeed, you need to understand how the system works: identify the media outlets that reach your target audience, find the right contact person, and know what to pitch to them. 

When my first book came out, I pitched to 6 shows a day ( radio/TV) and the results were amazing – I did 121 shows in 365 days in my first year, without any contacts at those outlets.

What was my secret power?

I studied each target outlet, understood the show themes and I knew:

How to position  my book or story to fit into their framework

How to find the best person to contact

How to write a pitch that would get read

Download our Press Release Checklist and start getting publicity for your book!

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