fionabayrock (fionabayrock) wrote in bubblestampede,
fionabayrock
fionabayrock
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Step Away from the Computer...Offline Promotion Opportunities

Laura is in blue. Fiona is in green.

At Bubble Stampede we've talked a lot about online promotion, but with my book release yesterday(!) I've been poking around offline to see what kinds of opportunities are available there, too. 
 
Oh my gosh! I can't believe we didn't throw a party here on Bubble Stampede!
 
[Fiona and Laura break out the party hats and noisemakers]
 
I go to a book club at an independent bookstore in a few weeks, and I think I'll call ahead of time and ask them to order it for me if they don't already have it in stock. I can't wait to read it!
 
Aw, shucks, thanks! 
 
Okay, :^) now on with the post.  Here are few offline opportunities:

 

Local Author Makes Good

Local papers are interested in local stories about local folks, so this one's an obvious. 

 

My three local papers will get a mini press kit (cover shot, author photo, press release, reviews (JLG and Kirkus have said very nice things)
 
(Congratulations! Thanks!)
 
...and links to my website for more info), with the hope that they'll want to do a feature article about the release.  By doing that now, I hope enough time will pass before my book launch party that they'll want to cover that, too, when the time comes.
 
My booksigning buddy Dara Dokas and I are planning to send out a joint release to our local papers. Neither paper has much space for book reviews, and the papers are way too big to care about the release of our books.
 
Ah...the difference between small town and big city papers: the first are always scrambling for local stories, the latter get more than they can use.
 
So true. But we're hoping that if we send a press release and also suggest 2 or 3 other local authors with new animal-themed books, maybe one of the book editors will choose to do a themed roundup book review with the twist that we're all local. And we'll let them know of our two zoo appearances in April, so there will be an event tie-in, too. Honestly, I'll be surprised if either bites on this, but it's worth a shot, because it would be great exposure if either or both did!
 
This is a great idea.  I live about an hour outside a big city and the likelihood of my getting into the paper there echoes yours...slim.  But you've just reminded me of friends who were successful in doing just what you suggest: local young adult authors Kim Denman, Shelley Hrdlitschka, and Diane Tullson belong to the same critique group, so when they each had a book released in the same season, the big city paper did a feature on the group and their books.  A very successful strategy. It gave the paper something a little different from the run-of-the-mill author book release piece. I think your bunch of animal authors stands a good chance...especially with something as photo-op as the zoo!  Fab idea to incorporate that, too.
 
We need to get to work on this now, though, since feature coverage is planned out a month or two in advance.
 
I'll probably send an individual press release to my tiny neighborhood paper and glossy mag. Again, no big expectations, but worth a shot.
 
Also, we have a couple of local parenting magazines--you know, the kind they give away at the library and community center? So we'll likely send our joint press release to them, too.
 
Now that's one I hadn't thought of. I'll add them to my list, too.

 

Where did you go to School?

Along the same lines as "local author makes good" is the "graduate of this school (or our town) makes good". 

 

I don't live in the same town where I graduated from high school, so I'm going to send a mini press kit to the newspaper there and see if that sticks.  A fair number of my fellow graduates still live there and may remember my name.  It's only a few hours away, so I may wait a month or two and do this in conjunction with setting up a book signing.

 

And then there's the university alumni magazine. Mine reviews books written by alumni, giving a quarter page or so to each book.  Great exposure.  My publisher has sent a review copy there. 
 
I grew up and went to college in Orlando, and one children's book isn't going to make any publication there interested in writing about me, unfortunately. Dang.
 
Dang is right.  Does your alma mater publish an alumni magazine?  If they do, but don't do reviews, perhaps they have a news section, broken down by faculty or year?  A small mention is better than none.
 
Good point. I should check that out. I don't receive the alumni magazine, but I'm sure there is one.
 

Announcements

Many local papers, radio station websites etc. have announcements sections.  And bonus news: they're usually free.  They often need some lead time, so check this out in advance to get your notices in on time.

 

My local small-town papers have "Seven Days" and "Around Town" columns where people can submit blurbs for local events. I'm always surprised by how many people read it.  Perfect for book launch info.  The big city paper has a header on the book section that lists book events around town, but there's much more demand for this space, so while I'll submit the info about my Vancouver launch there, there's less likelihood it'll get in. Do your big city papers do something similar, Laura?
 
They have a Book Readings section in the calendar, but only about 10% of the readings submitted get listed (because space for news keeps shrinking as ad sales shrink). I know because I used to fill in on the Calendar desk sometimes! Maybe someone will recognize my name and make sure mine is included...but that's no sure thing.
 
Hey, it's worth a shot...

 

Radio

My local radio station is very community-minded. The morning show frequently has ticket and prize giveaways related to local events, so I'm looking into the possibility of doing a book giveaway as part of the morning show during the week before my book launch.  Callers answer a trivia question to win a copy of the book, one book giveaway per day.
 
Cool!

 

Cable TV

Community cable TV often tapes short segments of local arts of interest. I can hear you hyperventilating at the thought of that, Laura, and the idea scares me spitless, too, but I'm digging to steel myself to call and find out if they'd be interested in a local author of a quirky book.  Of course, I'm pretty brave while typing this blog post, so we'll see what happens when it comes time to actually make the call!
 
Better you than me! Really, this sounds smart. You can do it--Report back shortly!
 
Sounds like you're really on top of this, Fiona! These all sound like great ideas! At this point, I'm going to be happy if Dara and I can get that joint press release out to the two big papers in the next two weeks, and if I can get my individual one, too.
 
And I'm really glad you chose this topic for this week. I've been so focused on online stuff--probably because that's much less intimidating to me--that I haven't been thinking local at all (because that might involve my actually talking to real live people). So this is a good nudge for me.
 
So, what say you, oh loyal readers?  Do you have a favourite, perhaps little-known, way of getting the word out in offline media?  We'd love to hear what's worked for you.  Leave us a comment.
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