What It Takes to Get Noticed in the Book World

More than 300,000 books are published each year in the U.S. alone. I’m an avid reader and bibliophile (a new book arriving in the mail feels like my birthday—Every. Single. Time.), and I can’t fathom trying to keep up with even a small percentage of the new books being published. As readers, what makes us take notice of a book? And for authors, how do you ensure your book stands out, and is seen and read and talked about?

Think about how you hear about good books: a recommendation from a friend, required reading for a class, a book club, Oprah. What does it take for people to take notice of a book and recommend it to others?

Ask just about any author and they will probably say, “it takes work.” And it takes a strategic public relations and marketing campaign that anchors on content and follow-through. It requires getting your book in front of the right audience groups in as many places as possible: social media campaigns, interviews, book reviews, and more. To accomplish this and build a successful campaign, you must create relevant content and adapt it for a variety of platforms.

Since this week’s news release assignment focused on a book launch, I wanted to share two recent book launch campaigns I’ve been following. Both of these books are from women I follow and admire for how they are leading in their industries. And not only am I excited about their books, but I also love following their launch strategies.

Jaclyn Johnson, the founder of Create & Cultivate, recently launched her first book, WorkParty. The book captures her story and builds on the passion and vision of C&C; she has a built-in audience that is primed and ready to pick up and read this book. Even so, she’s not taking anything for granted and has created a strong strategy that incorporates the best of what she does with her business. From a book tour with special guest speakers to her podcast and social media, she’s getting the word out in a great way. Get a glimpse of her strategy: WorkParty Tour.

Beth Comstock, former vice chair and chief marketing officer at GE, just launched her book, Imagine It Forward: Courage, Creativity, and the Power of Change. She, too, is combining her personal story and more than 30 years of experience to share what she has learned. And similar to Johnson, she’s building a strategic campaign that gets her in front of the right audiences through a variety of platforms, from being interviewed on various podcasts to media interviews, social media, and more. See more of her Imagine It Forward campaign.

Bounce around on their sites and social media to see more of what they are doing. What do you think of these campaigns? Have any book launches caught your attention in the past? What did they do well? What was it about the campaigns that caught your attention?

Also, have any good books to recommend? 😉





Just Write

How often do you sit down to work on a project, open up a clean Google doc, and proceed to stare at said Google doc for 10 minutes (or more), not even sure where to begin? It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or have been writing professionally for years—all writers run into this at some point. In fact, I did it just now in starting this blog post.

And the best recommendation I have when you find yourself in that place—just write. Start somewhere. Anywhere. Find the place where you can focus, turn off your phone and email alerts, and just start.

I have number of ideas for what to talk about in this blog this semester, but after reading through your notes from the first week of class and reviewing your news releases, I thought what you might need (or even want) at the start of a new semester are helpful resources to get you in the right frame of mind and ready to write. So, below are a number of articles I hope will help prepare for what lies ahead in PUBR 330. I’ve selected a few that span a variety of topics and tips, from the psychology of creating the best space in which to write to tips for crafting a good headline.

Let me know in the comments which of these are most helpful, or if there are other areas of writing in which you need inspiration. What other topics would you like us to talk about related to PR and writing in this blog this semester?

A Few Writing Resources and Articles to Help You Get Started: