A few words on PR dos and don’ts

Whew, there were more emails about new books for MOCCA than ever before — more both in number and in the detail of the submissions. This is attributable to the fact that people really need PR now, and they are getting hepper to the ways to do it. It took a looong time to put it all together, part of which was due to my computer slowing up because I was foolishly running a CPU hog Apple Script at the same time. But also because, while most folks did things right, there were a few who didn’t. To make my life and all press’s life easier here are a few teeny pointers:

1) Include your website address! Prominently! In the first few lines. A surprising number of people didn’t, and I was nice and looked them up (most of the time) but maybe I won’t be able to next time. A link to your website is the best way to get people to see the WHOLE story of your book.

2) Include an image! People aren’t really interested in a big block of type. It’s why I bold names. Almost everyone sent an image or a link to an image (even better) to where to find one, but for those who didn’t, I can’t look it up for you.

3) Make sure it is a properly formatted image! DO NOT SEND PDFS!!! Really now. Reformatting a pdf file just to get a cover image is a hassle that wastes time. Also, some people nicely sent along links to pdfs of their entire giant books…I may read these later, but for promo, it’s not as effective. Again, I don’t want to have to download a giant pdf file to get one little cover imge. Also, don’t forget to make sure your files are RGB! Often I won’t notice a CMYK file has been posted until it’s posted and you send me an email and tell me your image looks wonky. Waste of time for everyone. I will almost certainly shrink down the image but you can send it big — as long as it’s at a low resolution. If it’s a great looking cover, I prefer to run it at a size where it has some impact. To recap:

Cover jpg
72 dpi
RGB

4) A sentence or two — and just that! — of why your book is notable isn’t a bad idea. In a listing like this, the image is going to be the thing that people notice first, but an idea of the contents will help drive people interested in that kind of thing to your table.

Once again, for those who didn’t do it exactly as I suggest above, I’m still gonna list your book, but make it easy for me and everyone else and we’ll think of you kindly.

Above all…thanks to everyone who took the time to send me their listings and announcements and schedules. It is always fun for me to see what people have cooking up and there are definitely some people I never heard of before that I will be checking out at the show.

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Comments

  1. Agreed with all the above! And one more thing… If you’re announcing an event in a city with an ambiguous name, please give a state—i.e. Portland. On the internet, no one knows what state you’re in.

  2. Following up on Brigid’s comment, be sure you include the city! The CBLDF sent out a release for an event last(?) week, listed the building and cross-streets…but forgot to mention it was in New York City.

    (Also, if the city+state aren’t clear, list the country. Just in case someone has it in their head that, say, New South Wales is in the UK instead of Australia.)

Trackbacks

  1. […] The Beat has 4 Dos & Don’t For Authors Handling Their Own PR, but I’m gonna go ahead and add a fifth: Stay humble and do not make any diva-like demands. Whether it’s a website, newspaper, bookstore or local womens’ auxiliary, never forget that you need them more than they need you. […]

  2. […] BTW, please send us your debuts and announcements, SOON! If you have any questions about doing this, please read this. […]

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