Monday, October 24, 2011
Making the News
There's a technique or strategy that I've been talking about with my dad in terms of my social media job; but I think it could be very useful for writers too. I thought I'd get your ideas on how to really make it work.
The strategy is this: keep a list of journalists in your field from online journals and newspapers all over the country and then contact each of them with a story when it comes out. For us writers I guess that would mostly mean book reviewers or journalists in the publishing industry. This isn't groundbreaking stuff. In fact its pretty basic publicity. A good idea, but pretty basic.
So I'm wondering how we use the media to the best advantage. Getting published is news, certain levels of sales is news...but is that it? How do we keep the buzz going in the interim?
I suppose we're getting in to publicity stunt territory here, but maybe that's not so bad. Our first and foremost priority is to our craft, of course. That's as it should be. But we might as well do what we can for marketing, yeah? So what kinds of things can we boring, average, middle-of-the-WIP writers do to generate a little media buzz?
This is where I need your ideas. I've thought of a few: maybe organizing some kind of event, like a read-a-thon, book drive, or even a blogfest or some kind of online event. You could do some really awesome things, and the publicity would just be an added bonus. What other kinds of big-event, news story type things can you think of that we writers could generate ourselves?
There are two key points to this, I think: First, to keep whatever you do writing/book related so that the publicity generated is about you as a writer more than some random thing. Second, make sure you connect directly with the journalists on your list so they're aware of the story you have ready for them. From what I've heard, what with deadlines and being lazy, journalists love being spoon-fed.
Social media is fun, fantastic, and amazing for connecting directly with people. But as far as getting some real buzz going, I think this is probably one of the best strategies we have short of having some really good luck. Do you agree? Do you think this could work, and what ideas do you have to put the strategy into action? Or is it all too mercenary and vulgar in the first place?