There are quite a few books on the market which cover promotional skills, and how to handle the media, but Linda Radke’s Promote Like a Pro was specifically written for authors. It is a complete guide to obtaining serious and very low cost publicity for your book, including distribution, advance publicity, media attention, signings, reviews, using the media, the Internet and more.
Reviewed by Magdalena Ball
Linda Radke’s Promote Like A Pro:
Small Budget, Big Show
by Linda F Radke and contributors
Five Star Publications, Inc
PO Box 6698
Chandler, AZ, 85246-6698 USA
(480) 940-8182 Fax (480) 940-8787
You’ve written a book. Terrific. You aren’t alone. According to Linda Radke, (xv) “Statistics show that every year more than 50,000 books are published and more than 7,000 new presses come into existence. WIth this kind of competition, you just can’t expect your book to make it by word of mouth.” If you think that the hard work is done once the book has been accepted for publication, you’re wrong. Regardless of whether you’ve been published by a large house, small press, or are self-publishing, the key to achieving good sales is promotion. With a heavily saturated market, and publicity space which is becoming more limited by the day, authors have to understand how to promote themselves and their work if they want their books to sell. There are quite a few books on the market which cover promotional skills, and how to handle the media, but Linda Radke’s Promote Like a Pro was specifically written for authors. It is a complete guide to obtaining serious and very low cost publicity for your book, including distribution, advance publicity, media attention, signings, reviews, using the media, the Internet and more. Even if you do decide to hire a publicist or have one assigned to you from a large publishing house, this book is a useful guide to the necessary work involved at each step. However good the publicist, it is the author who has to sell his or her books in any case.
Radke is more of an editor than an author, although she does contribute the first section of the book. The rest of the book consists of a series of chapters and essays written by experts in their respective fields. Super publicist Suzi Prokell tells you how to pull together an effective publicity campaign. Marketing guru Kerry LePage provides a sample marketing plan and advertising guidelines, and media hound Joan Stewart tells you how to schmooze your way to free publicity. There are chapters on getting into the newspapers, getting book reviews, pulling together a press kit, getting on television, doing talkback radio, and how to use the Internet for publicity. Each topic is written by a different expert which makes for a nice blend of different voices, styles, and perspectives.
There are a few sections which are too general, such as LePage’s marketing plan – it would have been better if each essay were specifically geared towards the promotion of books, since this is what differentials Promote Like a Pro. This is made up for though in other sections that really stand out, such as Jess Todtfeld’s entertaining “How to Get Free Publicity on Television.” Joe Sabah’s “How to Promote Yourself on Radio Talk Shows” is also useful with its sample scripts and humorous summaries, as is Joan Stewart’s “The Top Three Ways to Snag Valuable Free Publicity: Write, Speak, and Schmooze with the Media.” Radke’s own essay “Promote Like a Pro” which forms Part I of the book, is valuable too, particularly around the area of finding a suitable angle for your book’s promotion and publicity tie-ins.
Since all of the contributors to this small but informative book are experienced in their areas, the essays are full of real life examples, personal insights and an insiders perspective. If you need to promote a book or other small project and don’t have a lot of money to hire experts, Promote Like A Pro is a very useful resource. Most of the Radke’s experts have written their own books, run expensive consultancies, have extensive publication credits, and are entertaining and informative writers. Their expert advice might be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful book. As Suzi Prokell says: “Publicity is a crucial element for success. Without it, the public has no way of knowing about your work, and the book will simply site on bookstore shelves with all the others. Publicity is a tool to reel in readers and convince them to buy your book.” (30)
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Linda Radke’s Promote Like a Pro: Small…