My Publicity Experience – Part Five

One of the things I liked best about working with Smith Publicity is that they don’t just drop you like a hot rock once the three weeks is done.  If they receive requests for the book after your time with them has come to an end, they forward the requests on to you.  They also gave me a list of 25 media outlets that they sent inquiries to but had not heard back from for me to follow-up with on my own.  I really appreciate this type of service and am glad I chose them for my marketing blitz.

I had my final wrap-up call with my publicity team and received more requests that day and throughout the week. I had also received a request for a review copy of the book from Finland.  Yes, Finland.  I know, I know.  Did I send a copy of the book to Finland?  Yes, I did.

So, at FedEx, to send a copy of my book from the United States to Finland would have cost $156.  I am proud to say that I did NOT pay that amount to send it to Finland.  However, I did walk over to the post office in the same strip mall, and to end it via USPS was only $24.  The Field is now on its way to Finland!

I also got a couple reviews on NetGalley.  One was five-stars; the other three-stars.  What was interesting about the three-star review is that she thought the book was good but it wasn’t her favorite.  I’m okay with that.  My main takeaway was that the reviewer liked the book, and maybe she has a harder star-grading-criteria than other reviewers. 

I’m still waiting to hear back from KRCR-TV in Redding.  I’m sure the producer wanted to read the book prior to doing a story and having me trek up to Redding, so I hope to hear from them soon.  If not, it’s okay.  I have plenty of other opportunities in the works.

And that’s the bottom line with all of this.  A book isn’t a movie that has to make millions its first weekend or the industry sees it as a flop.  With a book, especially one that’s self-published, it takes time to gain traction and get the word out.  The book is now in the hands of over 60 people.  Over the next few months, I hope that even a half or even a third take the time to read it and post about it.  As I said in a previous post, this is a marathon not a sprint. 

I’m just excited to finally be on the journey and am grateful to Smith Publicity for helping me get the word out about my novel.

If you have any questions about my experience with Smith Publicity or want more details about anything I talked about, please feel free to leave a comment. 

My Publicity Experience – Part Three

By Monday morning of Week Two, I was getting review copy requests in my Inbox.  This was pretty exciting to say the least!  And one of the first was from The New York Post!  Holy cow! I rushed over to FedEx with a copy of the book – press release folded and placed behind the cover – and decided, in my excitement, to send it overnight.  Now, for those curious about how much it costs to FedEx a copy of a one-pound novel from Los Angeles to New York overnight…it’s $93!  Now, keep in mind that the adrenaline was pumping and I was excited to have a name as big as The New York Post interested in my novel. So, I did the rational thing and sent it overnight for $93. 

Flash-forward:they ended up passing on reviewing the book, so lesson learned.  And FYI, if I had sent it via FedEx to New York and had it take 4 days it would have cost $15.  Face-palm!

Needless to say, the rest of my FedEx mailings took a bit longer but were much cheaper in the long run. 

So, the first week I was sent many, many, many review copy requests, which was great!  I advise anyone who does this to create a spreadsheet to track who you’ve sent to and when, when it was delivered, the date you followed-up, and what the outcome was (interview, review, dead silence, etc).  I also recommend sending an email to the recipient the day it was sent letting them know to expect the package soon.

I made two trips to FedEx the first week, which was a really good sign.  A lot of bloggers, some podcasters, and magazines were interested in my book.  To me, it’s all good since people throughout the country are now reading the book and copies are all over the place.

What I didn’t anticipate was how many mailers I would blow through sending out copies.  True, I should have planned ahead and ordered a bunch on Amazon or from Office Max, but I didn’t.  This led to a couple days where both Targets in my area and both FedEx Office locations were out of the size mailers I needed.  Luckily, one of the Targets re-stocked and I bought all they had.

At the end of Week Two, I had sent out 15 copies of my book and the NetGalley list had grown by a dozen more people.  Tomorrow, I will write about my busy final week with Smith Publicity.