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 Four

Each week during the media blitz, Smith Publicity would send me a report detailing whom they had heard back from with requests for a copy of my novel.  This was great because there were some I had missed given the number of emails coming in and I was able to add and then send those people copies ASAP.

The final week of the blitz was underway, and my team send press release inquiries to media in Redding, California where the book takes place.  As I mentioned before, the book is inspired by true events that took place when I was abducted in Redding when I was 13.  Early in the week I heard from The Redding Record Searchlight and KRCR-TV in Redding!  I had once worked for the paper and knew KRCR-TV well, so this was exciting to hear that they were interested in my story.

I sent out copies to them that day.  The reporter from the Record Searchlight and I emailed back and forth and she asked me a series of pre-interview questions including if I had a police report about my abduction.  I didn’t, my parents didn’t, but I knew who probably would: The Redding Police Department.

After an initial phone call, they found the police report dated May 1, 1993.  I got some other basic info and found out that the file was on microfilm and had not been digitized.  I requested a copy of the report. 

I sent the info I had on to the reporter who was unable to pick up a copy of the report just a copy of the call log from that day.  Luckily, this had enough information to legitimize my story as being true, and the interview went on as scheduled.

So, on Thursday morning of my last week of the media blitz, I had a phone interview with Michele Chandler from The Redding Record Searchlight. The interview lasted about an hour, and I talked about what I remembered from the day of my abduction, what happened after, and about my book and its theme of friendship.  It went very well.

That evening, the article was up on the Record Searchlight’s website (you can read it here!). The next morning, it was on the front page of the paper!  I was very excited about this as were my family, friends, co-workers, and my team at Smith Publicity.

It had been a busy and productive three weeks for me and my book, The Field.  Tomorrow, I’ll write about the week after the media blitz was over and some final thoughts.