NEW SALES FOR AN OLD BOOK: How to Breathe Life into Your Book By Mara Reid Rogers

“I just sent your Press Release out to over 500 Editors by email a couple of minutes ago. Within three minutes of doing so, I have been getting requests for review copies every minute since.”

Wouldn’t any Author LOVE to hear those words? And those words from a BIG Publisher? Yes! Any Author would. And I did, just last week.

Those words were spoken to me by a Publicist for a book I wrote that was not published recently, but seven years ago!

It is very worthwhile, I’d say essential, to keep ongoing promotion for your books. Even if you stopped promoting them for a while you can pick it back up (though that can be much harder) and here’s how to do it.

Flashback to seven years ago:

I wrote a cookbook that I believed in then, and will always believe in: Cooking in Cast Iron: Yesterdays’ Flavors for Today’s Kitchen (Published by HP Books, The Berkley Publishing Group – a division of Penguin Putnam).

So how did I breathe new life into this book and ramp-up sales seven years later?

Three weeks ago: I asked the professional on the other end of the phone line: “If I write a press release and email it to you, would you be comfortable in reviewing it, making any changes you deem necessary and then emailing it to your list?”

She said: “Yes, but why don’t you email me an outline of the points the press release would cover?”

(Jackpot!)

Then I responded to her generous offer with the information she requested the next day, along with the exact day that I would email a press release to her (and, of course, I kept to that deadline!).

She then responded to my email with an email that read:

“Mara, these points are newsworthy. Good. If you have any Editors you’d like to add to the list, feel free to email me those too.”

(Double Jackpot!)

You are probably thinking that this was lucky, that I just happened to reach a publicist at this ‘house’ who was willing to take on another title even after already having her desk overflow with all the other books she was in charge of promoting.

You are right – I agree with you. I was lucky. But you can make that luck for yourself, too! And if after the first call, that publicist says no, ask him or her if s/he can provide you with the name and extension number of another publicist at that publishing house you could call. If they are not cooperative, thank them for their time, of course.

And then you can call the main switchboard back at the publisher’s telephone number and *nicely* ask for the name and extension number of a different publicist other than the one you called. The names of publicists and their telephone numbers are one of the few telephone numbers you can get from a large publisher’s switchboard. The switchboard operators will not give you the telephone number or extension for an editor; you will only be “connected.” That is protocol.

Now, you might be asking yourself, why a publicist would be willing to take on more work when they don’t have to. And for a book that is seven years old!?

The answer is that a very smart publicist would. S/he would see that this book, YOUR book, might very well be the book that opens-up an outlet such as a national magazine, television or radio show that perhaps none of the other books s/he has worked on thus far has. Then, with that, s/he can start forming a relationship with that contact at that publication, which is gold to the publicist.

Now you say to yourself, OK, I get it. But my book is self-published; there is no “publicist” to call. Now in no way am I going to advise that you have to run out and hire a publicist for yourself, though publicists are wonderful to be able to work with, and a press release from someone else other than the author does add clout.

But YOU can be the publicist in this situation. Call on yourself.

There are many books out there that teach one how to write a press release. Then you should go to your local library – a library that is large enough to carry a “Bacon’s Magazine Directory” and a “Bacon’s Newspaper Directory” – these directories are annual, so get the most recent one possible. You can also buy them over the Internet through the company’s website, but these directories are expensive. Another alternative is to search for newspaper directories online.

In these directories are listed all the magazines and newspapers with all pertinent contact information. However, even with the most recent directory I recommend calling the general numbers of any magazine or newspaper you are interested in contacting to ensure the information you have is current. An editor could have switched jobs and moved on to a different publication, or his or her email and fax numbers at a publication can change. So, you need to fact-check everything prior to emailing an editor or faxing them your press release.

Whether your book is fiction or non-fiction, published by a traditional publisher or self-published, start thinking outside of the box and find some timely “new news” about your (old) book! Sit at your computer and start writing a press release.

I wish you much continued success!

Mara Reid Rogers’ 9th cookbook is Cast Iron: Yesterday’s Flavors for Today’s Kitchen. (HPBooks a division of Penguin Putnam, Inc.). A free excerpt can be read on her website http://www.MaraReidRogersCooks.com. Mara’s E-book How to Write a Cookbook and Sell It! is sold through Booklocker.com. Read a free excerpt here: http://www.booklocker.com/books/2712.html.