As Fresh as Baking Soda

Book promotion is similar to baking soda in one important way. Both will say fresh for only 30 days or so, and then it's time to start over again with a new media angle or a fresh box of baking soda.

Some authors mistakenly believe that, once they've launched a book publicity campaign that's working well, they can just coast on the momentum. If they've pitched TV and radio shows, and newspapers, magazines, blogs, and web sites, and they've received positive feedback, that's it. They can use the same pitch indefinitely any time they want to score additional interview opportunities.

But it doesn't work that way. The baking soda works best when it's fresh. After a month, it's time to throw away the box and replace it with another. And, after you've used a pitch for 30 days, it's time to freshen your book promotion efforts by moving onto a new angle. Here's why.

  • Expand your potential audience. Every time you use a new pitch to promote your book (and to promote yourself as an expert), you can reach a new demographic. For example, if your first pitch to promote your career book targets people who are between jobs, your second pitch might have a sports angle or a travel tie-in -- and now, besides reaching people who are unemployed, you'd have an opportunity to reach football fans or those who are eager to see the world.

  • Persistence can pay off. You'd be badgering media decision makers (and, likely, burning bridges with them) if you sent them the same pitch again and again. But it's perfectly acceptable to send journalists, reporters, bloggers, and hosts new story ideas every month or so. They won't get tired of hearing from you as long as you have worthwhile pitches -- not necessarily ideas the media can use, but suggestions the media can at least consider -- each time. And who knows? Next time might be the charm.
  • Gain the timeliness advantage. Because you're changing your pitch every 30 days, you can maximize the appeal of each overture by tying into a topic the media is covering or is about to tackle. You don't have to guess whether your story is topical, because you can just look at the day's headlines and know whether or not your expertise would fit into the news. If you're that expert who can talk about how to communicate the importance of inclusion during the holiday season, and Thanksgiving is approaching, then compose that pitch now, and get it out!
  • Gaining trust and building relationships. Once a producer, reporter, or blogger has interviewed you or published something you've submitted, you can turn that one-time opportunity into mutually rewarding relationships. Your initial pitch worked. Now, each month, send a follow up to each media decision maker who has said "yes" in the past. That's how you expand your professional network, and it's how you turn a one-night stand (so to speak) into a lifelong relationship.
  • Each pitch you send to the media is important. At the same time, it's not your only shot at success. The more pitches you send, and the more consistently you send them at reasonable interviews (and 30 days is just about perfect), the better your chances of reaching the right media outlet at the right time. So don't be shy about refreshing your overtures to the media as often as you change the box of baking soda you keep in your refrigerator. Just as your nose appreciates freshness, your book promotion campaign benefits from monthly updates, too!

    Stacey J. Miller is a book promotion specialist and founder of S. J. Miller Communications. Visit her at www.bookpr.com (connecting with her on Facebook or Twitter is strictly optional).