Feature Article by Elaine Krackau: How to Make Your Book Stand Out

Publicists Care That It’s “I am so thankful Month” and So Should You
By Elaine Krackau, of PR by the Book

You’ve probably seen the statistic by now. More than one million books were published in 2009 alone. Did you hear that? ONE MILLION! And that number keeps climbing each year. Needless to say, competition for air time and review space is fierce, so books have to stand out in a big way in order to stand a chance of being covered.

Hooking a book’s topic or the author’s expertise to current news is what we publicists do on a daily basis. In a saturated book market, being newsworthy is the single best way to get noticed. Ask yourself, how do I relate to what is making news today, this week, this month?

You’ve probably heard that Children’s Book Week occurs every May and you know that Veteran’s Day is in November – both valid hooks that many authors (and PR by the Book) leverage. But we say, the wackier, the better.

One of my favorites is “Fresh Celery Day” in April. Who cares, you ask? Food journalists and bloggers, for starters – that’s who. Do you have a cookbook? Offer recipes highlighting celery. A book on healthy living or raising healthy kids? Share fun things to make with celery so your kids will eat it (it’s not just ants on a log anymore!) Are you a dietician or nutritionist? Explain why celery might be one of the more under-appreciated veggies and tell us WHY these green stalks deserve more respect! NOTE: With the long-lead time for magazines, you have to be pitching these dates 6-12 months in advance.

Several years ago, I worked with a professional organizer. Not only is January the optimal time to discuss organizing your life, but to make it even better, we tied into “National Clean off Your Desk Day” that fell in the middle of the month. To say she was busy during the first 3 weeks of January would be an understatement. What I found really interesting is that nearly everyone who covered her during this time connected to the cleaning off your desk idea – the more specific of the two angles. She stood out from everyone else vying for New Year’s coverage.

We hear all the time that journalists like a story idea, but just need the right reason to use it. So look into how you can relate to National Adoption Month in November, Pay Your Bills Week in February, and yes – even National Go Barefoot Day on June 1st!

Courtesy of Pam Lontos (PR/PR), here are some special calendar tie-ins for November:

-November is American Diabetes Month- This is a month is designed to educate people on the importance of diabetes control and treatment to those diagnosed with the disease as well as their families.

-November is National Life Writing Month- This is an opportunity for people to celebrate themselves and their families by writing their life stories, in order to preserve autobiographies with future generations.

-November is I Am So Thankful Month- In honor of Thanksgiving, this is a good month to give thanks to people that help you on a day-to-day basis and has opened doors for your career. Send them a thank you note to let them know how grateful you are.

-November is Vegan Month- This outreach was created to educate and encourage people to adopt this way of life, of not eating or using any animal products, in order to promote an ethical, healthy and environmentally conscious lifestyle.

-The third week in November is American Education Week- This week is designed to focus on the importance on education and everything that it stands for.

-The fourth week in November is Better Conversation Week- This week was created to embrace and improve conversation between family members, friends and different age groups through the holidays, in order to deepen relationships through communication.

-November 11th is Veterans Day- A day to remember those that fought in and were also lost in World War 1. Celebrated on this particular day because “at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day if the eleventh month” all the fighting ceased.

-November 25th is Thanksgiving- A day to eat and spend time together to celebrate family and friends.

Elaine Krackau is a publicist with PR by the Book, LLC, www.prbythebook.com. She has 10+ years working in book publicity and enjoys helping authors find the fun and funky calendar tie-ins. She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and two sons.

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