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Case Study in Successful Fictional Promotion for First-time Author

Posted by Sherrie Wilkolaski on Wed, Apr 11, 2012 @ 09:00 AM

by Dan Smith

513925 79909349 Lucas Ward sxc resized 600A self-published client, Peter DeVico came to our firm for publicity support of his novel, From the Brooklyn Side, a classic “Mafia” story in the Goodfellas style.  A first-time author, he had no name recognition and limited distribution – so getting the word out was essential.

After in-depth discussion, we learned DeVico had a near encyclopedic knowledge of the Mafia, its history and operation. The Sopranos was hot, so we decided to position DeVico as a Mafia expert, and developed a short release titled: 

“From Buckwheats Hits and Empty Suits to Vigs and Little Joes: 

Give Your Audience the Ultimate Mafia Trivia and Lingo Quiz.”

DeVico went on to do more than 50 radio interviews and was featured in the New York Times.  Fiction to reality!            

A few last tips for promoting fiction titles:

    • Refer to your novel as a “book” in the press release.  Some producers are turned off by novelist-guests, and even if they call and discover it’s a novel when they speak to you, you’re still in a great position to sell them on the topic anyway.

    • Don’t compare yourself to well-known authors. Create your own identity. Trying too hard to build yourself up often isn’t as effective as presenting yourself professionally.

    • Develop a catch-phrase for yourself.  If you refer to yourself as an “expert” in something, people will begin to refer to you as that when you’re introduced. In book promotion, the bashful perish and the confident prevail!

    • Learn the soft sell. Producers and hosts hate nothing more than a guest who refers to their book every other sentence. Let the interview come to you, and let the host do his or her job.

  • Never say never.  Do every interview you can, regardless of wattage or location.  Talk shows will drive book sales, but it will not happen overnight.  Be patient, persistent … and have fun!


Dan Smith is the founder and president of TCI-Smith publicity, a full service book promotion and public relations agency with offices in New Jersey, New York, and London.  He has personally conducted more than 250 promotional campaigns.  Clients of TCI-Smith Publicity have appeared on virtually every major radio and television show, and been featured in top publications across the country.


Tags: PR, infinity publishing, book marketing, book publicity, self publishing, self publishing companies, independent publishing

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