There aren’t many PR agencies willing to take on book publicity projects. Unless the author is wealthy, the monthly retainers tend to be modest and the engagements short. Three months–the life-cycle of most “mid-list” books–to know a topic, to launch the book, and show a return can create a sucking sound in your bucket of retainer hours.
Combine this with less, or no space in newspapers to cover books and you have a significant challenge.
With five new book clients announced recently, we decided to check in with Goodman Media‘s SVP Virginia Anagnos, on why these accounts makes sense in this climate.
According to Anagnos (a big publishing house vet prior to joining Goodman), “Less space for reviews goes hand in hand with the overall changes in the newspaper industry. We are definitely in a challenging environment right now for the publishing industry but also an exciting one as the landscape shifts. Book blogs are filling the void and social media networking tools are both terrific and overwhelming at the same time. The trick is to identify the new media influencers and determine what combination of new and old media will drive momentum and sales for each title.”
Despite the challenges, authorship confers authority in the media. And working with authors and their affiliated companies and organizations during times of intense publicity can create lasting relationships that lead to other PR assignments.
Among other major book projects, Goodman handled the last three Harry Potter books–the last on behalf of Borders, and #5 and #6 for Scholastic, the first copies brought to the U.S. on a British Airways jet, and the Queen Mary respectively, to generate excitement.
New book-related work for the midsize Manhattan firm includes the appointment of the new National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, the launch of the first Winnie-the-Pooh novel in 80 years, Mike Lupica’s latest novel for young readers, Walter Dean Myers’ latest young adult novel, the nonfiction “Cotton and Race in the Making of America: The Human Costs of Economic Power” and a pop-up Sports Illustrated book (pictured above).