There is a scene in the movie “Miracle” when the 1980 USOC Olympic hockey coach Herb Brooks has his players conduct line to line skating drills late into the night after a particularly bad game. It is this scene, where Coach Brooks, is yelling “Again,” “Again,” to Assistant Coach Craig Patrick who is blowing his whistle, that reminds me what it is like to be a literary publicist, aka book publicist. While Brooks is hoping to build up leg strength and stamina in his players, as well as form a cohesive unit, the book publicist often finds his or her strength from not giving up and working again and again and again with its contacts and with new pitches until the book, product or organization gets the exposure its deserves.
My two nine-year-old boys just watched this movie scene and were horrified that Coach Brooks would push his players to exhaustion and pain. But each day at work, the Newman Communications staff, and I am sure many of our fellow book publicists throughout the country, operate on this same principal. The more pitches you make, the harder your follow-up with the print, broadcast and online media, and the greater effort you put in, the increased possibility you have for significant national and regional media exposure and the inevitable goal, a “bestseller.”
While it is never advisable to drown an individual media member with countless calls and emails, it is appropriate to be persistent. This will pay dividends in the end. In our work, if one pitch does not take, we develop a new one. If one journalist at a newspaper or online publication does not go with the pitch, there are many others who will. If one radio talk show on a station does not accept the pitch there are other talk show on the same station or other stations in the same market that might have a news-driven or personal reason for biting.
I once promoted a self published book that sold over 300,000 copies. This was due in part to our firm accepting the adage of another one of the authors we represented a number of times, Chicken Soup For the Soul’s Mark Victor Hansen, who always taught me to do 5 things each day to promote your product or self and you will be a success.
To operate on this “Again,” “Again,” “Again,” mentality, the book publicist needs to be aggressive and maintain a certain character that obviously entails dealing with rejection while simultaneously visioning with a spirit that strives for the win or as we sometimes call it, the hit.
So as we at Newman Communications put together your next radio schedule (RMT), we will be working til the day of the tour to make sure that we have kept to our credo of “Again,” “Again,” and “Again.” As as we develop a Television Satellite Tour (SMT), we will be searching til we get to the studio for new and larger markets. And as we put together city tours or work on a full campaign, our team will be brainstorming new pitches, working with new media and following up AGAIN with those who have not made a commitment to covering the book or product.