Print Media as a Marketing Tool for Authors

We talk a lot about social media these days when it comes to marketing a book; I think we tend to forget about print media. But people still read papers and magazines.

I’ve been trying to get the print media engaged in my soon-to-be released book, and I’ve had pretty good success.

I contacted REM, the magazine that is sent out both on-line and in hard copy to realtors, across Canada (I’m a realtor as well as an author) and told them my story.

The editor liked the idea of a realtor/author who kept plugging away despite countless rejections (until a chance meeting with Ian Rankin resulted in representation).

That same day, a freelance reporter with REM called me for an interview, and a photo shoot was arranged that very week. (I think the February edition of REM may be out already in Toronto; we’re hoping to see it here in Ottawa soon. But the story will be on-line next Monday). [UPDATE: REM actually ran the story as their cover, if you can imagine, and here it is! I mean, really, how cool is that?]

I met Randall Denley, an Ottawa City columnist, about a year ago at a mystery writers’ panel at the Ottawa Public Library. (Randall is another mystery writer.) I invited him to my launch. He had already decided the Ian Rankin story was one he’d like to tell, too, and so we met yesterday so that he could interview me a bit more about it and discuss the book.

I was also put in touch with Mark Medley at the National Post, thanks to a referral by Cathy Astolfo, another mystery author. He invited me to do a short article for a weekly feature in the National Post that they call “Old Book, New Author,” which will be out on February 4th.

As for the launch itself, we’ve invited some of our local media to attend. I’ve tried to come up with some visuals that are print media-worthy: the 1957 Chevy Cake, small Cuban flags, cupcakes with the Penguin logo on them, even a pinata shaped like a Cuban police car.

(And Walker’s Chocolates in Hamilton was kind enough to put a Penguin logo on their chocolate cigars for me– thanks, David!)

I’m not leaving anything to chance. There will also be a professional photographer at the launch,  and I’ll make sure that photographs are sent to the columnists who cover weekly events in the Ottawa area.

Since Mayor Jim Watson, Ottawa Centre MPP, Yasir Naqvi, and my City Councillor, Katherine Hobbs (another mystery writer)  are coming, there will be lots of opportunities for photographs of the type that politicians like to use as part of their media exposure, too.

So don’t forget when you’re marketing your book that it isn’t only social media or even websites and blogs that can work for you. There are established print media, even within your own profession or career networks, that are worth tapping into. And never forget the value of networking (my introduction to Ian Rankin is proof of that!).

You never know: the people who tell  stories in newspapers and magazines might just be interested in yours!

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