Friday, February 10, 2012

Be "Selective" with Your Publicity Opportunities

It's true that every little bit of publicity counts. Like pennies, the small things add up over time, but time is its own consideration. If you're limited on time because you're committed to working another full-time or part-time job, homeschooling your children, keeping up with your church activities, or struggling with health issues on top of writing and researching your books, you need to be "selective" in what you choose to do. Very few of us have unlimited time to spend on marketing and publicity.

Not every publicity opportunity is worth your time. 

It's "okay" to say "no" once in a while. 

When our books are first released, we spend so much time chasing publicity opportunities, many of which never lead anywhere, that when something falls into our laps that we didn't have to pursue, the temptation to jump at it is staggering.  We want to shoot off an email immediately shouting "YES, I'll do it!" Or if we were contacted on the phone instead of saying, "Let me check my schedule and get back to you," we want to give a confirmation right then and there.

Stop. Pray. Check your schedule. Pray again. 

Are YOU piloting your career, or are you allowing GOD to pilot your career?

If you're on deadline to finish a book or turn in edits, if you stop to squeeze in more guest posts or interviews on blogs, how will this affect the quality of your work? Which family member will have to sacrifice YOU in order for you to get this done?

Granted, there are times we MUST make sacrifices, but look at the opportunity. Is it a brand new blog with less than 50 followers with 1 or 2 comments per post or a well-established blog with 500+ followers with 10-15 comments per post? There are tons of blogs out there. Many of them are very good and have lots of great content, but most have very little traffic.

Before you agree to give away another free book after giving away 30 already, what is the purpose and the ROI of your effort? Is it a blog with the same followers who have already been exposed to your book on the first 30 blogs where you appeared and gave away free books? Will there be any requirements for people to enter the contest or can anyone who Googles "free books" and "book contests" can enter who are only out surfing the Web for "free" stuff?

Publicity is great, but it is NEVER free no matter what anyone tells you. There is always the time required to provide a photo, book cover, answer interview questions, or write something fresh because you simply can't recycle anymore articles. Yes, it might only take a few minutes of your time, but so will everything else, even answering your email. All that time adds up to a lot of time NOT writing or researching. Consider the cost and then evaluate the publicity exposure.

Only YOU can decide if it is worth it or not.

Have you had to turn down any publicity offers? What were some of your deciding factors? You don't have to list the agency, blog or media outlet in order to share your experience and/or advice.


Timothy Fish said...

I'm the posterchild of spending way too much time doing things that don't accomplish much.

Diana said...

Great points, I need to make a note of these bullet points myself. Thanks Jennifer!

Author Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Timothy, I think we all do this way more than we should.

Diana, glad the reminders were helpful. Now if I can just remember them myself...

Caroline said...

Good points, Jennifer.

Linda Glaz said...

What you said about allowing God to steer your career is so important, and so hard to allow Hinm to do at times. I don't think He really cares about how impatient we get, well, He cares, but I'll bet He get a good laugh out of it...