Friday, June 13, 2008

Random thought of the day

So, we all know that book review sections are shrinking and we’re constantly having to “think outside the box” to get our authors covered in other ways. Recently, I’ve been trying the approach of pitching pieces an author has written to major publications in hopes of placement with a byline mentioning the book.

My question is, does this work? It’s hard to tell if that op-ed piece that ran in the Times had any more impact than the review that ran on And, yes, it’s nice for the author to say she had a piece in O Magazine (esp. if she got paid for it), but does this translate into sales?

Any thoughts? Or am I just wasting more of my time to stroke an author’s ego without actually helping their book?



Andrew Wheeler said...

I think this is one of those "it depends" things. It probably doesn't do much for a fiction writer, unless there's some hook into the current book -- like an op-ed about foreign adoptions by someone whose new book is about adoption.

For nonfiction writers, it's likely to be more successful -- again, more so if the writer sticks to basically the same subject as the new book.

And this isn't all that new -- haven't reporters been writing books for decades based on their knowledge of the areas they report on? If a writer is seen as an expert on X, that book on X will do better.

submit to slunch said...

True. I was thinking more in terms of fiction, since that's mainly what I'm working on these days. And with fiction, I find it's harder to think up things outside of book reviews. Even if the story does have some current event aspect, most people would rather talk to an "expert" than a novelist who happens to have done some research. Ah, well. I suppose every little bit helps.

Another Publicist said...

I think it's a matter of recognition. I'm more aware of bylines, but that doesn't mean I'm going to buy the person's book when I see the name in front of me at Barnes and Noble. But I think it does register on the average readers' mind, and that's what the influence of a byline wields.