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March 2009 Publicity Tip

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Here's the cold truth: Books can help promote authors
Tom Ciesielka from TC Public Relations

We've been patiently waiting for spring around here. The team talked about picketing in front of our building against winter, but we didn't want to spend that much time outside. Writing to the meteorologist was another one of our harebrained schemes, which got us thinking about public relations and the power of the pen.

The ability to write is a powerful skill, and nothing says "expert" like having your written work published. So if the reporters aren't writing about you or your book, do it yourself! Oftentimes editors are looking for people to write contributed articles for their publications. Here are some tips on how to make that happen.

Sell Yourself
Before you write the article, you must sell your idea to the editor. This means knowing the target publication inside and out. Know what types of articles it usually runs and explain how you will keep to that style yet bring something unique.

Queries should be short and to the point. It could also help to keep several different queries on hand, each tailored to different publications.

Think about ways to relate your expertise to slightly different fields. For example, the spelunking author can pitch off-beat team-building activities to HR Professional.

Back Yourself Up
When you've got the go-ahead from an editor, it's time to think like a reporter. Statistics are golden, but you must cite where you've pulled those numbers from. It's also important that while you are clearly promoting yourself as the expert, don't be afraid to share the spotlight. This might mean including quotes or information from other sources.

There is nothing wrong with this — it shows your ability to write a strong and comprehensive article.

Bind Yourself
If you've sailed through "Power of the Pen 101" and are ready for the next level, think about binding your wisdom into a separate book. You might even have enough content by compiling and fine-tuning your monthly newsletters or blog postings.

A book is a great marketing tool that an author case use to supplement speaking engagements and encourage further publicity.

Consider whether to bring your idea to a publisher or self-publish, depending on how much control you would like to have.

As all authors know, producing a book is an arduous process, but the final product will make it all worthwhile.

With each article you pen, you will be that much more powerful and that much closer to the top.

Now, if only you could have the power to control the weather.

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