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Market Research Group

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Smith Publicity
Smith Publicity

Ways to Pull Off PR for Novels


The road to media coverage and attention is generally straightforward if you write a self-help book or other nonfiction title. For novelists, achieving book publicity success isn't always as easy. You need to think creatively, work with a publicist if possible, and take advantage of opportunities right for your book and genre. Online opportunities with bloggers and vloggers (video bloggers) may be right for you, depending on your book's audience. Young adult novels, for example, can benefit tremendously from favorable video blog coverage. They work almost as pure promotional pieces to spark book sales.


If you've written a novel set in a specific city or area, the location can be a news angle for coverage. People living in that area can become your target readers, and you'll find local and regional media more receptive. It works similarly with online coverage; if you see groups with a similar location, they are more likely to be interested. Whether you're going after legacy media or online coverage, it works incrementally. You begin with mentions in one or two spots that lead to others, and so on. The only way to get started is to seek coverage until you earn some. A publicist will have ideas and media contacts.


Novels fictionalizing real-life events can also use those as angles for story pitches. Even if you have abstracted things, you'll find people are interested. For example, if you've written about the other side of life for top political leaders, you may get those interested in politics to read your story. Media covering those topics may guess who has inspired your characters, leading to more buzz and coverage. You've seen it work for films and TV shows, and it also extends to books. Your ability to be visible and speak about your story compellingly helps. You can spark readers' curiosity.


Other things that factor into novels, like luxury lifestyles, high-priced automobiles, fashion at its highest levels, etc., can be reasons for people to pick up a book. Anything that makes your story rich and unique is a hook upon which to pursue coverage. Historical fiction appeals to history buffs, not by coincidence, and the elements of your story will excite a specific audience similarly. When you sit down to write your book, if you haven't done so already, it's wise to think through elements like these and consider how to work them into your story. The best books get people talking and doing it, and it will help you succeed.  

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