How book publicity is like the World Cup
Under duress, I watched the World Cup final between the Netherlands and Spain yesterday. Okay — so it wasn’t really “duress,” but everyone kept posting about the match on Facebook, and Versus wasn’t re-airing Stage 8 of the Tour de France until 5 p.m., and I was feeling lazy after running 12 miles in the heat, so I figured I might as well subject myself to the drone of thousands of vuvuzelas (yes — there’s an app for that) to see what the fuss was all about.
Of course, all the shots missed / were blocked for just about forever, until Spain finally scored in overtime and broke the stalemate to prevail. Which is sort of how book promotion works.
A book publicist tries to “score” with a lot of media, but it can take a while, and “goals” can be few and far between. Think soccer rather than, say, basketball. And as with soccer (or basketball, for that matter), a failure to score does not necessarily indicate a failure to shoot — it simply means that sometimes, conditions just aren’t right for a goal.
The bottom line is that no book or author is ever a lock for any show, newspaper or website. Nor is there a such thing as “only,” as in “only” online, or “only” a local show — these venues can be as tough to book as any other.
Which isn’t to say that eventually you don’t prevail — and knowledgeable, creative publicists can garner solid coverage of their books and authors — but you just may need a little overtime.