The Tip Sheet: The Best Kept Book Publicity Secret!
by Sandra Beckwith
(Fairport, NY, USA)
A tip sheet is a specific type of news or press release; it offers tips or advice in a bulleted or numbered format. It's the secret weapon of successful book publicists, who know that media outlets of all types love them. (Successful journalist Leah Ingram recently said in an interview that "tip sheets make my job easier (http://bit.ly/j7ICSZ)."
Editors, reporters, talk show producers, and bloggers use tip sheets to generate short news items or as the starting point for a major feature or talk show segment. And while they're wildly popular with Fortune 500 corporations and small businesses alike, most authors aren't using them to generate priceless free media exposure for their books.
Why not? Are publicists keeping this incredible weapon to themselves? Possibly. A more likely reason, though, is that authors tend to chase book reviews more than they work to generate other types of publicity. Be one of the smart ones who understands the value of news media exposure by making tip sheets an essential part of your book marketing plan.
Here's what you need to know.
A tip sheet offers solutions to a particular problem. For nonfiction books, tip sheet topics can come from the most frequently asked questions about your book's content, material in your book that is already presented in a tips format, or questions you see asked repeatedly on forums or blogs.
Topic ideas are less obvious for fiction authors, who must be more creative. A romance novelist, for example, might write a tip sheet about how to plan a romantic Valentine's Day or propose marriage. The author of a fictional book about the end of the world could write a tip sheet about how to be prepared for a disaster.
Tip sheets contain this information in this order:
*Catchy headline that includes the number of tips
*Lead that states the problem
*Quote from the author with her/his perspective on the problem (the author's book follows the author's name as the credential)
*Sentence that sets up the tip
*List of tips
*Concluding paragraph with two or three sentences about the book
For more information on how to write a tip sheet, please visit http://bit.ly/exOgZD. To see a sample tip sheet, go to http://bit.ly/iGdkye. "Build Book Buzz Publicity Forms & Templates" includes a fill-in-the-blanks form and a sample tip sheet; learn more at http://bit.ly/d1uzwz.
Authors who use tip sheets are often stunned by the immediate - and positive - response they get from the press. Try it yourself!
(For more information or to receive the free "Build Book Buzz" newsletter, please visit www.buildbookbuzz.com.)
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