Promoting Book Sales Through Providing a Sample

Have you ever read an article in a publication, online or in print, and thought, wow, that was really good, and then discovered it was actually a chapter from a book? Typically, the article will say that, and at the bottom there will be about two sentences that identify the author and the book from which the article is drawn.

It’s an exciting way to discover new authors and learn new things.

And it’s a huge compliment to an author when a well-respected publication asks them if they may use an excerpt. Those last two sentences at the bottom that identify the author are critically important. And sometimes it gets even better than that, when the online publication provides a link to where readers can order the book.

This is another great way to involve the media in getting the word out about a book.

Normally in this space when we talk about getting publicity for authors, we generally are speaking about getting interviews on radio, TV and podcasts. Sometimes interviews and articles are also in publications, generally online ones. Those interviews are intended to get people’s attention so they will purchase a book.

And sometimes we also talk about getting reader reviews and those are also critically important, but don’t involve the news media.

But being able to share your book via a book excerpt is a wonderful way to work with the media to garner publicity, but it’s not as commonly known.

Of course, online book sellers provide an opportunity to include a sample chapter as well. But the difference there is that the folks who see that chapter are already considering the book, and already on a site to shop.

An excerpt, however, introduces a whole new audience to a book.

We’ve recently been working on this with one of our clients as the author walks through the details of having his book excerpted by an online publication.

And there are details, because the author retains the right to his or her material but gives legal permission to the publication to use a portion. It’s also common to have to edit a bit out of the excerpt to shorten it, or remove references to other chapters in the book. Plus, in this instance, the site will also include a link to be able to purchase the book.

These opportunities to provide excerpts don’t come up often or easily, but being able to achieve this for clients provides an additional valuable tool in the toolbox of book publicists.

Let us know if you want to talk further about how we might help you.

Originally sent as an email to the Buoyancy community on June 7, 2024
Joni Sullivan Baker
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