How to Get Book Publicity Barbara Cave Henricks header

Barbara Cave Henricks is the author of Mastering the New Media Landscape: Embrace the Micromedia Mindset. She has worked as a publicist in the publishing industry for more than two decades, and now runs her own publicity firm that’s been very successful called Cave Henricks Communications.

She started her career as a stringer for NBC news. After working for them for about six months she moved to Washington DC and produced several things including the Larry King radio show.

As a producer of the Larry King show, Barbara went through hundreds of books a week trying to find guests for the program.

Going through these books Barbara saw the vast majority of them shouldn’t have been submitted by their PR firms for consideration, because they so clearly weren’t right for Larry’s show.

That’s when she decided she wanted to work the other side of the equation. She got a job at Workman Publishing and eventually decided to strike out on her own.

This podcast is filled with tons of insight into the mindset of PR firms as well as how to make the best use of social media.

One thing Barbara kept coming back to in the interview is the three types of media channels that exist today and how they all fit each other.

Three Types of Media Channels

1. Earned Media — any media that has a gatekeeper, including traditional media and podcasts.

2. Rented Media — social media channels such as Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. These are referred to as “rented media” because if the website goes away then your community on that website goes away with it.

3. Owned Media — any media channel you own and control yourself, including your own website and email list.

Here are some of the takeaways:

  • There are three types of media channels and they all feed one another.
  • Authors now have the ability to communicate directly with their audience. We no longer have to rely on gatekeepers to give us access.
  • PR firms today help you access traditional media channels. They can also train authors on how to use social media, personal websites, and blogs to reach an audience.
  • Traditional media is more valuable today because there are fewer traditional media channels than there were before.
  • PR firms can be content creators for your website.
  • Everyone is a layman journalist.
  • PR firms help you come up with a strategy to promote your book on all fronts.
  • It’s important to focus on multiple media channels and not rely on just one. The more channels you’re a part of, the greater your reach and the larger your audience.
  • While it’s important to have multiple media channels, it’s equally important to have a strategy in place. Consistent posts to your social media platforms is a must. Don’t sign up for a social media account if you’re not going to update the account regularly.
  • Make sure to update your social media bios to reflect the book that you are currently promoting.
  • You can’t create a twitter account, or any social media account is 100% self-promotional.
  • The best way to use twitter to promote your book: find bloggers, reporters, and reviewers who work in your genre. Follow 20 – 100 of them. Listen in on their conversations and respond when it seems appropriate. Twitter is like a big cocktail party.
  • If you ignore social media today you’re missing an opportunity.
  • Social media is one way you can get past the gatekeepers.
  • Social media is a place where you can be in control of the message.
  • Social media provides societal proof that things are trending. Traditional media likes to cover trends.
  • Growing an audience in owned media is very valuable. If you only rely on social media and those channels shut down you’ve lost the connection to your audience. When you have your own website and mailing list you control the connection.
  • Your website should have things on it that make people want to come back to it.
  • What websites do you check regularly and why? Use these questions to figure out what you might want to put on your website.
  • When you have your own website you want to have a way to capture people’s e-mail addresses. You also want to have a way for them to contact you. This is part of building your audience.
  • Offer valuable content on your website to build your audience.
  • The value of being recognized as an expert in your field.
  • How long you should expect to promote a book launch.
  • Personal development books, books on the subject of health, and cookbooks always have motivated buyers.
  • Fiction books are very review dependent. You want to get reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and wherever else you can.
  • PR firms tend to specialize in a certain genre of book. So authors should look for PR firms who work in their genre.
  • The challenge for authors is staying relevant in the marketplace.
  • The importance of taking the long view.
  • The cost of a PR campaign.
  • How and when you will see a return on investment from your PR campaign.
  • When it makes sense not to spend the money on a PR campaign.
  • Most authors cannot recoup the cost of a PR campaign on book sales alone. You recoup the cost either through a bigger advance for your next book or income from clients who found you through your book.
  • Get clear on the result you want from selling this book.
  • The power of writing articles in today’s marketplace.
  • PR firms can work around your schedule.
  • Creating content is always worth your time.
  • Many publications want exclusive first publishing rights. So it can be difficult to repurpose things like blog posts. But after you publish an article somewhere then you can republish it on your blog a lot of times.
  • One place you can cleanly repurpose your content is through LinkedIn.
  • A Tip for Authors: save everything on the cutting room floor. Passages cut out of your book can become the basis for articles for publication and content for your website.

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Links and Resources Mentioned in the Interview

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results — the innovative book on productivity by Gary Keller.

Strengths Finder 2.0 — the book that helps you find your strengths so you can use them more effectively to be successful.

Mastering the New Media Landscape: Embrace the Micromedia Mindset — the book by Barbara Cave Henricks and Rusty Shelton on how to navigate this new frontier in the history of media. — a landing page for the book. Connect with Barbara Cave Henricks and Rusty Shelton. — Barbara’s homepage — Rusty’s homepage

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