Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Getting good press for your novel

by Rob - March 17th, 2020.
Filed under: Oppenheimer Alternative, Promotion, Publishing, Tube Alloys.

Many years ago, I attended a talk by Cynthia Good, publisher of Penguin Canada. When asked what was the first thing she looks for in a book submission, she said, “A way to get the author on TV.”

I’ve now got over 400 TV appearances to my credit, and an equal number of radio interviews — and I’m already booked to add significantly to that number for my 24th novel for The Oppenheimer Alternative, coming on June 2, 2020.

The easiest way to get press interest is by tying your book into an anniversary, an upcoming or current news story, or, at the very least, a local appearance. Even then, you should hand it to them on a silver platter: why they should do a story, why you should be the one interviewed for it, and precisely what you can say that’s interesting and provocative. This press release entitled “75th Anniversary of the Birth of the Atomic Age” makes precisely those points.

But what about talking about the actual book? Again, you need a way to make your novel be more than “There’s this guy, see, and he’s off on an adventure, and then — bam! — something happens, and then …” No one is going to schedule an interview with you so that you can just give a plot synopsis. But pointing out why your book is different and special and how it came to be can do the trick. Take this press release, “The Secret History of the Manhattan Project,” for instance.

Finally, there are many blogs and a few trade journals devoted to publishing-industry news. They want a completely different kind of approach. Hence, this release about the “Precedent-Setting Deal for Sawyer.”

Using similar approaches in the past, I’ve gotten media attention from countless places that do routinely cover fiction — and also from a great many that normally don’t.

Robert J. Sawyer online:

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