5. Publicity and Promotion
5.1 Your book has been a designed PDF for a while now. Everyone has tried to squash errors. It is about to be published. We need to think a bit about publicity and promotion. How will readers find out about your book?
5.2 It is imperative that you work closely with us to secure potential reviews of the book. It is no longer standard practice to simply send out copies of books to potential review outlets, as they are inundated with too many books and press releases and these often just get discarded. Once the book is heading to final publication, we ask that you compile a list of journals, online outlets, and the like where it is believed there may be interest in the book. We will be happy to make initial contacts and if interest is expressed, we will happily send them a copy of the print edition. It is also always useful if authors have any contacts anywhere who might be interested in reviewing and/or promoting the book, and are willing to help us reach out to specific persons. We do not believe that reviews in academic journals that exist behind a paywall are ideal, but we understand these can be very meaningful in certain fields, and of course we will send books to journal reviews editors if authors provide us with those contact details (many academic journals have regular, open calls and conduits for review copies).
5.3 It is extremely helpful and also useful to your book’s promotion if you can arrange readings, launch parties, and other events around your book’s release. It is imperative, however, that you not schedule any of these events until after your book’s publication because it is not uncommon for unforeseen glitches to occur that can delay a book’s release, and we need at least 2-3 weeks’ lead-time to get copies of the book printed and shipped in time for an event. We are happy to help in any way we can with these events, but as they will likely happen in locations where we might not be able to be physically present (our offices are located in Santa Barbara, California and The Hague, Netherlands), it is important that you ply your local contacts (at bookstores, university spaces, bars and clubs, etc.) in order to arrange readings and events around your book. If you happen to live in a location, such as New York City, where there is a substantive number of other punctum authors, we can also help arrange a group reading event.
5.4 If there are any bookstores that you have relationships with, or that you think would be particularly keen on carrying your book, let us know, and we’ll work with the bookstore staff to place your books there. You should know that some bookstores will only buy books on consignment and also want to be able to return copies that don’t sell (if they pay for them in advance). punctum does not offer books on consignment and does not allow returns (because we don’t warehouse nor distribute our own books – that is handled by our printer). So just let your favorite, local bookstores know that we are happy to offer them a 40% discount off the list price and will also absorb shipping costs if they want to order directly from us (this is a better deal then they will get if they order our titles directly from Ingram, the wholesaler that carries our titles). You may also want to purchase additional copies from us (at a 50% discount) that you can drop off at your favorite bookstores “on consignment.”
5.5 Promotion of books on social media is fast becoming one of the better ways to attract new readers and to also get the attention of communities of readers and researchers within specific fields and disciplines who are dedicated to and curious about new work. To that end, it is helpful if you are active on either or any combination of Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram. If you are, please make sure that you friend and follow punctum on these social media so that we can tag you in our announcements of the book’s publication. It is useful, in the first month after the book’s publication, if we can craft together with you a social media campaign whereby you and punctum send out staggered “blasts” about the book over a monthlong period. Be sure to consult with your point person at punctum about crafting a social media campaign together as publication draws near.
5.6 Discussions about publicity and promotion should happen before the book is published, but they can continue after the book is published as well. Let us know about reviewing opportunities or readings in the future. We have a monthly newsletter that often includes announcements of such events.