Beth Golay

This is the time to update that media list.

It’s been a little while since we’ve updated our media lists. These lists are not only a great tool for your own use, but also for publicists trying to garner publicity for your bookstore events. It helps save money on postage, duplicate book deliveries, and time if you are able to provide the most current contact information. It should take around 300 seconds to give your media list a once-over.

Give your list a quick glance to see if anyone retired or moved on to a different market. Then take just a few minutes to call those on your list to verify that the contacts you have are still appropriate. If your local newspaper is large enough to have a book page and a children/family writer, be sure to include names for these individual specialties. And news directors at radio and television stations tend to change often, so be sure to call them. For each individual listed, include the name, title, e-mail address, phone and fax numbers, and mailing address.

Once you’re finished, add an “Updated 04/18/17” footnote, then save it as a PDF. Now the list is ready to send to any publicist who might be sending an author your way. When you send it to the publicist, remind them that this is to replace the previous list. Otherwise multiple books might be sent to one media outlet.

If you have a bit more time to devote to marketing today, it’s also a good time to look at your own press release email list, which should include the names you just updated on your media list, but also weekly, daily, and specialty newspapers in your area. (Here’s an updated list of state, regional and national press associations. Most press association websites have a list of members available to help you build your media list.)

If you email media releases, errors can leave a long-lasting digital trail. Be sure to look at the reports from the latest releases you’ve sent, especially the bounce report. Some emails bounce because a mailbox might be full, or the recipient’s email service might have some other temporary glitch. But if an email address consistently shows up in the bounced field, the media person has probably moved on or you have a bad address. A quick web search or a phone call will yield the correct address for press releases.

Video: ‘This Is How We Do It’

A friend who home-schools her 8-year-old son saw me reading This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from around the World by Matt Lamothe and became very excited about the educational possibilities it held.

Inspired by his own travels, Matt Lamothe’s This is How We Do It follows the real lives of seven kids from Italy, Japan, Iran, India, Peru, Uganda, and Russia for a single day. While the way they play, dress, and eat may differ, the shared rhythm of their days—and this one world we all share—unites them.

If you’d like to share this video with your customers, here’s the embed code:

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/csqKemjRuJs?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

Instagramming ‘The Stranger in the Woods’

I recently interviewed Michael Finkel about The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit for KMUW’s Marginalia podcast, and it both aired and landed on iTunes today. Kathryn took some great photos for our Instagram account. Here they are if you’d like to use them, too.

IMG_3227 IMG_3237 IMG_3254

300 Seconds: April Showers…

300 Seconds: April Showers…

If you’ve glanced at the national weather radar and forecast lately, chances are you’ve seen a lot of green. Now that April is upon us, so are the correlated showers. Great for the garden; not so great for bookstore floors.

Take 300 Seconds to prepare for your next rainy day. Here are some things to think about and gather:

  • Mops, rugs or towels. You can keep them near your front door or easily accessible to clean up puddles or to offer customers an opportunity to wipe their feet.
  • Umbrella storage. You could offer plastic bags to prevent dripping all over the store, or perhaps hooks or a coat rack in the foyer.
  • Extra umbrellas. Check your “Found Items” box. Are there any spare umbrellas you can offer to customers caught in a downpour?
  • Or do you sell umbrellas? Move them front and center to make sure they are visible to customers.
  • “Caution: Wet Floor” sign. (This is the same sign used during floor cleanings.) Even though you try to keep up with the puddles brought in by wet feet, it’s a good idea to prop up this sign during rainy weather. Some spills can’t be prevented, but signage might discourage customers from walking with so much purpose.

Twitter Update: 140 Character Replies

Twitter announced another update today. In an effort to simply conversations, when you reply to someone or a group, those @usernames won’t count toward your 140 characters limit. According to the Twitter blog, the changes you’ll see are:

  • Who you are replying to will appear above the Tweet text rather than within the Tweet text itself, so you have more characters to have conversations.
  • You can tap on “Replying to…” to easily see and control who’s part of your conversation.
  • When reading a conversation, you’ll actually see what people are saying, rather than seeing lots of @usernames at the start of a Tweet.