9. The murder board: getting the author battle-ready
The author is the main salesperson. With the exception of talk-show hosts such as Laura Ingraham and Pat Buchanan—or a practiced politician such as Newt Gingrich—authors (as well as CEOs, inventors, entrepreneurs and company founders) must be coached before they make media appearances.
Bring them into the office and expose them to a murder board—a panel of questioners who give the author a hard time with tough, nasty questions. A grilling by the murder board will keep the author from stumbling and flubbing answers when live on the air.
Impress on the author to never neglect the core audience. It is tempting to try and convert the uninitiated, but the core audience is where the sales are. It’s easy to walk away from your base, said Marji Ross, and not sell to them. But an author must talk to the base.
10. Mount a one-week Blitzkrieg attack
The object is to get as much action, publicity, buzz and sales the first week the title is available as possible. This is the convergence of action and pressure that will get it on the best seller list that very first week:
—Regnery authors do 10 to 15 talk show interviews every day of that first week.
—These are not five minutes on a Saturday morning satellite show. Shoot for 15 to 20 minutes or more on every relevant radio show in the country.
—Book the author on cable news shows: Fox, CNN and MSNBC, as well as local TV news shows.
—If the Pub-Date is Monday, unleash the 800,000 e-mail blast on Tuesday with crackling prose, breaking news and peppered throughout with hyperlinks to Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com. Not hyperlinks to these booksellers’ homepages, but directly to the title itself.
—Continuously read results.
—Pay attention to the blogosphere. This is a major information and discussion community that can create buzz and viral marketing.