You wouldn’t think that the tragic shooting in Arizona last weekend would be good news for anyone. However, HCI, the publisher of Faces of Hope: Babies Born on 9/11, a collection of photos of babies born on September 11 with a few words beside each photo, has seen a dramatic increase in sales of this particular title since the event. Why? Because the nine-year-old girl who died in the tragedy, Christina Green Taylor, was born on September 11, 2001, and was featured in the book, which was released in 2002.
The book was never a big seller for HCI, with just a 10,000-copy first printing, according to Publisher’s Weekly. This week, however, HCI has been fielding media inquiries about Faces of Hope. Good Morning America, the Today Show, the Associated Press, Yahoo, and the New York Times have mentioned Taylor’s inclusion in the book (some also showed the book cover), and director of communications Kim Weiss has fielded requests from the U.K. Amazon, which had less than 100 copies in stock and sold out by Sunday night. A Kindle version of the book became available on Monday. (Read the entire Publisher’s Weekly story here.)
An essential strategy for authors building platform and promoting their books revolves around tying into the news. This story provides a superb example of how and why this works. This publishing company didn’t even have to do anything to increase sales of this book. The media discovered the story on its own.
Always watch the news for large and small ways in which your work can be linked to the news. Then query the press in a timely and professional manner. Before you know it some major radio or television station will be calling you to speak on your topics the expert. Then you can experience skyrocketing book sales.
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