As some of you are likely aware, I work as a crime beat reporter in my day job. My paper is part of the Gannett beast, and as you know, corporations tend to launch initiatives.
Gannett’s latest isn’t a bad one. Gannett calls it Picasso, and the whole idea is to brand yourself, engage with your audience and not be afraid to promote yourself.
My first thought as I was introduced to this concept was “duh.”
Branding/promoting yourself is par for the course if you’re an ebook author or a blog owner. There are, of course, entire blogs devoted to the art of blogging, most of which is learning how to promote/sell/brand yourself. Having started a Japanese culture blog, jgeeks.com, I devoured this stuff.
But I digress. I brought up to one of my editors on Friday that I was in the process of releasing an ebook. I mentioned to him that I had already been approached by several publications, including a rival one, about doing an interview. Of course I want to do that – free promotion, which leads to book sales and the potential to build an audience. I wanted his advice on how to handle it as a journalist.
To my surprise, my editor jumped all over it. Of course, he wanted me to have nothing to do with the rival publication, but OK’d the others (arts and entertainment mags, etc.). But then he mentioned that part of our new initiative included highlighting reporters’ personalities. So of course, promoting the science fiction of one of the Journal’s reporters would fit right into that, he said.
So nothing concrete has come of it just yet. But the gears are turning as the idea is being floated up the chain. He talked about “getting behind my book,” words any author loves to hear. For someone just jumping into the indie pub arena, this could be a huge advantage for my career.