What’s Better Than Oprah?

January 2005
by Kate Bandos

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“Be on the Oprah show” is at or near the top of the list when most publishers and authors outline their publicity goals. And, as the “Major Media Coverage” Roundtable showed in the PMA Newsletter’s November issue, for some authors and publishers this is reasonable, but for most it is a goal that wastes time, effort, and precious publicity dollars.

While stories abound about how Oprah turned an unknown book and author into a bestseller and a household name, there are many more stories about successful books that never received an Oprah“endorsement.”

I have found that most publishers and authors would do well by looking beyond Oprah, the New York Times Book Review, and other big-name media and focusing instead on their niche markets.

Horse Sense About Sales

For example, Laura Barnes, author/publisher of the award-winning Ernest children’s book series, sells a significant number of books through school visits and the equestrian market–and Ernest isn’t even a horse. He is a lovable miniature donkey with horse barnyard friends who co-star in the four Ernest books. Of $65,000 in sales to date, approximately 47 percent were to the general public, primarily through bookstores, and 37 percent were to the equestrian market, primarily through equestrian/tack stores and equestrian catalogs.

Schoolchildren at one particular school in New Jersey…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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