Alan and Jo make the local paper

>> Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Tonight: an object lesson in the difficulties of getting good publicity for your novel.

It was a banner week for Gratz Industries, as two of our employees made the local weekly paper, the Mitchell News-Journal. ("Serving Bakersville, Little Switzerland, Spruce Pine, and the rest of beautiful Mitchell County")

First, on page 3A, was this feature story. (Click the image to see it larger.)

As Wendi says, you gotta love a town where a new crosswalk is worthy of a page three feature story. According to the caption, Jo is one of the fairly indistinguishable little kids in raincoats crossing the street at the new crosswalk. Not only is her picture in the paper, she was interviewed!

When asked if she liked it, Jo Gratz, a student at the school, responded by saying, "yeah, mmmhmm."

That's good press! But Gratz Industries wasn't done. This little item was featured on page 3B. (Again, click to read larger.)

Jo gets page 3A, Dad gets page 3B--the "Arts" page. Which, by the way, is in the Sports section. No picture, as you'll note, and no quotes. I did not warrant an interview. Perhaps if I had announced my new book while using the new crosswalk in town? And of course to add insult to injury, the headline misspells my last name, when they went to all the trouble of spelling it correctly throughout the copy.

Getting coverage from your local media is always a hairy proposition. I usually advise authors to focus their publicity efforts demographically, not geographically, but that's still no reason to ignore your hometown media. Admittedly, Mitchell County has only been my home since April of this year--but I had hoped for a bit more coverage!

Then again, considering I never got coverage from either the Knoxville News Sentinel or the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, perhaps I should be thankful they mentioned me at all . . .

EDIT: Dad points out that they misspelled my name in my web address too.


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