There was an interesting blog post by Alison at Shelf Talker today about how "hand selling" a book can go along way in sales for a book, especially for those books that are not "main stream" or award winners. I feel the same way about using pr in the media center to "sell" a book to my students that they may not have otherwise picked up.
SO how do I promote a book?
Well to me, the best way is to hand it to a child, let them see the cover (VERY important to a student - as Fuse #8 would agree with me!) and let them read the back. Of course many times I link it to another book the student may have read and enjoyed. I ,of course ,do book displays, sometimes having a picture of the author on display or some of his/her other books. The biggest problem with this in a library setting is, if you do too good a job with the PR, your book display is reduced to nothing after all the books on display are checked out by eager students. I always make sure I have either more books to add to the display or another display idea waiting int he wings! In my old school I did a lot of book talking, at this school I have not had many takers in this service I can provide, I am hoping to hook a few teachers in to let me come into their classes and book talk some of our new books.
Part of being a media specialist is being a PR wiz - doing things so that the teachers come in and see what you have going on, doing things so that the students want to come in and see what's going on and also doing book PR so that a great new book that you just purchased gets used and does not just languish on the shelf, with the spine barely cracked.
I think that the best thing an author can hope for is to get their book not only into the hands of reviewers and book sellers, but to get it into the hands of school librarians, we really can be masters of PR, especially if we like a book!!