Publicists get creative to shout above election noise

<p>Publicists will be looking for creative ways to get books into the media around the election with press coverage heavily dominated by politics.</p><p>Fiona Smith, head of publicity at Octopus, said she had been concerned about fewer opportunities for coverage as the general election date of 6th May approached. She added: &quot;We are looking at other means to get [authors&#39;] messages to readers&mdash;through blogs, Twitter, interviews on websites, video interviews on newspaper sites, online chats etc.&quot;</p><p>Sarah Bennie, publicity director for Ebury Publishing, said: &quot;We are looking for creative ways&nbsp; to get our authors&#39; messages and profiles out there above and beyond the traditional routes during the election.&quot;</p><p>However, Rebecca Gray, publicity manager at Weidenfeld &amp; Nicolson, said she had been &quot;pleasantly surprised&quot; at how many interview opportunities for authors were still available. &quot;The news-based programmes will be reducing their usual feature slots in favour of increased election coverage, so promoting authors on shows like &#39;BBC Breakfast&#39; or the &#39;Today&#39; programme would be more difficult.&quot;</p><p>Despite much media attention about the political arena, the last time a general election was called book sales actually increased. According to figures from Nielsen BookScan, in the five-week period between the announcement of the general election on 5th April 2005 and the day the polling booths opened, book sales grew 4.5% compared with the same period in 2004.</p><p>Rosie Glaisher, publicity director at Penguin Press, said the weeks after the election could still be a tricky time as the news agenda will be dominated by the results.</p>