Getting Ready for “Killer” Publicity

The Serial Killer Whisperer Book CoverI’ve been busy getting ready for the release of The Serial Killer Whisperer in January.

Unless there is a pressing reason, most publishers take an entire year to prepare a book for publication after the manuscript is accepted. This can be frustrating for an author. Writers want their work in print ASAP!

Publishers use the time to design a book jacket, put together photo inserts, do final editing, and print advance copies which are then sent to book reviewers and television producers in the hope of creating a favorable pre-release “buzz.”

  While many people think there is no such thing as bad publicity, getting featured on a television show is no guarantee that your book will take off.

When Prophet of Death, was released, I was excited because the Phil Donahue show agreed to do an entire hour program about my book. The subject matter touched on religious cults, extra-marital sex, and murder, so it made for compelling television. But we hardly sold any books.

Meanwhile, when I appeared on National Public Radio to discuss CRAZY: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness, sales of the book soared. Why?

NPR listeners buy books. Donahue’s audience didn’t.

The Serial Killer Whisperer will be released January 10th so this has been a busy month for me. I spent time talking to  Alan Sklar, who is reading the book for its audio edition. I also fielded requests from a slew of radio shows that had heard about the book from Simon and Schuster. I will be doing a marathon of radio programs because serial killers are such a gripping topic.

Simon and Schuster also sent me a packet that includes social media and internet materials. This is the first time that I have gotten such a packet and it shows the growing importance of FACEBOOK, YOUTUBE and the Internet in publicity campaigns.

One of the goodies that I received was a link for my blog that enables you to read the book’s Prologue and first two chapters:

The Serial Killer Whisperer by Pete Earley—read an excerpt!

Two more favorable reviews also  appeared last week and we got a plug from  DETAILS magazine. The latter recommended my book in a section it calls “Five Things We Emphatically Endorse This Month.”

Now that it’s nearly time for the book to appear, there’s one more important step that I need to take. I have to re-read it. In the year that it has taken to get from my computer to book shelves, I have finished writing another book that is currently in production!

I don’t want a repeat of what happened to me when The Hot House came out a year after I wrote it. I was on a Denver radio show, when the host said, “I really enjoyed Chapter Six. Please tell my listeners about it.” I had no idea of what Chapter Six was about even though I had written it!

Luckily, you can’t see red faces on radio.

Here are the latest reviews:

Details Magazine…..“Pete Earley’s The Serial Killer Whisperer is a gripping real-life account of a 15-year-old boy who, after a personality-altering accident, became pen pals with a number of notorious murderers, drawing confessions from several.”

From Library Journal… Earley tells the story of Tony Ciaglia, an average 15-year-old boy whose life was tragically transformed after he suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) while operating a Jet Ski. After the accident, Tony’s TBI caused him to become easily obsessed, and when he stumbled across information about a serial killing case online, he soon initiated correspondence with dozens of convicted serial killers, who also exhibited feelings of isolation and rage. Curiously, his therapist condoned the letter writing. His hobby became an obsession that continued well into his thirties, and he meticulously maintained a scrapbook of each killer’s letters, even visiting some of them in prison. The effects of Tony’s TBI—being both totally tolerant and obsessive compulsive—helped him gain their trust and listen without judgment to the sordid details of their murderous sprees, including torture, rape, murder, and cannibalization. He was then able to help police detectives with their investigations, bring closure to the mother of a missing child, and ultimately find a purpose in life. VERDICT For readers of true crime and psychology and others interested in the workings of the brain.

Booklist review…….In 1992, at age 15, Tony Ciaglia received a head injury that left him in a coma for nearly 20 days. When he awoke, the bright teenager was . . . different. There were memory issues, behavioral issues, mood swings, and a new, seemingly obsessive interest in serial killers, with whom Tony felt something akin to fellowship, if not compassion. This unusual and frequently unsettling biography explores Ciaglia’s relationships with serial killers, with whom he began corresponding after his accident—such people as child-killer Arthur Shawcross, “Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez, Susan Smith (who murdered her own children), and “Hillside Strangler” Kenneth Bianchi. Eventually, Ciaglia began approaching police departments about unsolved cases. Proceeding from information he gleaned from letters from his correspondents, he helped authorities close old cases. Earley warns readers that the book is not for the squeamish, and he’s right. There are many unexpurgated excerpts from letters written by the killers that are, at times, deeply disturbing. A unique and compelling personal story and a fascinating exploration of the unsettling subculture that has grown up around serial killers.

Preorder Your Copy of The Serial Killer Whisperer by Pete Earley from Amazon Today

About the author:

Pete Earley is the bestselling author of such books as The Hot House and Crazy. When he is not spending time with his family, he tours the globe advocating for mental health reform.

Learn more about Pete.