Being in the PR business for more than 30 years, I’ve seen a constant evolution in effective tactics. In the book marketing world, what works today won’t work tomorrow because ‘everybody’ is doing it. It’s gone from lunch with reporters and phone calls, to direct mail, faxes, email, and now social media works, including Twitter and Facebook, etc. Some tactics continue to be effective over time. As a book publicist I keep an eye out for the latest tips and techniques. Here’s a list of ‘effective’ ways authors can promote their books:
1. TV News
Few mediums reach as many people as TV News. I’ve spent the better portion of my life placing clients on TV news programs and interview shows. It’s extremely effective in letting people know about your book. The easiest way to land a TV interview is to send your book with a personally addressed cover letter/pitch and press release about the book to the news director of the station. Provide your photo and send it in. Do that for every TV station you want to appear on. Start local first then go after the big shows. It’s a little more involved than this but it can and does work.
2. Talk Radio
Listeners turn to talk radio to be fully informed on topics that are not covered completely in newspapers or on TV and to have an actual conversation with the host and you, the guest. Talk radio show hosts will in most cases ask you to share your website, e-mail address or toll-free phone number or they’ll mention it themselves. Use the same methods discussed to solicit TV News above.
Need money to promote your book? Many authors have successfully turned to Kickstarter to fund their book marketing. Check out my article about it here: http://bit.ly/2alavIT
Fifty million readers find books to read on Goodreads, so it makes sense for authors to get into and find out as much as possible about how it can help sell books. One way is to make sure reviewers post their reviews on Goodreads. Also ask readers to add your book to Listopia lists where books are grouped together by genre and subject. For example, if you liked Tony Robbins you’ll like RULE #1 DON’T BE #2 by Dan Milstein. Get active on Goodreads. Write reviews of books you’ve read and add books you’d like to read to your ‘Want to Read’ list. Buy an ad on Goodreads. Target your ad by book genre, location, gender, or age.
5. Amazon Author Page
Make sure you are utilizing your Amazon Author page. Are all your books listed? Have you added your author photo and bio? What about including your book trailer, blog and tour schedule? Take advantage of all the tools you can that cost nothing! Here’s an article on setting that up: http://bit.ly/2zbVj0w
You have to enter to win. It’s well worth your time and money giving you media opportunities as it distinguishes you when you become ‘an award winning author.’ When you win you can put out a press release with real news. The media perks up when an author wins a prize as it indicates someone else is saying, “Hey this is a good book.”
7. Book Fairs
Meet fellow authors and readers who love books. It’s where the rubber meets the road in the book business. You’ll find out what readers like and what’s on the mind of authors. You may find out some good info about effective marketing methods. Make it a point to hit a few during your next vacation.
8. Writer’s Conferences
Where serious authors go to hone their craft, meet fellow authors and listen to experts in the field. Well worth your time to find out how others are progressing in the writing field. Writers are the nicest people anywhere so you’re bound to make long term friends who collectively can change your life for the better. When you look back after a few years you’ll remember bits of advice that made all the difference in your success.
9. Social Media
Become active on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Create specific content for each of the mediums using blurbs, your book trailer, MEMES and book reviews. It’s a major project no doubt, but it’s one of the best low cost ways to reach readers. Plus, Facebook offers advertising directly to fans of authors in your genre or specific authors themselves. Get busy and just do it!
10. Book Trailer
Just as a movie trailer is used to get consumers interested in a movie, a book trailer does the same for a book. If a picture is worth 1000 words, then a book trailer must be worth 100,000 words! Get one for your book and post it to social media and include the URL in all pitches. These guys can create a video of all the book reviews you’ve received.
11. Read a BOOK!
You want people to buy your book, then go out and buy and read books about book marketing. You can’t know everything, so find out what you need to know. Here’s a list of my favorite book marketing books.
12. HARO and ProfNet
A reporter, freelance writer or television producer is assigned a story and places a query on HARO or ProfNet requesting an expert who could speak to the topic. Queries come from the NY Times, Good Morning America, Women’s World Magazine, NPR etc. Authors are perfect for these services because of their built-in credibility since they wrote about the subject matter covered in their book. The media likes people who have credentials and are authorities and experts. Here’s another article about HARO and ProfNet.
The Bottom Line: Authors, recheck your marketing mix and take advantage of all the ways to promote your book. Do it today!
About Scott Lorenz
Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with individuals and entrepreneurs to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz has handled public relations and marketing for numerous startups, iPhone app developers, authors, doctors, lawyers, inventors and entrepreneurs. As a book marketing expert Lorenz is called upon by top execs and bestselling authors to promote their books. Visit: http://www.Book-Marketing-Expert.com Follow Lorenz on Twitter at: @abookpublicist.com
Chris Hayden has been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.