Writers bemoan this type of work. They want to write, not sell. They want to focus on new ideas for their next book, not spend time on marketing it. They want to sit alone at their desk and smash out the words, not look for avenues to publicize their book’s existence.
Worse, most writers and authors don’t even have a budget of $1,000 to spend on marketing and publicity. They just can’t compete with the big publishers on that level.
But there is a level on which authors and writers can compete. There is a level playing field on which you too can play the game. It’s called book publicity.
Publicity is not marketing, although the two can overlap. One of the big differences between publicity and marketing is that it’s free. Marketing costs money (e.g. newspaper advertising, Facebook ads, Google Adwords, radio adverts etc.), whereas publicity can be done without paying $1. All you need is a bit of time and a bit of know-how to reach your readership audience and generate interest in your book.
First of all, here’s a quick list of what makes for good publicity for your book:
- It’s authentic, genuine and believable
- It’s informative
- It’s supported by facts and statistics
- It’s interesting
- It has a call to action
Remember: facts tell, stories sell. So package your publicity messages as stories in order to engage your readers and make them memorable. Then sit down and plan out your publicity campaign to reach your readership audience through these 5 main publicity avenues:
- Print Media
- Live Events
Let’s now list the best of these avenues and how you can use them to publicize your book.
1: Publicity Avenue - Television
- Documentary programs
- Personal profile programs
- Morning programs
- Talk shows
- TV interviews
TV Tip: Avoid clothing with stripes if you’re on TV! Cameras also love colours, so try to avoid black clothes.
2: Publicity Avenue - Radio
- Commercial FM stations
- Commercial AM stations
- Documentary radio programs
- Morning and drive time programs
- Talk shows
- Radio interviews
Radio Tip: Avoid speaking too fast – take 3 deep breaths. Be prepared – read your press release before you answer any questions.
3: Publicity Avenue - Print Media
- Magazines – industry, trade, special interest
- Newspapers – interviews, book reviews, news features
- local newspapers
- street press
- free press
- weekly and fortnightly magazines
Print Media Tip: Remember to give your interviewer information on where readers can purchase your book, it’s correct title, it’s price, date of release, and any other relevant information pertaining to your book.
4: Publicity Avenue - Online
- Author website (including author blog site)
- News websites
- Author social media pages (e.g. Facebook fan pages, Facebook groups, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube)
- Blog sites (including guest blogging)
- Book review sites (Amazon, GoodReads)
- Special interest sites
- Social media (Twitter, Google Hangouts)
- Email newsletters
Online Tip: Remember to always have a call to action at the end of your online article, blog or social media post to motivate your readers to take the action you want them to take.
5: Publicity Avenue - Live Events
- Writers’ festivals
- Publisher conferences
- Library conventions
- Book signings
- Bookstore events
- Library events
- Public speaking events
- Writers’ workshops
Live Events Tip: Remember at these events that you’re the expert. People come to hear you talk. If you’ve written a book, they’ll most likely want to buy a copy.
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