Thank you to the many book promotion professionals who shared tips for aspiring authors with me! In Part One, read about treating your book launch like a campaign with consistent social media and a newsletter. In Part Two, focus on realistic goals, being a great guest and research research research. Read below about how your community matters for the third article in this series.
Lisa Niver and Andrew McCarthy speaking at the Travel and Adventure Show
Did you love all the tips in part one and two of this series? Well, buckle up because David Thalberg has more ideas for what you need to do for a successful book campaign!
His #1 tip for authors that will help build awareness for and sell their book is “four months prior to your publication date, start putting together your email list. This is a list of your contacts: business associates, college alumni, church members, community organizations, FAMILY. Once the book is available for PRE-SALE (PRE-ORDER), email these people. Tell them that you’ve written a book, and you hope they would consider pre-ordering the book. Once they’ve read it, ask them to leave an honest review on Amazon, GoodReads, and other book sites.” This is not a time to be shy. Ask everyone you know to pre-order your book. I had a promotion party and I ordered a cake with the cover of my book on it. My friend arranged to have my book cover on foam core signs and we all took photos together. It was so much fun to start the celebration and invite my friends and family to pre-order my book!
David’s Tip #2 is to ask everyone to visit your website or “splash page” for your book. I sent my book page out as the follow-up from my party.
From that page, you can have a sign up for your newsletter so that people can receive regular updates regarding your book, media, events and speaking appearances. He recommends you also ask them if they would be interested in inviting you to speak at a local organization (in person or via zoom), or if they know of others in their circle who may be interested in the subject matter found in the book. This is a great tip and one I need to focus on next because if you do not ask, you will not get!
I agree with him when he says, “remember all of those people you’ve helped out one way or another over the years who thanked you by saying: “If there’s ever anything I can do for you to repay the favor, please don’t hesitate to ask…” Well, now is the time to cash in those chips and ASK! You never know what may come of it—maybe your 2nd cousin is married to a book editor, or their neighbor runs a book club at their religious institution or club!”
I asked David for his #1 Reason to hire a publicist and his answer is TIME & STRATEGY. “A publicist lets the author focus on creating content and the dozens of other things they have in mind as an author. The publicist can reach out to the author’s contacts for them. The publicist understands the current rules of book publicity (if you last published a book 10 years ago, the rules have certainly changed – particularly with social media!) A good book publicist will be strategic in outreach. It’s not just about securing a media placement. It’s which media placement: a blog may have as much influence as a local TV morning show (the few that remain.) The book publicist can strategize with the author the best routes to take to secure the most promotion for their book which will have a direct lead toward sales.”
In this three part series, I have spoken to many book publicity professionals and there is a link to their websites so you can see the work they have done for their paying clients. Pick carefully because “you need to have trust in your book publicist. Develop a good relationship with them for a long run, as media placements don’t happen overnight. Make sure when you interview them that they understand the mission of your book.”
Lastly, I want to share wisdom from my friend, Rachel Sales, who co-founded Pink Pangea as well as Enunciate. We met in Israel and she wrote about me in 2015. I reached out to her about a new article for my upcoming memoir and we reconnected.
1. Engage people in your story. Take a step back and consider how people might relate to your book and invite them to share their stories with a specific campaign. For example, if your book is about bravery after 50, pose this question: what leap did you take after 50? Ask them to share a photo of themselves and post their story. Create a great campaign hashtag to build momentum and grow your audience. Once the campaign gains some momentum, pitch it to media outlets as well.
2. Develop your thought leadership, weighing in on relevant conversations in the media. When a news story breaks that you have special insight into based on your book’s subject, pitch your expertise either through contributed articles or commentary to journalists who are covering the story.
3. See what other authors you love and respect have done to garner engagement for their writing. Track their social media and media features and adapt accordingly.
4. Engage other influencers. If you mention others in your book, get them involved in the promotion. Tag them and ask them to tag you so that you broaden your audience. Also, tap into other influencers in your network to share your book. Provide them with templated copy that they can adapt.
5. Don’t forget about low-hanging fruit! PR doesn’t just mean the New York Times… great PR can also include your community outlets. For example, send blurbs about your book to your college alumni magazine, your neighborhood listserv, your favorite Facebook group for women who love to travel, your religious institution’s weekly email, and more.
Hiring a PR professional ensures that your promotional work is strategic and consistent, and targets clear objectives and key results (OKRs). Through industry insights and competitive analysis, PR professionals will have an understanding of what works, what doesn’t, and what’s worth spending time on for small hits and big hits alike. PR professionals will also have relationships in the field that they can tap into to tell your story and be able to create a clear roadmap and timeline to ensure your book gets the spotlight it deserves.
Thank you to all of the awesome public relations professionals who shared their knowledge for this series. I am working hard to build a campaign for my new book! Tell us in the comments which tips you tried and who you hired!
READ MY NAVIGATING BOOK PROMOTION SERIES
PART ONE PART TWO PART THREE
Ready to PROMOTE your book? Take the great advice of all the Book PR professionals in my 3 articles. You can message them, hire them and pre-order my book too! It is a #1 HOT NEW RELEASE ON AMAZON for both paperback and digital!