You’re book has grown from an idea into a reality. You’ve targeted your audience, written the manuscript, and found a publisher (or published it yourself). The next step is promotion, but unless you have prior experience in the field of public relations, you probably have no idea how to go about promoting you book. There are public relations agencies to do the work for you, but if you’re like most authors nowadays, doing it yourself would be much more affordable. It’s very important to remember that each book is different and needs its own special approach to promotion, but here you will find a few tips that will work for almost any book.
First, make sure that your promotion plan is built specifically to target your audience. You’ve already worked hard to gear your book toward a specific group of people, and you need to make sure that your book is promoted in a way that is visible to them. Find out what kind of periodicals your audience pays the most attention to. For example, if your book is aimed at a very specific group, such as outdoorsmen, make sure to hit up wildlife periodicals like Backpacker Magazine. Once you’ve figured out what your audience pays attention to, prepare a press release and contact the editor who reviews books for that periodical. Send that person your press release and ask them to write a book review. Be sure to find the right person - do not contact just any editor, because if your press release is sent to the wrong person it will likely be discarded.
Next, you should create a website for your book. Don’t just add a promotion for your book to an already existing site - giving your work its own website will guarantee that it gets much more attention. Print the address for your site in the hard copies of your book so that your readers will know how to access it.
Be sure to contact local television stations. Find out who arranges author interviews and offer them a copy of your book and the opportunity to interview you. If the topic of your book is one often covered by news stations, such as politics or business, it would also be beneficial to contact the reporter who covers the subject you’ve written about, and offer him or her an interview. Starting with your local stations will improve your chances of getting coverage.
Next, send your press release to local newspapers and radio stations and ask them to call you for an interview or a book to review. If someone asks for a copy of your book, contact your publisher and ask them to ship the book. Publishers will typically pay to ship the book, saving you some money.
Once you’ve built your book up on a local level, go ahead and send a press release to national periodicals, as well as national news stations and talk shows. When contacting these sources, just send a press release to the general producer of the show. He or she will then pass it on to the appropriate person.
It’s also important to start an e-zine or e-newsletter for your book. Email it to your friends and family and ask them to pass it along. Include essential information about your book, such as the title, topic, website address, release date, and where it can be found. It would also be beneficial to promote your book through your personal blog. Ask any regular readers to check out your book.
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==>Amanda Free is a Communication Major at University of Louisville.