Now that you’ve got your book printed, you may be questioning what comes next. Now is the time to start shouting from the rooftops about your book because if you don’t tell people about it, they simply won’t know it exists. And contrary to popular belief, just because your book is available on Amazon doesn’t mean it will show up in millions of Amazon searches.
Part of becoming an author these days also means becoming a marketing expert. Hiring a public relations firm is certainly one option, but for many authors – especially first time authors – PR firms are not budget-friendly. The key is to gain national recognition and get your name in front of as many people as possible, which requires writing pitches to those who have access to your ideal audience.
1. Schedule a national book tour.
This type of scheduling requires lots of footwork and research mixed in with some travel expertise to be successful. Target big box bookstores as well as independent bookstores in areas where your ideal readers are located. Bookstores are interested in how your book will bring people in to their stores so include a synopsis of your book in your pitch. Also outline your social media plans and how your plan will align with their current social media campaigns. Keep in mind: Scheduling tours in big cities is best done well in advance due to the high demand.
2. Schedule television and radio interviews.
While planning your book tour, take some time to reach out to local television and radio stations to land interviews; of course, finding the best contact is paramount so you’re not wasting time. Decide which type of segment you’re best suited for and do your research on specific programs, hosts, and producers. Make yourself stand out from the rest of the pitches by including any relevant fun facts or ties to that local area. And don’t think any show is too big for you to land; I knew a virtual assistant who landed a an interview spot on The Dave Ramsey Show simply because she took a chance and answered an open call specific to her industry.
3. Arrange blog tours and podcast tours.
Don’t discount blogs or podcasts as part of your promotional efforts. A blog tour is simply a written interview which is published on a blog but they usually include contact links to your website. Podcasts are audio recordings, similar to traditional radio talk shows, available for free from platforms such as iTunes and Stitcher. Research who the influencers are in your industry and check out their numbers of readers and listeners. Many blogs or podcasts have national reach so those are the ones to target with your pitch.
4. Create social media events around your book launch.
You already have a following so don’t forget about inviting them to watch parties or other local live events. Tell them about your new book; go live and read a chapter to build interest; create custom hashtags and ask you followers to share about your book and live events; create an online panel discussion with other authors or colleagues to discuss your book’s topic. Being consistent and present on social media when your book launches is vitally important to build up your momentum. All of your fans want to know more about you so don’t disappear.
5. Embrace new social media platforms and/or advertising avenues.
Utilizing as many social media platforms as possible will greatly increase your chances of gaining new fans but only if your target audience uses those platforms. Perform some market research first before learning another platform. If you’re happy with your current social media choices, focus instead on their advertising features. Facebook, for example, offers ads along with Sponsored Posts. Knowing the difference and how best to use them to target your audience will find you many more fans.
You have an awesome book, now it’s time to show the world how much you know on the subject and how much you can help your audience with this information. Planning any kind of national publicity is time consuming but a worthwhile effort when you think about how many people you’ll attract to your brand.