Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Author Publicity Priority List

Authors need to do dozens of things – big and small -- in order to successfully promote and market themselves and their books. Here’s my top 12:

1.      Website
It doesn’t have to be fancy and expensive, but it has to properly represent you and be the starting point of your branding foundation.  I don’t take any writer seriously if they don’t have a website.  Nothing is a substitute for a website.

2.      Blog/or Podcast
This is a great way to get your voice heard.  It can rally and motivate fans and it can be a great tool to recruit new fans and build a following.  Your blog needs to be posted regularly and shared with everyone.

3.      Social Media Profiles
You must establish a profile and an account with major social media outlets.  Linkedin is a stupendous professional networking and research tool. Facebook is great for building fan followings and posting news, events, your blog, etc.  Twitter is critical as well.  Depending on your time availability, personal preferences, and the type of books that you write, consider having an account on YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.  Google+ and Snapchat would also be up for consideration.

4.      Have A Marketing Plan and Budget
Marketing can be anything from advertising, speaking engagements, direct mail, telemarketing, infomercials, product placement, paid social media placements, and handing out fliers at the mall.  Make a plan, have a budget, enlist help, and get started at least a half-a-year ahead of your publication date.

5.      Have A PR Plan and Budget
PR is what drives book sales and your brand.  How do you plan to get media coverage for you and your books?  Will you hire someone?  What’s your budget and timeline to execute each necessary stage?  Create a plan at least six months prior to your book launch.

6.      Goodreads
It’s a great, inexpensive way to connect to writers and secure book reviews by the busload.

7.      NetGalley
This is a great, inexpensive way to give your book away, especially to the news media and book reviewers.

8.      Other Products and Services
I don’t care if you wrote a novel about superheroes who use snot to thwart the bad guys, find other products/books/services to sell on your website as well.  Anything from T-shirts to audiobooks to seminars can be made available.  These items give you another income stream. They can be items you create or they can be from a third party.

9.      Business Card
Yes, in our big digital world you still need a business card.  Make it with color, on good quality stock.  People will hold onto it and the look and texture of it will give people a lasting impression of you.

10.  Elevator Speech
This is very hard but really very easy.  Take your whole life and book and truncate your essence and existence into a 15-to-30 second speech.  You need, whether asked or not, to be ready to say who you are and what your book is about – whether talking to a stranger at a bus stop or trying to impress the media, a consumer, or an investor.

11.  Optimism, Confidence, Vision
Call it having the right attitude.  No time for shyness, lack of confidence, low energy, fear, or anything else that will only serve to keep you down.  Inflate yourself and soar like a balloon.  Take a risk, be bold, meet a challenge, aim high, and diversify your approach to marketing yourself.

12.  Mailing List
Organize a list of everyone you know – and who they know – and be prepared to unleash it at the right time to sell your book, network, seek specific favors, or share news. Everything you do is geared towards having a huge list of contacts.

13.  Press Kit
Let’s make it a baker’s dozen. The other thing you need is a press kit.  This electronic and printed kit should include the following:

Press release and an image of your book cover
Author bio and your photo
Related facts/statistics/fun quiz
Book Excerpts
Media clips of past appearances
Schedule of upcoming speaking engagements/book signings

Other things you may need, could include:
·         Aspirin (to handle rejection)
·         An investor/sponsor/crowdfunding page (to finance your campaigns)
·         A supportive friend/spouse/family member (a dog will do, too)
·         Subscriptions to good sites like Publishers Weekly, NYT Book Review, Writers Digest, etc.
·         Date night (forget about your book every so often and just go out and have a good time).

Good Luck.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2016

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