For authors and publishers to successfully promote their books, they will need an effective PR and book marketing strategy. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, though there are general guidelines to follow. Here are some approaches to consider:
1. Relying on a single approach heavily i.e. social media.
Pros: Social media is powerful, far-reaching, and growing, and costs little to nothing.
Cons: Never limit yourself to a single approach and put all of your eggs in one basket no matter how appealing it is. Cons: Social media can be a big time suck if not done strategically.
2. Relying only on a hired gun.
Pros: Hiring an expert publicist or marketer is invaluable, as they know how to execute a solid campaign. leaving you free to write and do what you do best.
Cons: You can’t rely only on whom you hire. You also need to support them by doing what you can do – blogging, tweeting, making appearances, etc.
3. Making a big push once the book is out.
Pros: Your marketing and publicity is maximized when it hits at the same time of your book’s launch and first three months of its release.
Cons: While promoting heavily just as a book’s publication occurs is important, you really need to begin four to nine months prior to your book’s launch, to seed the marketplace and deal with people who operate way in advance (i.e. magazine book reviewers work 4-5 months ahead; organizations planning speakers work 6-12 months out).
4. Copying the campaign strategy of a competitor.
Pros: If you can find and reach out to the people and groups that helped to successfully launch another book you may get to ride their coattails.
Cons: There may be many reasons why the other book got so much attention (who wrote it, author’s connections, hired help, etc.) and chasing down the people who pushed one book won’t necessarily mean they respond favorably to yours.
5. Sending out a lot of press releases.
Pros: Staying active with the media with new pitches and timely angles is a good idea. You just have to hope they find one idea that they like.
Cons: The media doesn’t want to be spammed. By the third release -- especially if you don’t offer something new and targeted – you’ll turn off the media from even opening your email. Paid newswire services that send out mass releases don’t get results, though they may help temporarily boost your site’s SEO.
6. Buy coverage through advertising.
Pros: Some strategic, cost-effective advertising can provide ROI and assist in branding efforts. It’s especially useful if you have multiple books or expensive products/services to sell as well.
Cons: It doesn’t pay for most authors to do a lot of advertising. Even if you do advertise, it’s a small piece of the pie. You still need to promote to the media, make appearances, etc.
You need to come up with a plan that meets your needs, taking into consideration your budget, time availability, skills, contacts, experience, knowledge, and comfort levels. The plan would likely need to take into account a rotation of strategies. For instance, you may initially spend time seeking out speaking engagements and pre-publication book reviews and then you replace that with a full-court press to get radio and TV exposure. As the book ages, your approach changes. You also evaluate success and failure, reassess the market, take into account how people have reacted to your book, and then take a new approach.
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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.
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