So what’s ground zero for an author’s publicity and marketing?
Well, it depends on what you are promoting – and when.
If you have not yet been published but seek to be, you need to take control of your brand and do the following:
· Create a website for you as a writer.
· Create social media platforms on various platforms.
· Begin to post on your blog or air episodes on your podcast.
· Look to get more followers and connections on social media.
· Create a business card and digital stationery.
· Develop an elevator speech of 20 seconds that perfectly describes who you are and what your writings cover.
· Research which organizations, associations, and trade groups – either for writing or your industry – that you should join.
· Network with other writers, journalists, and people that you believe can advance your writing career.
If you’ve done some or all of the above, as you know, some of it is not a one-time thing, but a long-term thing. You can never have enough followers or post enough current content online to share. But once you’ve begun developing your brand, it will eventually become time to promote something specific, such as an upcoming book. This is when your brain goes into overdrive and you must do the following:
· Add a section to your personal website about your book, including a summary, excerpts or a sample chapter, testimonials, and a pre-order buy button.
· Revise your social media bios to highlight your upcoming book.
· Reprint business cards with your book being mentioned on one side, cover on the other.
· Rework your digital stationery and email signature to include your book.
· Six to nine months prior to your book’s scheduled release, start seeking out speaking engagements with non-profits, schools, trade associations, industry groups and those that book speakers way in advance, especially if it’s for a conference.
· Three months out contact bookstores, libraries, churches and temples and businesses, seeking to schedule a book signing appearance or to schedule a talk.
· Four months prior to your book release, send advance review copies, with press kit materials, to TV morning shows like GMA, CBS This Morning, Today Show and Fox and Friends; book reviewers at major daily newspapers and magazines; and book review publications such as Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, Booklist, Foreword, etc.
· Increase your social media activity – make more connections, post content more often, and start referencing topics that tie into your upcoming book.
· Blog regularly, anywhere from weekly to daily.
· Podcast bi-weekly or weekly.
· Monitor the news cycle to see what you might tie into with a message about your book.
· See what upcoming holidays, anniversaries, honorary days, or seasonal events can link to your book when contacting the media.
Whether you have a book coming out in several months or one is newly minted, or you are in between books or remain unpublished, branding and promoting yourself is important. Wherever you start, build from there and always strive to get your name out and to connect with more people. You will build your well before you’re thirsty.
In addition to branding, marketing, and publicity, give thought to advertising. Set a budget, determine where you’ll advertise – such as Facebook or Amazon or in a publication – and create whatever you want to go in the advertisement. You would only want to advertise when you have something to sell and you’d want to target people that you believe are the right demographics. You wouldn’t advertise a Christian parenting book in Playboy and you wouldn’t push ads about pet cancer on business websites.
Lastly, you should look to go the extra mile and do something that seems different, unique, or even weird. There’s more than one way to market and advertise your book or yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you something is stupid or sure to fail. Don’t let the past performance of others serve as an indicator of your future success. Sure, be smart and grounded, but be willing to take a chance or put yourself out on a limb. You may just get lucky – and then others will line up to copy your success.
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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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