This article offers 13 do-it-yourself public relations tips for authors to use to promote their books.
Writing a book takes a lot of hard work, commitment and discipline. Ask any author about the trials and tribulations, the research and the search for the right words and wording that goes into writing a book.
Then ask any group of authors about the aftermath of writing and publishing a book, especially those authors who self-publish. That’s when the promoting of the book kicks in and the reality of how hard it can be to get people to want to buy and read their book.
Most writers write to get people to read what they’ve written. They put a lot of time and effort into a project, which most often becomes a part of them. And, they become convinced the book will fly off the online bookseller’s shelves and become an overnight bestseller.
Bestsellers can happen
Any book can become a bestseller, including those that are self-published by the author. It takes creating a need for the book and creating a perception that the author has the answers or the story that readers will enjoy or benefit from reading.
It rarely happens overnight. Instead, authors have to take the time to promote their books. There are a number of ways to do so including using public relations tactics. Writers tend to like the solitude of the profession and steer clear of any overly social aspects of the writing life, making the job of promoting a book even more difficult.
Public relations activities may be more to authors’ liking, making it a bit easier to get the word out about their books. Public relations (PR) generally involves talking to people about the importance of the topic of a book versus talking about how many books a person will buy.
There are many public relations tactics authors can implement easily, at reasonable costs, and with reasonable time demands. The following thirteen tactics can help get one started.
1. Authors can sell books when they agree to provide free talks about the topic of the book at civic events, local libraries, schools, or book clubs.
2. Donating books to local libraries for local author displays is an effective way to get the book displayed for the reading public to see and possibly decide to buy.
3. Attend book fairs and signings. Attending these types of events offers the opportunity to become a featured author and/or network with other authors to talk about their books.
4. Contact local newspapers and offer oneself as an expert in the topic of the book for them to interview or to use as a resource for other related articles and for local radio and television shows.
5. Contact trade and consumer magazines related to the book’s topics and ask them to review the book for their readers.
6. For business book writers, biographers, or self-help books, network with your local Chamber of Commerce and get to know businesses in the area that may benefit from reading the book.
7. Contact bloggers online that review books to see if they would be interested in reviewing your book.
8. Create your own blog about the topic of the book. Posts regular writings about the topic or the writing of the book or ways people can use the book.
9. Contact local bookstores about doing book signings in their stores.
10. If the topic is teachable, offer to teach a class at local colleges or at conventions.
11. Use social media such as Twitter and Facebook to post messages about where to find the book or about signings, conferences or other events where you will be appearing.
12. Get word-of-mouth promotions started through those that are referenced in the book as case studies or expert commentary.
13. Ask family and friends to help spread the word about your book or write a review for it.
It is important to create a need for your book and develop a must-have perception for it. These 13 public relations tactics can be implemented immediately and at a relatively low cost to effectively get the word out about your book.
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