My good friend, Sally Shields, and I recently held a teleseminar on Publicity Secrets Revealed: What Every PR Firm Doesn’t Want You to Know About! It was so successful that I want to share those secrets with even more business owners, entrepreneurs and authors, showing them how they, too, can navigate the world of publishing and marketing and get the publicity they need and deserve.
If you’ve already written a book, that’s great! But by now, you know that getting book sales and publicity takes work—and a lot of it. Well, we understand—we’ve been in your shoes, but along the way we’ve found some shortcuts and secrets that will help you to spark interest in your book and get free publicity—yes, free publicity! Sally Shields has used these very same tips to become a number one best-selling author on Amazon.com with her book, The Daughter-in-Law Rules.
One of the biggest obstacles authors have is getting publicity, so it’s not unusual for them to hire a PR firm. More often than not, they invest a heavy chunk of money in a PR firm, only to be disappointed with the results. You can actually get the same, and better, results on your own, and for little or no money. I’ve had tremendous success with these tips with my book, Goal Digger, and we already know the amazing results Sally got from them. However, while we encourage you to market yourself and your book on your own, we also encourage anyone who’s doing so to get media training first. Invest in learning how to deliver your message so when you get the publicity you want, you know what to say and how to use it wisely.
So, without further ado, here are the top ten things you can do to market your book and brand. Now, you don’t have to do all of them, but if you do several really well, you’re going to get some very surprising results.
1. Print business cards with your book cover on them. This is an inexpensive, but effective, way to reach a mass of people. Give them out to friends, drop some on the counter at the beauty shop, the bagel store, the corner deli, or even at doctor’s offices, clothing stores, and restaurants. You never know who will pick them up and who they might know.
2. Make sure you have a website and it can capture people’s email addresses. You can do this by asking them to sign up for your emails or your newsletter. Just get their addresses and build that client list and friend database. You can even entice them to sign up by giving all new members an opportunity to download a free chapter of your book, which will spark more interest in your book.
3. Create a book trailer. You can create your own 30-second book trailer for free at Animoto.com. Do it and put it on your website and post it on YouTube. This does generate publicity and a great deal of interest.
4. Fine tune your elevator pitch. HelpAReporterOut.com is free, and it’s a wonderful way to create and perfect your elevator pitch. Simply stated, your elevator pitch is a three-sentences giving: Your name, the title of your book and your vision and how you and your book can help others. Short and sweet, it’s an introduction to the media letting them know about you, why they should be interested in interviewing you, and why their listeners, viewers, and readers will tune in. Make sure you tell what’s in it for their listeners and readers…make it short and make it good.
5. Create a media-ready release. Now, don’t confuse this with a press release—it’s different. Your elevator pitch will help you. You’ll need a headline or a hook that is timely and which ties into the news or a specific time of the year or holiday. Your media ready release is going to lay out the main points that you can talk about. It’s actually going to make it easier for you to get on radio and TV shows because it shows you’re prepared and does most of the work for the producer.
6. Prepare letters and emails in an effort to get at least five celebrity testimonials. Now, you don’t have to solicit testimonials from mega big-screen stars, but that would be nice. By celebrities, we mean you can contact authors, athletes, radio hosts, and actors, as well as famous business people. Well-known names respected in their fields are always a plus. In your letter, include a few sample testimonials for them to choose from. By making their job easier and already providing the testimonial, you’re more likely to get a quick and favorable response. How are you going to find these celebrities? I like ContactAnyCelebrity.com. Visit that site and you’ll find contact information, as well as their PR firm, agent information, etc. Be kind, courteous, complimentary, and thankful.
7. Create a media calendar. One of the easiest secrets, this one is effective. Get a calendar and fill in the months and days where your message is pertinent. For instance, if your book is about mothers or parenting, Mother’s Day is a focal point, as are other holidays like Grandparent’s Day, etc. You could take advantage of the exposure of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, etc. Use your imagination and fill in the dates when your expertise could be relevant to that day or time of year. Then, write a media release when that time of year comes around, using a hook or headline which relates your book to that time of year. This catches a great deal of attention, showing why they should be interested in you and your book right now. Make sure the release contains the most popular keywords (you can find those on Google.com/alert.
8. Prepare articles and get them posted on five or more blogs in the next 60 days. Prepare one to three articles, and if you don’t feel confident doing that, use an article template. There are some free ones through Jeff Herring who is known as the article guy. His website is TheArticleGuy.com. Write an article or use a template, then google your keyword plus the word “blog” to find the highest-ranking blogs for your area of expertise. Pick five blogs and contact them. Introduce yourself, give the elevator pitch you prepared earlier, and volunteer to submit content or be a guest on their blog. Offer them a Question and Answer session, and of course, a giveaway, which will help promote your book. To curb costs, you can send electronic books, what we all know as ebooks, which are very inexpensive promotional giveaways.
9. Book a local speaking engagement at a library, bookstore, or event. Prepare a PowerPoint and a little speech, and do a book reading. You’ll be surprised at how many people buy your book when you’re done. If you’re afraid of public speaking, practice—attend Toastmasters—write note cards to help you stay on point. The hosts of these events often buy your book in bulk beforehand, giving you sales right away. If you’re speaking for a charity event, partner with that charity. It’s an excellent marketing tool and will give you sponsorship and a great deal more exposure. Plus, you’ll be helping a cause that’s important to you.
10. Always, always carry copies of your book with you. Tuck a few in your purse, your briefcase, wherever, but always have a copy of your book on hand, ready to give to the first person who can help you. You never know who you’re going to meet every day, and you don’t want to miss an opportunity. If your book is on parenting, the person you start talking to might know a radio host, a prominent pediatrician, or even a corporate retailer of children’s products. By giving them your book and talking about it, you’ve just made an inside contact to some influential people who can help you. So, always, always carry your book with you and don’t be shy about flaunting it!
Those are the top ten secrets that you need to know to get your books out of the garage and into the hands of people who can give it the exposure it deserves. Do a few of these, and do them very well, and you’re going to find that you are the best PR firm your book and your business will ever know.
To listen to the replay of this info-packed call, click here.