“Did you ever feel like the whole world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?” asked comedian a course in miracles free. But you’ll be surprised at how relevant that question becomes for your self-published book.
Most self-publishers leave it up to the author to market their book. So, you’ve got to have a plan – a marketing strategy. However, when you’re promoting your book, you don’t want to end up “brown shoes” in a “tuxedo” world; you want an appropriate method of promotion. But where to start?
While a great marketing plan consists of a marketing mix, a good way to get started is by jumping right into the network of public appearances, during which you can connect with your potential audience and pave the way for future success.
Before you start making calls and introducing yourself, think about what kind of public appearances will work best for you when reaching your targeted audience. There’s a great deal to consider, including book signings, readings, speaking engagements, book trade shows, conferences and conventions, book festivals, and television and radio interviews.
What’s your book about, and what groups will be interested? What promotional methods will be most effective? What actions might be less fruitful than others?
The below tips will reveal the most effective methods for staging public events that will not only benefit you and your book.
Setting up Events: Tips for Contacting the Media and Managers
Start on your campaign as soon as possible. There’s no time to lose. The best time to promote your book is the first six months after it becomes available for purchase. It’s recent. It’s hot. And your excitement should rub off on those media outlets you contact. If you wait, media members will quickly move onto the next batch of new titles. So don’t hesitate.
Prepare beforehand. Network and compile lists of contacts. Order business cards, start a Web site and compile a media press kit. Consider purchasing an ISBN and retail channel distribution your book to make it available to other retailers. Most retailers and venues will need your book available through their distributor before they move forward with your event.
When you begin to contact the media and bookstore managers, you should be excited and persistent about your book — it’s understandable — but you should also understand that you will get some refusals. You will have to learn to accept a “no” from the media or a manager. They may not believe you’re a good fit for their venue or program at this time. As frustrating as it is, just thank them for their time and move on to the next. If you work hard and your book’s hype increases, they may come looking for you anyway.
Practice what you are going to say before you pick up the phone or write and edit several e-mail drafts. Remember that this is the first step toward getting your foot in the door. You’ve got to sound intriguing, compelling and enthusiastic, without sounding overwhelming, or worse, like a bully.