PUBLISHED OCTOBER 2017
by Brian Feinblum, Chief Marketing Officer, MEDIA CONNECT –
Many authors simply want to write books and get published. They hope to make money, but that’s not what drives them. There is also ego, pride, and one’s legacy at stake. But, most of all, writers want to impact the world through their words and truly make a difference. To achieve any of these goals, authors must actively promote theirs books and author brand. So why don’t many authors do it?
Authors who do not seek out publicity will cite many of these factors:
- Short on time
- Don’t have a budget for publicity
- Fear speaking to the media or groups
- Don’t know what to do
- Lack of marketing skills
These are very real factors, but, in the end, they are excuses that stand in the way of what authors truly need to do. Authors need to effectively promote their books because:
- It allows them to be branded as an expert.
- It helps generate speaking engagements.
- The media validates the author to a publisher or literary agent who gets inspired to take on your next book.
- It allows you to be positioned as a paid spokesperson.
- It can get one’s website traffic up and help with getting potential consumers of other products and services offered for sale on the site.
- It positions you to share a positive message with millions of people with impact and influence.
Quite simply, if authors don’t promote—or invest in the promotion of—their books, then who will? For the self-published, they know book promotions and marketing fall 100 percent on them. But for those with a publisher, they need a wake-up call.
The sad truth is that most publishers do not do much to promote their authors. Many do nothing at all. Authors, if they are to improve their prospect of long- and short-term success, will need to take responsibility for the promoting, marketing, and branding of themselves as a writer. If authors want to generate book sales and influence people, they need to actively promote their writings. Authors need to do their share, both in the budgeting of their time for PR and in how they spend for professional help.
For the past 18 years, I’ve probably helped over a thousand authors achieve book publicity, but there were thousands more I spoke to that ended up telling me they weren’t ready to invest in book publicity and admittedly were not up to the task of doing it themselves. Needless to say, most of these authors’ books did not fare well.
Authors should first think about all of the types of marketing and publicity that they could theoretically participate in and then figure out which ones make the most sense for them. But they can’t simply do nothing or leave things to chance.
Here is a non- exhaustive list of 15 things an author can do:
- Send books out for review with traditional publications.
- Share a digital galley with online book reviewers.
- Secure radio interviews, by phone or in person.
- Get interviewed by podcasters.
- Guest post on Facebook, blogs, and other social media.
- Speak before an organization and sell your book.
- Schedule book signings at bookstores, libraries, and schools.
- Appear on local television shows.
- Do a regional book tour, connecting with media, stores, and clubs in several surrounding cities or states.
- Buy Facebook or Google ads.
- Do an email blast to all of your contacts, asking them for help or to buy the book.
- Post provocative videos on YouTube.
- Connect with readers on Twitter.
- For a limited time, offer your book for free to create word-of-mouth buzz.
- Seek out testimonials and endorsements.
Brian Feinblum is the chief marketing officer for MEDIA CONNECT and has posted over 2,500 times at BookMarketingBuzzBlog.blogspot.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-583-2718.