5 More Book Promotion Tips

A couple of weeks ago I gave you 6 Book Promotion Tips because published authors want, no, need to promote their books in this fiercely competitive business.

Backstory

If an author is high enough up the food chain, the publisher provides support. If a traditionally-published author is mid-list or below, then usually the publisher provides zip, nada, nothing.

If you're an indie author, you are your own publisher so that makes you your own publicist too. You might as well get a tee shirt that says: Ask me about my ebook because the buck stops with you when it comes to promotion and publicity. (Actually, The Write Way, my CafePress shop sells these tee shirts, water bottles, bags, buttons, etc.)

I'm all about helping my fellow writers because I truly believe that "a rising tide floats all boats." If you missed the guest blog by Jason Matthews Indie Authors: Better Keywords Sell More Books on Friday, go back and read it. Jason offers key advice for helping authors get eyes on their book pages.

5 More Book Promo Tips

Today, I'm offering 5 more tips, in no particular order, to help you with book promotion that can be done for print or ebooks.

1. Be an expert and write.

Does the information plot or the characters' careers, hobbies, or problems lend itself to organizations and niche interest groups that would be interested in having an article from you for their newsletter? Of course, the article would contain your bio and promo links.

For instance, does a hobby like coin collecting, knitting, or cooking with wine figure in the plot? Do the characters have occupations or hobbies that would have organized groups, i.e. a CPA, banker, or a marathon bicyclist or a Harley enthusiast.

Even their conflicts can lead to special interest groups, i.e., a character who has hereditary hemochromatosis or a character who is a recovering cancer patient or an adult with ADD.

2. Be an expert and speak.

All of the above can be network connections to speaking engagements too. Network your connections, and find organizations in your local area. Contact them and tell them about your book and how it relates to their special interest and offer to speak at a meeting because program chairpersons are always looking for new speakers.
 
If you are uncertain about speaking in public or on broadcast, start rehearsing now. Get someone to videotape you and view the tape. Get some credible opinions on your wardrobe, appearance, speaking voice, attitude, and what you say. There are a lot of companies that offer this service. You might even check high school, junior college, or college drama departments to see if you can get some low price help from them.

If you have print copies of your book, sell them and autograph them. (Make sure you clear this with the Program Chair in advance. Also, if you're buying your own books to re-sell and you didn't pay sales tax, you should check into your state's sales tax guidelines first.) Give a speech and pass out a printed promotion card.


3. Give away a printed promotion item.

Always have a printed something to leave behind so someone can look you and your books up later. Business cards, postcards, bookmarks, flyers. Pick what works for you. Depending on size, make sure it has, at minimum, your name, URLs, your book titles, and buy information. Carry these with you wherever you go.

If the printed card is large enough, add reviews of the book and a 1 sentence description (usually the marketing hook) of the book, and your contact info. (I recommend never giving out your home phone or home address. Get a post office box if you're going this route of promotion. Use your cell phone and an email address you don't mind using if it becomes the target of too much spam.)


4. Develop your platform.

One could argue that you should do this first. In the past, platform meant you, as an author, bringing your career or hobby expertise to your book. Today, it also applies to what you write. Do you write some particular niche area of a genre, i.e., I write funny, sexy romance so I'm building a platform around the concept of love, laughter, and passion.

5.Always carry a copy of your book, if it's print, or a reasonable facsimile if it's an ebook, i.e. a postcard with the book cover on one side and pertinent information on the other.

If you plan to carry this in your purse, put it in some kind of protective case or package so it doesn't get tattered and wrinkled. You want it to look professional when you hand it to someone.

Let people know that you have a book, but do NOT be obnoxious or pushy about it. If they ask, show them the book. If they ask if they can buy your copy, sell it to them with an even dollar amount like 5 or 10 bucks, something they're likely to have in their wallet works best.

Even better, give your book to them and ask them to post a review if they like it and to tell their friends about it. Sometimes good will is the best kind of promotion. After all, you can deduct that kind of expense as marketing so be generous.

With ebooks, when you're asked how to get a book, give them your postcard or business card. In fact, figure out some way to give them an incentive to follow through. For instance, give them your email address and tell them to contact you with their receipt and you'll give them a discount on your next book.

Takeaway Truth

Good will and generosity go a long way in building an audience and a fan base.

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