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My book’s done. Now what do I do?!?! Marketing yourself

Five specific book promotion stages and activities

Hot topic.  This question has been posed to me by hundreds and hundreds of authors and publishing companies.  Of course, over the years I’ve specialized in book publicity tactics, but many of these strategies are most effective and produce the most ROI when they are carefully integrated with all sorts of other book promotion activities. 

At least in my opinion,  …

At least in my opinon, these days, at a minimum, you can really begin to actively promote and sell your book as long as you have:

 1. a web site and 2. your book is available at Amazon, and possibly with   If you are focusing on the book trade and library sales, then you need book trade distribution, either a national wholesaler or a book distributor.  But I’m not a fan of the book trade.  I am really into seeing authors succeed using direct, quantity and special sales.  So item’s 1. and 2. are really all you need.   That plus a really good book.   

If you have these things then you can go into the marketing stage and take any number of steps designed to sell your intellectual property in a lot of ways.   That can be the subject of another article since once you are an author with a book, you can and should look at growing multiple income streams off what you have created and can do.  But for books ready for publication and promotion, the steps below are all you need.  The timing of news release actions initially depend on when the books are actually available so you can provide them to the interested media. You can provide galleys, advance review copies, finished books, or new editions.

For your normal book publicity campaign cycle there are five major periods of opportunities:

1. Pre-publication reviews (one dozen galleys needed) – four to six months before book publication. 2. Magazines (100 to 300 advance review copies needed – four to six months before media and book publication) for reviews and feature stories.

3. Publication Announcement Releases – (magazines, daily & weekly newspapers, news services & syndicates) for reviews and feature stories.

4. Post Publication Publicity (all the above plus radio & TV) – more reviews, interviews, and feature stories.

5. Event publicity (newspapers, radio and TV, anytime any place, 20 days lead time needed). Awards, book signings, speaking engagements, workshops, and community activities.

No matter what you do, you should not do publicity unless the business system is in place which allows you to generate income from these activities. Without it being in place, publicity can’t bring you any income, since no one can buy books.

Book publicity per se is one way to go when sending out news releases. The other way to build and implement a publicity plan is to work on personal branding and expert or human interest articles. Here the individual product doesn’t matter. Your goal is receive coverage that demonstrates your expertise in a way that results in people wanting everything you offer, no matter what it is. This can be done anytime.

No matter what sort of “news release you choose”, remember that you have to provide what media want the most, which is a proper answer to the question, “What’s in it for my audience”.   

Posted on Thursday, January 31st, 2008 at 12:38 pm In
book publicity