A lot of times, authors ask me what they can do to help promote their books. I love that because book publicity is always more effective when the publicist and author are able to work closely together. One of the most important things I can suggest to an author is to keep blogs and websites as up to date as possible. That might seem like general advice, but it’s so important! Whenever I send out press releases, I always like to include the author’s website to draw attention to the author and his or her other books. But, if the media visit a site for more information and things are out of date, the wrong info gets published….not good for anyone.
It’s also important to think about who would be the most interested in your book, whether it’s church libraries, public libraries, individual readers, library book clubs, etc. Make sure that these organizations or individuals receive a notice or postcard when your book releases. It doesn’t hurt to make sure these contacts are also aware of any book signings or events you might be doing.
I do highly recommend book signings as a means of book promotion. Not only are you able to mingle with readers and customers, but they develop your relationship with the bookstore staff. If you’re able to secure a signing, there are several things you can do to help with your success. For instance, talk with the store to find out if they are contacting the local media about your signing. If they don’t do it, you should. Contact information for local media (at least the main local newspaper and/or radio station) can usually be found online. Also, make sure your events are listed clearly on your website and consider creating an author page on Amazon.com where you can interact with readers or on a site like Booktour.com, which will email registered individuals when you are doing events in their areas. If possible, have something to give away at your signing table, even if it’s as simple as a piece of candy. If you can get people to stop by your table for a second look, you have better chances of selling a book. If you have an author newsletter or mailing list, make sure you have a signup sheet available at your signing table too.
I really enjoy connecting with many of you on Facebook or Twitter. If you’re not on either one, I would suggest that you create an account. Social media is so important that almost every one of our publicity campaigns now has to involve social media to some extent. It helps you reach so many more people with your writing.
Be sure to look up Barbour’s marketing department on Twitter at @BarbourBuzz. We’d love to connect with you! Feel free to comment on this post or ask a question. I’ll try my best to answer!
Monday, November 2, 2009
Guest Blogger Angie Brillhart, Publicist for Barbour Publishing
I know that many of you would like to know a few tips about marketing your books, so here is my informal attempt to answer a few of your questions. Besides bothering Becky and JoAnne for lots of things, I deal with media and author relations, coordinating promotional materials for authors and book signings, developing and implementing new publicity campaigns with Barbour’s marketing team, and working with blog tour alliances for book promotion.
Editor Du Jour JoAnne