Wouldn’t it be great to write your book, get it published and have Oprah’s people call you for an interview? Or maybe 60 Minutes comes calling for an appearance on the show. Even having local media reach out would be an author’s dream come true.
Can this happen? Well… yes and no.
If you do nothing to raise awareness about your book, it’s very UNLIKELY your phone will ring off the hook.
On the other hand, when you’re proactive in your book marketing, amazing things happen. Suddenly, you can become a media darling.
Was It Luck or Hard Work?
When I think of incredible success stories of authors, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame come to mind.
By now, it’s no secret they literally worked their butts off, took tons of risk and didn’t stop when it came to spreading the word about their first book. The rest, as they say, is history.
Yet, many aspiring authors choose to say Jack and Mark are the lucky ones. It has been said, “Luck is when opportunity and preparedness meet.” They prepared by working hard, having a vision and doing all they could to gain visibility for their book.
An area both Canfield and Hansen focused on was getting as many media interviews as possible. While most authors would settle for a few interviews over a period of months or years, Jack and Mark did interview after interview after interview. Often several in one day, day in and day out.
One could say they were obsessed. In their case, being obsessive paid off.
In the early nineties, when the first Chicken Soup book was released, there was not the availability of media opportunities like there is today.
Not only is traditional media easier to reach for a story pitch than it was back then (due to so much information being available online) today there are other forms of media such as social media, blogs, podcast shows and Internet radio virtually any author can tap into.
It’s all about visibility in front of your sweet-spot reader. There are many great ways to gain visibility for your book. However, the sooner you work on publicity the better.
Prior to the publication date, not after, is when you need to start laying the foundation for:
- Book signings
- Speaking engagements
- Amazon rankings
Sooner is Better
Although most authors tend to think about publicity after the book is published, it’s essential to start sooner, much sooner.
Begin long before the actual publication date. However, even if your book has been in print for a long time, don’t let this discourage you. You can still do a lot to gain traction and visibility.
The reality is this; most authors do nothing to get maximum visibility for their book. They “hope” it somehow ends up in the hands of readers. And thus the reason why most books never make more than $100 in sales in the lifetime of the book.
Regardless of where you’re at in the lifecycle of your book, it’s never too late to look for media visibility. The more evergreen your book, the easier it is to get media interviews months, even years, after the book is published.
Additionally, the more visible you are online, the better. Media folks are always on the lookout for authors to interview and books to feature.
As an author, you knowing how to market online is a huge plus. Best part of all is this; you don’t have to be a techie to market online.
Build a Platform
Basically, a platform is where you will appear. The platform is where the author has an audience following and is seen.
The platform gives the author a ready-made potential of readers. Nowadays, this is a MUST HAVE for authors.
The bigger your platform, filled with raving fans, the more books you are likely to sell. And plaforms are all about visibility.
Build visibility on social media
The best way to get noticed by the media is to have a strong social media presence. Before taking a hit and miss approach to social media, determine where your potential readers are. For some authors, Facebook is perfect, while for others, LinkedIn is more suitable for the genre of your book.
Look for forums and social networks specific to where your market “hangs out.” For example, if your market are dentists, it’s likely Facebook is NOT going to be where you need to spend your social media time. A location like Dental Town would be a much better fit. Dental Town is an online community specific to the dental industry.
There are online communities specific to just about any industry and interest. It just takes a bit of research to find those that are a fit.
Content is King
Position your expertise with content. Content marketing is a “must do” in today’s online world of content hungry consumers. Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach tied into your overall digital marketing where you focus on the creation and distribution of valuable content to attract your “sweet spot” ideal readers and clients.
Content marketing is an ongoing process and one that requires consistent effort. For example, this article is part of my content marketing strategy. It will be distributed in specific online directories and on my blog.
As with your social media efforts, content marketing can get you noticed by the media.
Distribution to directories allows for new readers and the media to find you.
A big part of content marketing is posting on your blog. This allows for your current followers to enjoy fresh content.
Post the permalink from the blog post on social media, send an email to your email subscribers to gain even more traction for your efforts.
These two strategies should be part of your long-term positioning to get noticed by the media. To get immediate results have a plan of action that gets you the fastest results in the shortest period of time.
Identify radio and podcast shows that are a great fit for your book. A quick Google search with “radio shows + your topic” will result in lots of choices. For podcast shows, visit iTunes and do a search for shows that fit for your topic or book title.
Keep a running list of show information such as the producer, host, or bookers for the show. Most show sites will have this information available.
Create a pitch for your book with great hooks that will spark the interest of the show contact. To pitch your idea, you can send a media release, but often a short email will work better.
When pitching your idea, keep in mind that the media is on constant overwhelm and doesn’t have time to wade through a bunch of information before getting to the heart of your message.
Get right to the point. Avoid long emails with a bunch of back story before you get to the actual pitch.
Present your idea with the audience in mind. Why will the audience be interested in what you have to say? After all, if you know what gets the audience excited, that will likely get the host, producer or booker interested.
The bottom line is this; you have to put effort into your market visibility as well as how you reach out to the media. Many authorpreneurs avoid these important steps and their book sales reflect this fact.
Make this a part of your overall business practices and you will be far ahead of those who “hope” to be discovered.
Jump Start Your Efforts with Someone Who’s Been There, Done That
If you’re ready to completely jump-start your book marketing efforts and fast-track your sales, check out my full Book Accelerator program. I’ve included incredible information on how to launch a successful book campaign.
In it, you learn the various aspects of a powerhouse book launch campaign. This program is designed for authors who don’t want to spend month after month trying to figure it out. At your fingertips you’ll have exactly what you need to sell lots of books, create back-end opportunities like speaking, consulting and coaching and so much more. Check it out.