Speaking Engagements Are Critical To Book PR

In another blog post we mentioned that award nominations for authors are often overlooked when doing book publicity.  Another important component of book public relations that is often overlooked is public speaking.

Yes, many authors, and many business professionals dread speaking in-front of an audience.  Yet for authors it is one of the best ways to promote a book and reach potential customers.

Organizations are always looking for speakers.  From the local Rotary Club to a local business association to a book club to state and national organizations speakers are in great demand.  And the fact that someone has written a book makes him or her highly desired as a speaker.

Organizations are always eager to book an author as a speaker.  The organization will promote the author’s upcoming speech.  In addition, the author should be promoting the speech as well with a press release, social media mentions, and outreach to the local media.

Speeches should be tailored around key aspects of the book or describe the author’s inspirational journey in becoming an author. They should be informative and creative.  What they should not be is an infomercial.

After the speech most organizations will offer the author an opportunity to sell his or her book to their members.  These should be easy sales.  The audience has just heard the author speak and are emotionally charged to purchase the book.  Add to that, the book will be autographed by the author and that adds to the value of the purchase.  Authors should always include an order form to go inside the book, so when the purchaser gets home and thinks about who else might enjoy the book, they have an easy way to order additional copies.  Speaking opportunities also offer the opportunity for photos that can be added to social media sites and the author’s website.

Some organizations will pay the author for the speech.  Paid speaking engagements work in two ways.  One is a flat fee with the opportunity to sell the book afterwards to audience members with no guarantee of sales.  The other is a smaller honorarium for the author but the organization agrees to buy a certain amount of books.

Speaking engagements are often overlooked by many when doing a book PR campaign.  They shouldn’t be.  Speaking engagements are a great way to get the word out and reach customers.  They are but one part of an overall book publicity campaign but they are essential to overall success.

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