Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed the holiday season.
Now that another New Year has arrived, it is time to put a marketing and publicity plan in place for your book if you haven’t done one already.
A publicity plan is similar to the marketing plan you are required to develop to get your book into bookstores. The most significant difference between the two is that in a marketing plan you determine your target audience and how to reach them. A publicity plan is for determining how to get your book – and you – mentioned in as many media forms as possible – reviews, TV, newspaper, radio, online, etc.
If your book was published in 2012 or earlier, you likely have experience at this already and need only refine your plan for 2013. If your book is scheduled for release in 2013, don’t wait until it comes back from the printer. Now is the time to start thinking about marketing and publicity.
Here are ten tips that will help get you started:
1. Create a Website for your book. If you don’t have one, it will be hard for potential readers to find you and the media to promote you.
2. Launch a social media campaign. This is something you can and should do well before your book is in print to create a following/fan-base. An easy way to do this is to create a Facebook Fan Page for your book and contribute entries to it regularly. Fan pages are totally free to set up and offer a viral method of making contact with potential customers. The average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events. (Make sure you mention that you have a Facebook Fan Page on your Website.)
3. Develop a list of places where your potential readers spend time and make plans to visit with them on their “home turf” throughout the year. If, for example, your book is about dieting or recovering from drug addiction, you should be attending regular support group meetings and telling people about your book. If you have a business book, join the local Chamber of Commerce and regularly attend meetings.
4. Seek out non-profits and other organizations that would be most interested in your book and/or expertise and let them know about your title. If your book is about organ donation, for example, Life Source, the American Organ Transplant Association and the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), are good organizations to get to know.
5. If you haven’t done it yet, ask your friends and people you know who have purchased your book to write a review and post it on Amazon.com. The more reviews and activity you have, the higher you move in the searchable listings.
6. A lot of authors who started out by publishing just a traditional printed book have found that having their title available as an ebook as well significantly impacts the number of sales they get. According to a recent survey released by the American Association of Publishers (AAP) the market share of ebooks grew more than 1,200 percent from 2008 to 2010.
7. Start a blog and contribute to it regularly, making reference to your book as often as you can. If people like what you have to say, they are likely to purchase your book.
8. Pay attention to stories making their way through the news cycle. They may offer you opportunities to get on the news.
9. Prepare regular press releases and distribute them to the media, or hire a publicist to handle this task for you. When you see a story in the news that you would like to comment on, don’t just think about it, do it! Those authors who send out regular press releases are more likely to become sources for reporters than those who don’t. The release of your book should mark the first time you reach out to the media, not the last.
10. Spend some time researching the editorial calendar reporters use to determine where your story would fit best.
And enjoy the New Year!