Do you have dreams of becoming a best-selling author, but feel like you know way too little about promoting a book? We get that it is not an easy task to form a promotion plan; in fact, it can be as much work as writing a book!
But as a writer, once you’ve finished writing your book, you must have a promotion plan. Without one, it will be hard to sell many copies because no one will know about your book!
Even if you have a publisher, you should still develop a promotion plan because you might find out that they barely help market your book until you’ve already sold a certain number of copies.
Today, we’re going to show you how to get your book into the hands of more people using these strategies.
Here’s what we’ll cover for how to promote your book:
Scoring a TV spot is an absolute dream come true, think of all the free promotion! But as you can imagine, it is not easy to land a TV interview because many others are competing for the same thing.
Here’s our strategy to help you land an interview on TV.
To truly stand out from the masses, start by building relationships with hosts and producers of the shows you’re interested in. Fostering relationships first is an essential part of the pitch because it will help them better understand you and develop chemistry between you. This is a crucial element for a TV interview.
Keep it Short
Everyone’s busy in the media world! Producers aren’t going to wade through pages of pitches so you must make your pitch short and sweet. Try to hook them in the first ten sentences.
Know Their Audience
Make your book relevant to their fans, —don’t force them to connect the dots.
If the TV program leans towards entertainment, share a funny story to show that you will be fun to interview. It’s okay to be silly and comedic – let your sense of humor shine through.
If it’s a serious program, show that you’re there to discuss an important issue and that the conversation will be held in high regard. Be serious with your tone of voice, and also cite quotations and statistics to further expand the depth of the topic.
Once you’ve completed these steps, you should have a very convincing pitch that will get producers to book you on their next available time slot.
How to Shine During Your TV Interview
Hooray! You’ve landed a TV interview! Now it’s time for the real prep to begin.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Write down and practice your talking points ahead of time so that you don’t freeze when the cameras are on. Remember, your goal is to have a natural dialogue with the host and not sound robotic. Rehearse your talking points to reflect a natural back-and-forth conversation.
Do Your Research
Your goal is to understand your audience so you can connect with them. The show will have detailed demographic information available so it’s up to you to tailor your content with this knowledge.
To get to know your audience, here are a few starting points to consider:
What’s their age range?
What are their interests?
What’s popular or trending with them right now?
With this information, you can forge a natural connection that’s most suitable for the viewers.
During the interview, expect to be full of nerves, but don’t let it lose your focus! Stop thinking about the next line, and remain present in the moment. Be a good listener and remember that you’re having a conversation.
For example, if the host asks a question that’s unexpected, don’t panic! Instead, go with the flow and enjoy the conversation. Try to link the conversation back to your book with short anecdotes relating to the topic. This will keep audience members engaged and create more interest in your book.
If you take your time and pay attention to the host, the conversation will flow smoother and everyone will benefit. You’ll seem more confident and upbeat, rather than full of nerves.
#2 – Radio and Podcast Interviews
Radio shows and podcasts are a terrific way to share your voice to your potential readers. With over 90% of Americans listening to the radio as well as the exploding popularity of podcasts, it’s well worth the effort to appear on these platforms.
To get started, local radio and podcast shows are always looking for new content to share with their audience. They also love their community and will favor locals more so than anyone else. Mentioning that you’re a local will be an advantage to your pitch especially if you include the locations of your future book signings at local bookstores.
If you can’t find a local show, finding one with a very specific topic relevant to your books audience will be easier to get on initially then a huge, massively popular show. If you start small you’ll have an easier time getting booked, and then you can use that initial show to get booked on bigger shows in the future.
How to Shine on the Air
Here are some tips for giving a killer on-air performance once you’ve booked your first interviews.
Even though the audience can’t see you on the radio, they can hear and feel your energy.
Pique your listeners’ interest by doing the following:
Always smile so you speak in a happier tone
Sit up straight
Walk around when talking (if possible with your mic setup)
Aim to add 10% more energy to your conversation than normal
By acting energized and engaged, the listeners will feed off your vibrant energy and will further enjoy your guest appearance.
Make the Host’s Job Easy
Don’t be discouraged if your host hasn’t read your book. With busy schedules, it happens more often than you might think.
Your job is to make your host look smart. Tell them about your book, don’t quiz them.
Make their jobs easy by educating them about your material. You’ll connect better with the audience by sharing your knowledge.
Prepare a List of Questions
It’s perfectly acceptable to provide your own list of questions for the host.
What kind of person would love to get their hands on this book? (this is an EXCELLENT question, especially if you know their audience well)
Busy radio hosts and producers will appreciate the extra effort and may even work from your list of questions.
#3 – Local Bookstores
Avid book buyers love their local bookstores. And since they are your target audience, you should grow your fanbase by making an appearance!
Here’s how you can make an appearance at the local bookstore.
Schedule an Appearance
Book clubs love to meet new authors, and local bookstores are more than willing to feature guests that will get their readers to the store.
It’s a win-win combination and all it takes is for you to book an appearance.
Here’s how you can pitch to local bookstores:
Google several bookstores around your area
Find their contact email
Craft your pitch by including what your book is and why it will benefit the local bookstore
Pitch to as many local bookstores as you can handle.
Again, you can start as local as a library and work your way up.
This will surely attract bigger bookstores to book you as soon as possible.
Cater to your Audience
You’ve booked an appearance! Now you must plan your act and deliver what your readers want.
Here’s what book clubs want in a live appearance
An entertaining or thought provoking presentation of your book
Live reading or a few short stories
Live Q&As about you and your book
Free books (or codes for free ebooks!)
Booking several live appearance will guarantee a boost to your fanbase, and will get fans to organically market your book by word of mouth! This is one of the most effective forms of book marketing (and it’s also free).
#4 – Print Interviews and Guest Posts
Publications are alive and well. Many also have huge digital presences, so don’t look over this form of media when creating your promotion strategy.
Instead, find publications and blogs that your target audience reads frequently and reach out to them.
Here are some tips to land a guest post or print interview:
Browse publication websites to see if they allow guest submissions or interview pitches.
Search for a contact page and find a way to send a cold pitch
Even if you’ve never had a print interview before, following these steps will get local publications and blogs excited to share your new book.
How to Shine in a Print Interview
You scored a press interview! Now practice how to sound like a pro author with these steps (even if your voice is cracking from nerves)
Print interviews are a little more relaxed than TV or radio spots, but you still have a finite amount of time to get your message across. In this platform, it’s okay to be more direct and sell yourself. Hit on the best selling points of your book to get readers interested.
Plan Your Hooks
You need to have some print-friendly “sound bites” to intrigue your audience.
Here are some questions to think about when planning your hooks:
What makes your book special?
Who is this book perfect for?
Will be this be useful?
Get to the heart of why your audience needs your book before you do the interview. Then, make sure you talk about it.
Don’t Let Hard questions Throw You Off
Don’t let unanticipated or sticky questions throw you off. You can never be 100% prepared. All you can do is listen to the question and answer as positively as you can.
Remember, unlike an on-air or audio-recorded interview, you can take as much time as you need before you answer. Use it to your advantage.
Write a Great Guest Post
If they want you to write a blog post for their site instead of interviewing you, be sure that you make the post the best it can be. It might be tempting to skimp on the article since you’re giving it away, but the better you make your guest article, the more book sales it will drive for you.
#5 – Social Media
Social media needs no introduction, and you’re missing out on sales if it’s not included in your book promotion. Optimizing your social media platform can be challenging, but we’ve figured out the best methods to promoting your book using social media.
Here’s how you can incorporate it into your promotion strategy to maximize your book sales.
Create a Facebook Page
To get more recognition for your upcoming book, you must have a Facebook page. It’s a great way to show social proof, and it makes it easier for new potential fans to find your book.
Here’s what to include in your Facebook Page:
Include a great photo of yourself
Show a high quality image of your book cover
Add a short bio that describes you and your book
Show a book trailer that visually highlights the selling points of your book
We find Facebook to be one of the best platforms to reach your audience. But if you’re serious, we also recommend building a website with email capture for sending promotions and updates. That way fans from Facebook can be directed to your page, and see your latest updates.
Get Your Fans Involved
Social media is a great tool for featuring your book, but it’s also a great way to interact with your fans. Fans are more than willing to post about books that they love, so don’t be afraid to ask them for assistance!
Here’s how to get them involved:
Ask them to submit book reviews through Amazon.
Ask them to share your book across all social media platforms
Ask them to spread the book in their universities or organizations
Dedicated fans want to see more of you, and love it when you interact through social media. If you also include rewards to sweeten the deal, you may potentially have yourself a full operating social media team that may get you on the front pages of any social media platform!
If you ever want to become a bestselling author, you have to take ownership of your promotion efforts. Use this advice to get your book into your audience’s hands, sell more books, and becoming a bestselling author in no time.
Chandler is the host of the Self Publishing School podcast & the author of 6 bestselling books including his most recent book titled “Published.”. He’s also the founder & CEO of Self-Publishing School, the #1 online resource for writing your first book. Self Publishing School made the INC 5000 in 2018 (#2,699) as one of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the US. Through his books, podcast, training videos, and Self-Publishing School, he’s helped thousands of people on their journey to writing their first book.