A Crash Course in Shameless Book Promotion
- A book does as well as the energy the author gives it. The
birth of a book, like the birth of a child, is the beginning of
an amazing journey.
soon as you have copies of your book, send review copies to magazines
and journals you respect, along with your press release and publicity
- Set up readings in 20 to 40 bookstores and poetry reading venues.
You do this by asking to speak with the person in charge of events
and readings. As soon as you have a date for your reading, provide
the events coordinator with a press release and ask if there is
anything he/she would like you to do to help publicize the reading.
Ask him/her for their media list. Several weeks before your reading,
send your press release to the local newspapers and magazines
on the media list. Call the radio hosts on the media list and
ask if they would like to interview you.
- A sample script for calling a radio host or magazine: “Hi,
I’m Diane Frank, author of Blackberries in the Dream
House. I’ll be reading at Books, Inc. on February 16,
and I’d love to do an interview on your program. Blackberries
is the forbidden love story of a geisha and a Buddhist monk, in
Kyoto, 150 years ago. It’s a higher love story, erotic and
metaphysical. Does this interest you?”
- Celebrate your book with publication parties in the homes of
friends and family. Ask them to invite their friends.
- Offer to visit or call any book club that reads your book. So
many readers would love the opportunity to ask the author questions.
You’ll also enjoy hearing how readers respond to your book.
- Go to open mics with copies of your book. Be a regular reader
at open readings in your area.
- Talk about your book to everyone you can, but don't be pushy
and obnoxious. There's a fine line you don't want to cross.
- Have an “elevator speech” ready to share. Imagine
that you are in an elevator, riding with a stranger up to the
18th floor. You have 2 or 3 sentences to let this person know
that you are an author, that you’ve just had a book published,
and what your book is about. You’ll see my elevator speech
within the sample script to radio hosts.
- Develop a web site to promote your book. If you don’t
know how to do this yourself, you’re welcome to contact
the web designer for Blue Light Press. He has developed web sites
for several poets published by Blue Light Press and is available
to work with other writers as well.
- Work with a publicist, even if it’s you or your significant
other. If you don’t have a professional publicist, be your
own publicist. Here are your opening lines: “Hi, I’m
[your name], author of [your book]. I’d love to
do a reading at your bookstore. May I speak with the Events Coordinator?”
- Say yes to every possibility! When you read at a book store,
reading series or anywhere else, you are often invited to read
at another venue or come to a book club. Say yes!
- Whether the bookstore has every seat full, with people standing
in the aisles, or only a few people show up, read with warmth
and enthusiasm. Give it 100%. Talk to everyone during the book
signing, whether they buy your book or not. As a special touch,
bring a small gift for the person who set up the reading. It’s
a sweet thing to do and they will remember you.
- Always have your own stash of extra books and take them with
you when you travel. If the bookstore has every seat full with
people standing in the aisles, you may need extra books from your
personal supply. If the reading has a smaller crowd, maybe someone
there belongs to a book club. Someone may love your book so much
they want to buy 10 or 12 copies to give your book to their friends.
Yes, this happens.
- Have a bookmark printed with the name of the book, your name,
your E-mail, and your web site. Make sure your bookmark is beautifully
designed and give it to everyone who buys your book – or
may want to buy your book. Leave room on the bookmark to write
in your phone number, if you want to share it. Contact
us if you want our graphic designer to help you design your bookmark.
- Design a publicity packet. Ideally, this will be in a folder
with a postcard of the cover of your book on the cover. Inside,
you should have your bookmark, your press release, the quotes
praising your book from the back cover and from any reviews of
your books, copies of favorable reviews of your book, and a copy
of your book.
- Start your book tour in your local area. Then expand your circle
to areas further from home and in other cities and states you
want to visit. Always combine business with pleasure. Go out with
friends after your reading. If you’re traveling, go dancing
and enjoy the local culture and special places of that area.
- 2-3 weeks before your reading, send invitations by email to
everyone you know in the area. Ask them to invite their friends.
- Always have an E-mail list to sign for people to stay in touch
with you and hear about future books. Answer all of the fan mail
you receive. If someone has taken the time to write to you, it
means a lot to them to hear back from the author. You can meet
some amazing friends this way.
- If you give your book a lot of energy, do readings in bookstores,
writer’s groups, and living rooms of friends and family,
your book will do well.
A Word on Prosperity Consciousness:
Buy books from the writers who inspire you. If you want people
to buy your book, think affluently and support the writers you care
about. It gives the right signal to the universe.