- Created on Tuesday, 28 July 2009 08:20 28 July 2009
- Last Updated on Friday, 13 December 2013 22:22 13 December 2013
- Written by Irene Watson Irene Watson
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You finally did it. You spent years writing your book. You did your homework to publish it. You even built a website, and the local bookstore agreed to host a book signing. So what’s next? How will people know to visit the bookstore or your website to buy your book? How do you transition from closet writer to highly visible author?
The ways to make yourself visible are endless. Begin by creating a viral word-of-mouth marketing plan. No one will know about your book until you tell people about it. The more you tell, the more word will spread. Here are a few key ways to get the word out and achieve author visibility:
Book Reviews: Readers depend on book reviews to decide which books to buy. With half a million books published each year, reviews from reliable reviewers will make your book stand out. Some reliable book reviewers online include Reader Views, Review the Book, RebeccasReads, Feathered Quill, and Best Sellers World. These companies offer reasonably priced book reviews and additional publicity packages, including author interviews, press releases, book videos, and blog tours. Don’t forget to become a book reviewer yourself. Review books on Amazon with similar topics to yours. Sign the reviews with your name and book, for example—Irene Watson , author of “The Sitting Swing: Finding Wisdom to Know the Difference.”
Radio Interviews: Hundreds of blog talk radio stations are looking for guests. These Internet podcast programs are easy and fun to do—you can be interviewed over the phone from home. Do a search for Internet radio programs relevant to your topic. Also try your local radio stations—don’t forget Public Radio. Another great radio resource is Authors Access Internet radio, of which I am the co-host. We interview authors about various writing, publishing, and marketing topics. Come listen and learn about how to sell books. Submit an idea for a show to us—we’re always looking for new informative guests. And be sure to check out our book “Authors Access: 30 Success Secrets for Publishers and Authors.” Once you get radio interviews down, try for TV!
Speeches: Many authors are introverts, yet you need to be in the public eye to sell your book. Don’t just sit behind a table at your book signing—give a presentation! Find groups to give speeches to—whether it’s the local rotary club or a Fortune 500 company—seek out any organization potentially interested in your topic. If you feel uncomfortable talking in front of people, join your local chapter of Toastmasters International —an easy way to practice giving speeches with friendly support.
Book Videos: Everyday millions of people visit YouTube. Put a book video on your website, YouTube, and anywhere else. Book videos are like film previews—they give a taste of the book. Reader Views provides this service at a reasonable price. Visit their website for samples and the different packages available.
Social networking: Social networking is a free and fun way to spread the word about your book. A MySpace or Facebook page can reach tens of thousands of people. Once you build a profile, search for people you know—you’ll probably find half your high school class. Add everyone you can and leave comments on their pages. Use your book cover as your profile picture so it shows up with all your comments. With your comment, leave a link to your website—you want people to go where they can buy your book. Twitter, of course, is the hottest thing right now. It’s like a mini-blog where you can quickly leave the latest message about your book, upcoming events, or give opinions on relevant topics. It can be tied into Facebook so you don’t need to post twice.
Blog: Create a following with a blog. Use Twitter to let people know when a new blog is created. To make your blog effective, be informative and post at least three times a week. It’s quick and fun—a few hundred words per post is enough. Capture blog subscribers. Even old blogs will come up in Google searches to find new readers.
Website: Keep improving your website. Post new information continually. Websites with frequent new content place higher in search engine rankings. You may want to incorporate your blog into it for this reason. Make your website user-friendly with only a couple of clicks to maneuver from one page to another. Write easy-to-read, short paragraphs. Link to websites with similar content. Most importantly, make it very clear how to buy your book. You may want to listen to an interview with me about targeting your website marketing to personas.
Press Releases: Send out press releases for anything newsworthy—awards you won, speaking engagements, how current news events relate to your book. Media (TV, radio, newspapers) websites have press release submission forms to make things easy. Several websites accept press releases for free.
Articles: As an author, you’re an expert on your topic. Submit articles to magazines, ezines, journals, and newspapers about your topic. Make sure you get a byline listing you as author of your book. If you write fiction, you can still submit articles. Historical novelists can submit to history publications, fantasy novelists might contribute to fantasy or children’s magazines.
Be Creative: Design your own clothing—Café Press is a great resource where you can make your own t-shirts or hats. Your body is a marketing tool! Put bumper stickers on your car with your website on it. Leave a copy of your book on your car dashboard. Leave book brochures and business cards on restaurant tables, restroom counters, or in tourist brochure stands. Never pass up an opportunity to talk about your book!
Learn from what you do—if something doesn’t work after a couple of tries, try something else. Don’t give up. Be in the book marketing business for the long haul and your visibility will be achieved.
I hope to see you and your book around soon!
Irene Watson, MA, is the Managing Editor of Reader Views and its subsidiaries. She is the author of The Sitting Swing: Finding Wisdom to Know the Difference , and co-editor of The Story that Must Be Told: True Tales of Transformation, and Authors Access: 30 Success Secrets for Authors and Publishers. Irene lives in Austin, TX, with her husband Robert.