Guest Author: Iris Waichler
All authors know that unless you have the right name (you know what they are) it is a challenge to spread the word and get the press you need to sell your book. Here are some helpful ideas I used to assist you in marketing your book and promoting your visibility.
1. Enter book awards contests. You can see in my biography that my books won multiple awards. There are numerous book awards you can find on line for your genre. It usually costs little to enter. The rewards are great if you win. They include multiple press releases which are sent out all over the country, on websites with international exposure, and in other publications. Awards do offer advertising materials like stickers for your books. Free publicity heightens your visibility and does increase book sales.
2. Research and understand your publishing options. The publishing world has changed enormously in the last 10 years. The bad news is publishing companies are going out of business or merging with the top companies. They are publishing fewer books. They are reluctant to spend money on new or unknown authors. The good news is there are lots more options for you including self publishing and digital books. Think about the publishing path you will choose and create a marketing plan around it.
3. Build a good platform. Your platform is who you are and how powerfully you say it. You have to show people why your book is special and unique. You have a limited amount of money you can spend marketing yourself. Choose wisely on costs like book covers, websites, marketing items like bookmarkers, posters, etc.
4. Get reviewed. It costs you nothing to get reviewed except the cost of sending a copy of your book to the reviewer. I wrote a book on infertility, went on line, and found websites that discussed infertility. I contacted them and asked if they would interview me or review my book. I also contacted places like Midwest Book Review and local newspapers about reviewing my book. They need content. This works!
5. Use Amazon to help your sales. Go to Amazon and find other books like yours. Write a review on the book. You can mention your name and your book in the review. People read these reviews. It’s a way to get noticed by people interested in your topic.
6. Do local author events. Contact local booksellers in your area to see about doing an author event. Emphasize you are a local author. If they are reluctant to do an event for only you, suggest they do an event highlighting a panel of local authors. If you wrote a cookbook, perhaps you can do a joint event with someone doing a cooking demonstration. Invite friends and family to fill the space.
7. Use Google and Yahoo. Stay in touch with your specific book market. Create Google and Yahoo alerts using keywords and books/magazines in your genre. I have Google alerts for my name and book titles. If someone mentions me I try to contact them to thank them. If an article or book discusses something I have expertise on, I will comment and get visibility there. I have gotten marketing opportunities by doing this.
8. Blogging. There are hundreds of thousands of blogs. I constantly watch for infertility or author blogs. Create your own blog or if you don’t have the time or inclination offer to write an article for an existing blog that focuses on your book topic. Ask the blogger to let you do a bio so you can advertise your book. They are always looking for fresh ideas.
9. Discover HARO. HARO stands for Help a Reporter Out. It was started by Peter Shankman. He wanted to create a vehicle for media people to find experts to help them with stories. It is hugely popular and boasts over a hundred thousand journalists now who use it to find sources. It is free to become a member. You have to be honest about your expertise and you pitch media people who make topic requests. I was able to write an article for Redbook as a result of HARO and have had many other opportunities there.
10. Create speaking opportunities. I look for conferences that may be promotional opportunities. I have spoken at author workshops and have done conferences on infertility topics where I have sold many books. Use social media, newspapers, and magazines to find conferences on topics that your book focuses on and contact them about participating.
Iris Waichler has won 4 awards for her book, Riding the Infertility Roller Coaster: A Guide to Educate and Inspire, including best book awards from the National Association of Parenting Publications and a Mom’s Choice award. She co-authored A Book is Born, which is the recipient of 6 awards including a silver award for Book of the Year from Foreword Magazine. She currently does articles for National Magazines, Demand Media, and fertilityauthority.com.