Blogger: Kathleen Y’Barbo, Publicist
Location: The Woodlands, TX Publicity Office
Weather: Rainy and 65 degrees
Last week I touched on a few ways to carve out time to publicize your book. This week I’d like to take a look at what can you, a writer, do to get your book noticed? That is, what are your PR talents?
Before you answer “none,” let’s think about that. You’re a writer. Perhaps your skills translate to press releases. You will never know until you give one a try. Many good resources show how to write releases. For example, Bill Stoller has a great step-by-step page on his website: http://www.publicityinsider.com/release.asp.
After you’ve written the release, where do you send it? Start with your local newspapers. Most have websites with information on their requirements and even email addresses for staff members. From there, go regional by doing a search for papers in the larger cities around you. The sky’s the limit here, though you should only send the release to one employee of each paper at a time. To blanket multiple sources at one media outlet is not only a bad idea, but it also will brand the sender as a novice.
So your writing skills don’t lend themselves to press releases? What about scheduling speaking events? Or mentoring? Do you like helping other writers learn their craft? Then get out there and do workshops. You don’t think of that as marketing? Word-of-mouth is still the best way to get a buzz started about your books, and what better way to generate some talk than to speak to writers–who are by their very nature, readers?
Not ready to speak at writers conferences? Perhaps you can offer your skills in a smaller venue such as your local book club or women’s or MOPS group. These sorts of events serve the dual purpose of getting your name out and offering a book table that will hopefully generate sales.
Another great marketing tool for those of you who are tech savvy is your website. Keep the content fresh and, above all, be professional. It is, after all, your calling card and should represent not only you but also what you write.
These are just a few ideas of ways to tame the marketing monster by using your skills. Next week I’l wrap up my discussion by talking about cost-effective ways to get out the word. In the meantime, I’d love to know what sorts of publicity you’ve learned to do, whether effectively or not.