14 Marketing and PR Tips for New Authors

Have you noticed that more books are being published than ever before? Is it because of the digital explosion of ChatGPT and other AI tools – or that it’s easier to create content? Do experts have more confidence in writing with digital backup in their back pockets?

Congrats if you’ve published a book or have been floating the idea for months or even years. Writing a book is a process that takes time, dedication, and effort. But without a marketing plan, you’re wasting time and resources, and not maximizing why you wrote a book in the first place!

Book Marketing or any Marketing 101 basic rule is to promote your product or service to target your ideal audience. Then, build and strengthen your personal brand so that it’s appealing and memorable. One way to do that is by fitting PR into your marketing plan to boost visibility.

With the influx of digital media, book marketing has gone far beyond traditional boundaries. It’s not just about book reviews in newspapers or book signings anymore; it’s about social media campaigns, blogger endorsements, and viral content.

Many authors don’t think they need to promote their book. They’ve written it and it’s sure to sell. “Build it and they will come.” Maybe not so much in the book publishing world. And that applies whether you’ve self-published or have a publishing house representing you.

In either case, it’s critical to be strategic with your marketing, build a well-thought-out PR and publicity campaign, and be consistent in your social media efforts. Other ideas?

14 Marketing and PR Tips to Promote Your Book

  1. Launch a well-designed website. As an author or a TV host or a podcaster, you need to create a persona that your target audience wants to connect with. But before all that, start by creating a well-designed website. It serves as a hub of information about you and your book. Make it easy for people to get to know you, and what you’re all about.
  2. Blog or Vlog to connect. Blogs can help you share updates, insights and behind the scenes content about your book and writing process. The same with video. Just be sure to write and speak in your voice and be as natural as possible. If you’re creating a YouTube channel, take advantage of the 5,000-word character space in the YouTube description box – and be specific about the call to actions you want your viewers to take.
  3. Stay in touch with email marketing. You might think, “why do I need as email list as an author?” Think of it this way. A prospective book buyer signs up because you’ve piqued their interest. They want to learn more. Even if you’re just emailing once or twice a month, you’re on their radar. Every author wants to connect with their audience.
  4. Create a Book Trailer. How many times have I heard – “Oh, that’s too advanced for me. I just want to sell my book to people I know.” OK, well it may be a hobby for you, but if you want to promote your expertise, build a client base, get more speaking gigs, write more books, travel and talk about what you love (your book) — think about creating a book trailer. You can outsource the project, find a freelancer who’s got solid experience, or put it together yourself after doing some research. You can even create a book trailer on Canva!
  5. Be consistent with social media. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? All the best intentions to be on social media mean nothing if you’re not consistent. Do you have to post 7 days a week? No. Start small by sharing content your audience is hungry for. Build from there. Not sure how? Look at your competitor’s social channels for starters.
  6. Don’t forget media releases. A well-written press release will help you build credibility, expert authority, earned media, and gain organic SEO. Plus, you’ll be able to use published links in your own marketing to share on social media, with bloggers, TV stations, partners, groups, associations, event planners, etc. Hint: Add a video link in your media release rather than embedding the video itself.
  7. Give an author interview. Be prepared to pitch your book and practice what you’ll say to reporters and journalists. You may want to create a media kit while you’re at it. Pitch interviews with local newspapers, radio shows, podcasts in your niche, and anyone worthwhile that will listen.
  8. Be a guest blogger. Blogging is one of the best ways to get known as an expert and an effective way to build organic SEO and external links. And depending on who’s doing the work, it’s also low-cost or no-cost, another benefit if you want to stretch your marketing budget. Take time to research blogs in your niche and learn how to write a friendly pitch.  Not sure how to find a blogger’s information? Read more about it here.
  9. Get on Amazon Author Central. If you’re selling your book on Amazon, jump on the Amazon Author Central brand wagon. It’s another free publicity tool to promote your book. Plus, you can add your blog, video, link to your website and more. Take a look at Michael Hyatt’s Author Central platform.Check out his sections: Home. About. All Books.
  10. Library Outreach. Most authors don’t think about getting their books in libraries. With so much to do, it’s at the bottom of their list. Start small with your local or regional library, and if you’re gaining momentum, consider national distribution. Your college library (where you went to school) or universities in the area are other places to contact. Here’s an article on how to get your book into libraries. You can even do book signings there, too.
  11. Look for Speaking Gigs. As part of your outreach campaign, look for groups, associations, events, or conferences where your topic aligns with the audience. Some local authors choose to have house parties to build a circle of influence and share the love with friends, families, and colleagues. Perhaps you know a micro-influencer or two who may want to support you, either in-person or online?
  12. Get book reviews. You don’t need to engage professional book reviewers, though you could, depending on the purpose of your book and goals. Give advance copies to designated readers, professional partners, or in pre-launch mode, ask for a review in exchange for an item of interest. Added value could include consultation time, autographed copies, access to high-value workshops or webinars. What ways can you build the buzz and get positive feedback online? That’s where it counts.
  13. Organize a book tour. Plan a series of events or appearances in your own city or expand where it makes sense. If you’ve already set up your event calendar and budget, map out the next six months and plan Phase 1, 2, and 3 activities. Align your book tour with a speaking tour, include a Meetup if you’re going out of town – or do it all online with a launch party.
  14. Create an Audiobook Version. Podcasts are growing like crazy and so are audiobooks. They reach a wider audience and are also popular with the library crowd. You may decide to record your own audiobook or hire a professional. Ask trusted friends for their input. There are so many styles and personalities to choose from. Male. Female. Friendly. Serious. Fun. Uplifting. And now, there’s Voice AI.

Remember, the most important aspect of all these marketing and PR strategies is to remain consistent, authentic, and engaging. Sometimes it’s hard to be patient and persistent when you want everything all at once. Building an audience and getting attention can take time. So, create a marketing plan that you can commit to and follow established guidelines.

The goal is to not only get your book out there, but to create a warm relationship with your readers, so they’ll become lifetime customers of your future books. Be creative and strategic with your marketing and PR to increase the visibility of your book, build your author brand, and ultimately, turn your literary dream into a reality.

If you’re building your brand, publishing a book or could use some PR pixie dust, here’s my calendar. Bookmark a call.

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MARKETING & PR EXPERT
As a small business owner for the last 20 years, I’ve gained experience, wisdom, insight, and knowledge to help you market yourself and your brand at a fraction of the cost. My focus is to use the same PR and promotional strategies used by bigger brands, and personalize them to fit your needs and goals.

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