By Evan Carmichael on July 9th, 2010
Ask Evan is a segment on this blog where I answer reader questions. This week’s question comes from Pat:
My greatest challenge right now is promoting my paperback, Run For Your Life. It can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. and has received some nice reviews. But the problem is getting it known by more and more readers without breaking my budget.
I would appreciate all the help I can get.
For starters you can read my Ask Evan post last week where I discussed how to promote your business with no money. I’m going to add to that by offering a few additional tips that can help you showcase your book.
1) Use the Media
This can be critical for any business owner. Think about when you pick up a newspaper or visit a website – do you read the content or do you read the ads? Of course you are there to read the content.
While advertising can work, you’ll get a lot more leverage if you can get a story written about you and the best part is, it’s free! If you’re an author then you are an expert in your field and you should be able to provide expert opinions on related topics.
All you have to do is look for opportunities and present yourself to the media as the go-to expert. You can either build your own media list and pitch reporters with story ideas (NOT press releases, genuine stories they would be interested in) or use a service like Help A Reporter Out (Free) or PR Leads ($99 / month). I used PR Leads, for example, to get into the New York Times which was always a goal of mine.
Bloggers are always looking for great content to add and often run into writer’s block for what to publish next – you could be the answer for them!
2) Involve the Bloggers
If you’re promoting your book online through Amazon then you need to get bloggers involved to help you out. Seek out bloggers who are in your industry and offer to do a guest post for them. Pitch them a story idea that would be of interest to their readers and under your article you’ll get the promotion back to your book.
Bloggers are always looking for great content to add and often run into writer’s block for what to publish next – you could be the answer for them! Again, make sure it’s value-add content and not just a promo for your book. If there is no value to them, they won’t publish it.
Bloggers can also get involved by doing a book giveaway as a contest, interviewing you about what’s in your book, doing a book review, etc – your imagination is the only limit!
You need to find a way to stay relevant and continue the momentum – a good way to do this is to start a blog and talk about issues that relate to your book.
3) Keep the Momentum Going
Most authors will do a ton of work to get the book launched – they’ll tell everybody they know, ask them to do reviews online, try to become an Amazon best seller for the day and then the momentum dies off.
You need to find a way to stay relevant and continue the momentum – a good way to do this is to start a blog and talk about issues that relate to your book. A good example is Gretchen Rubin who wrote The Happiness Project. The book has received a lot of attention and Gretchen continued the momentum by starting a blog.
Gretchen’s book is about finding happiness so she blogs about new discoveries she makes about happiness. She’ll also comment on new studies that come out and other people’s opinions on happiness. She maintains her relevancy through the blog and allows the momentum to continue. If you’re an author then writing is one of your skills and having a blog should be a natural extension of your book.
A final ideas is to also check out the P.T. Barnum promotion blog post for more ideas and inspiration: How to Promote Your Business like P.T. Barnum.
Good luck Pat!
Readers, do you have any other ideas for Pat? Have you used the media or bloggers to promote your business? Have you seen other authors have successes that you can share?
I’d love to hear your thoughts if you leave a comment below!
Photo Credit: Celine Chamberlin
Tags: amazon, barnes, blog, bloggers, budget, business owner, greatest challenge, how to promote your business, leverage, Money, New York Times, pitch, promoting your book, reader questions, segment, showcase, starters, story idea, story ideas