One tried and true question we get from authors is how to promote a book to the media. Today’s post is a recap of “The Secrets to Getting More Media for Your Book,” which we covered in Episode 11 (Part 1) and Episode 12 (Part 2) on our Book Marketing Tips & Author Success podcast.
We go deep in our discussion about this important topic for authors trying to figure out how to promote a book, so be sure to download and listen to the shows for all the details, recommendations, and considerations!
Mastering the Media
The first thing that a lot of authors ask me is “How do I get on the Today Show?” But if you look closely at any big national talk show, you’ll see that most of them stay pretty close to the bestseller list for nonfiction book segments and, unless they have a dedicated book club, offer very little on-camera time to fiction authors and books.
Any author you see on big media is a household name – you know their names even if you haven’t read their books, so keep that in mind when considering how to promote a book.
It makes so much more sense to be realistic, to understand that you need to build your media chops, and to choose targets that you might actually get a yes from instead of spending a ton of time pitching long shots.
If you want to know how to promote a book, keep two main rules in mind: pitch your book to markets that are a good fit and be creative in the way you pitch.
A lot of authors like to just throw stuff out there and see what sticks, but that’s a bad way of pitching yourself because you can easily get blackballed in media. You have to be super careful and thoughtful about who you pitch and when.
Assume you only get so many contacts with a single news outlet or individual. Do you want to waste any of those as a brand new author with a relatively unknown platform? Or do you want to build your reputation first and improve your chances?
How to Promote a Book
Nonfiction authors can use news alerts to ground themselves in how competitive their field is. Check out the people who are getting interviewed.
I’m willing to bet they already have a solid platform behind them, they’re putting out content, they have at least one great social media account, and they’ve put in the work to get where they are. Use them as your models for how to promote a book.
If you write fiction you can increase your opportunities by tying what you write into a non-fiction topic that’s still relevant and interesting to your target market. Get creative!
Think about what inspired your story: is it something you’re passionate about? A life experience you’ve had and want to share? A social issue you’re committed to addressing?
Present these ideas to lifestyle bloggers and to local media as a way to add depth to your brand.
Beyond Book Media
I adore trade media. Yes, these magazines and online portals might be off the radar screens of general consumers, but if you have a topic that’s specific to a particular business market, I can almost guarantee you there’s a publication for that. And they are always looking for content.
If they fit your topic, trade media should be at the top of any How to Promote a Book brainstorming list. When you’re building your resume, nothing is too small. In fact, lots of seemingly “small” opportunities really stand out when you take the next step to promote your book.
Media draws media; the more media you do, the more you’ll get. In fact, Chicken Soup for the Soul started that way – the authors never turned down a single interview, and that’s how they built their empire. Aside from the uplifting books, of course!
For more tips and information on how to promote a book, don’t forget to give Episodes 11 and 12 of the podcast a listen. And should you need further assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to discuss how AME can work with you on a successful book marketing and promotion campaign.
Resources and Downloads