Book marketing to national media has becomes increasingly competitive. We’ve seen a dramatic increase in how effectively indie authors have been able to leverage their communities and local media.
Don’t get caught up in Amazon ranking and social media schedules.
As an indie author, part of your focus should be local. Build your brand. Reach new readers. Nurture relationships with super fans that will support you for the long haul.
Establish yourself as a must-follow local indie author if you live in a vibrant, civic-minded part of the country. Incorporate this into your long-term book marketing plan.
Know Your Reader
You should already know your target reader like your best friend. (If not, download my FREE reader profile worksheet here!) Consider whether that person changes at all when you move them from the virtual world to the real world.
Where does your target reader hang out locally? Do they shop at particular types of stores? What activities or groups might they be apart of?
Let the answers to these questions inspire you. Look for unique places to hold author events. Find opportunities to get involved in similar activities. Garner local media attention on occasion in your book marketing plan.
Focus on Events and Activities
What events, organizations or businesses, both local and regional, cater to your target reader and their interests?
Check the local events calendar of your newspaper.
Find a local media website dedicated to events happening around town. If you live in a popular area for tourists, you can be sure to find one.
Check the events tab on Facebook. Facebook is becoming a popular hub for finding local events and activities. See what’s happening in your local area today!
Complete your list of events and activities that will compliment your goals as an author. Make the contact with the businesses. Explain who you are and what you do. Immerse yourself (and your book) into your community.
Make Yourself Newsworthy
Create a list of local and regional media that covers local businesses, artists and lifestyle & entertainment topics.
Most news outlets, publications and radio shows have a set process for pitching story ideas. Do the research. Follow their rules. Pitch yourself in a way that makes you stand out.
Get creative with your book marketing! There are over 4,500 books published every day so just having a book will not be newsworthy. Involve yourself with the community. You’ll find a myriad of angles to work from, the more involved you are.
Be the Life of the Party
Compile a list of potential venues for an author event.
Places like bookstores that do indie author events all the time are a go-to. Think outside the box. You’ll surprise yourself with how receptive non-bookstore venues can be.
Maybe your readers frequent a local brewery or wine bar? Visit a coffee shop that does live music. Find a venue that is well versed in planning and hosting events. Contact your local YMCA, if you have a book that interests parents and children.
Do Some Competitive Book Marketing Research
You should already have a short list of your competition. These indie authors write in your genre, are at a similar level, not yet at bestselling status, but hungry.
Start one if you don’t have one already. This will come in handy when researching book marketing strategies.
Check out their websites and social media. See what kinds of events and activities they’re promoting to their fans. Study your competition. Find inspiration.
Focus on local events.
Yes, these are great to add to your resume however there’s a process to get to that level. Very, very few indie authors get to skip those steps. I challenge you to find one.
I’ve worked with a lot of authors, both indie and traditionally published. Most are surprised at what little return they get from big coverage.
Most are shocked that they didn’t see a spike in sales or social media follows.
Personal connections are still the most valuable ones you can make.
Drum up local interest and support for your work. Keep at your local book marketing. Grow it into regional interest. Build your following as you continue to publish books and you’ll soon find that national coverage won’t seem so pie in the sky.
Contact us if you’re still stumped or if you just need personalized attention. We can help you assess whether you are ready for big media!