The Importance of Publicity

As all aspiring authors who have managed to complete their manuscript know, writing a book is the easy part, getting people to read it is where the work truly begins.

I am a private person by nature; my ideal day is being home alone wearing a tracksuit, slippers and a plate of food (this is a skill I have mastered). Because of this I thoroughly enjoy online marketing and thoroughly detest marketing that requires me to be physically present.


MISTAKE # 1: Readers want to connect to the author as well as their book

As tempting as it is to fire off emails, launch advertising campaigns and chat on forums from the safety of your home – while these tactics definitely have a place in marketing your book – it is far more important to get out of your pyjamas and into the real world.

A few weeks ago I was invited to a charity event, while I was excited to participate, it did not even cross my mind that it would be an opportunity to market my book.


MISTAKE # 2: Every interaction you have is an opportunity to market

I was introduced to a radio personality who mentioned that he was creating a new segment and was looking for presenters and content. I immediately started chatting about my book and how my past career experience would be an asset to the show. The result? I was invited to join.

The event was hosted at a store that luckily stocked my book – I ran downstairs, bought a copy and gave it to my new best friend.


MISTAKE # 3: Always have copies of your paperback in your car or other marketing material available for your ebook

Because the Internet affords us a global reach, we tend to dismiss our immediate community and environment. It can be a rich source of exposure for your book. I was reminded of this the other day when I was facilitating a workshop on ePublishing.

One of the participants shyly approached me to ask for a copy of my book, as his wife was pregnant.


MISTAKE # 4: You never know who will be a potential reader

Every author who has ever made a successful career out of writing has one thing in common: they are well known. Except for the extremely rare exception they didn’t achieve this by staying at home.

If a big name has published you then you would have a team of professionals to organise book signings, tours and author interviews. The big publishing houses know how important it is to have a physical presence as well as a digital one when it comes to marketing books.


For self-published authors we need to create this publicity ourselves:

  • Look for local events in your area that you could speak at or have a little stand to showcase your books.
  • Call your local newspaper and radio stations and offer your expertise and a book giveaway.
  • Say YES to invitations (even if it is to an art gallery at the local school) you never know whom you might meet.
  • Please don’t spam people in person, but don’t be shy about mentioning your book either – especially if the opportunity presents itself.

Publicity is a key component in your book marketing campaign – so get out there and be public!

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