Frugal Publicity, Where Should You Spend?
Guest Post by Susan Violante
There are so many ways to get your book out there; many of us will have trouble picking which ones to go with. In my own experience, availability of funds had the biggest say on what I would do myself and what would require the services of someone else.
1) My first step was to make a list of what I considered to be vital for my book to get out there.
2) Then I picked the ones that I could do myself online and off line such as: Social Media (Face Book, Twitter, LinkedIn), Blog, Website, Articles, Local open mikes, Book Clubs and other appearances and events.
3) I picked what I couldn’t or didn’t want to do myself, such as: Book Review, Book Trailer, Contact Media, Press Kit, etc.
4) It was then that I compared my budget to the cost of the publicity services I needed, and the prioritization began.
Following are some tips on prioritizing:
- Book reviews are the foundation for many other publicity efforts, so it is the best way to begin. The best way to get book reviews is my contacting bloggers, and signing up for awards. Many bloggers will do the review for free, but you still need to send them a copy of the book, so make sure you include copies for review in your budget. Literary Awards fees can also add up, so research the contests and choose the one that works better with your budget.
- Another great way to get publicity is through Blog Tours. This is when establishing relationships pay off, as you contact independent bloggers and offer them a couple of copies for their giveaway and ask them to post the book review on their blog, or offer them a book for them to review. There are also blog tour packages offered by publicity agencies that are affordable and effective to get your book out. Here at Reader Views, we have been doing our homework on Bloggers and have put together a group of professional and high traffic blogs for our New and Improved Blog Tour package, which will be launched within the month of February or March.
- I found the best way to spark interest on your book is through a book trailer. These can be pricey, but if done correctly and if promoted through You Tube and other video websites, can generate interest. There are many types of trailers, for example, some are slides, and some are mini-movies. The important thing is to make sure to have the voice of a narrator in order to be able to convert the trailer into a MP3 audio clip which can be used to advertise you book on internet radio and interview podcasts. This type of conversion will be soon offered at Reader Views, and if the Trailer already has the narration covered, costs to generate the audio clip will be lower.
- Finally, the question we all have in our mind is how do we get the media to spread the word? Contacting the media is the biggest challenge all authors have. They have their own agenda and calendar, so without knowing what their program for the year looks like, getting their interest is almost impossible. Bit still, there are a few things you can do. You can get a publicity coach to get you in contact with some media, and then establish a relationship with the media directly. The coach can make sure that you have all the tools necessary in place for an interview as an expert on your local TV, air waves or online radio, and press. Also, make sure you have all your information in one place to make it easy for the producer to get information about you. Another way is through e-catalogs like firstchapterplus.com which is distributed not only to Bookstores and Libraries, but also the Media or e-directories like Help a Reporter where authors can answer to the media search for experts, and which subscription is free of cost.
In the end, once you have a plan in your mind, just pick the resources that best fit your goals and budget, and keep it going. Consistency when promoting is critical, but anything in your plan can be modified. If you tried something and find that it is not working, drop it, get the creativity juices flowing and find a different angle to get the book out there.
Susan Violante is the author of Innocent War: Behind an Immigrant’s Past, speaker, Blogger, Host of her online radio show I Have Something to Say Live, and Managing Editor for Reader Views and First Chapter Plus. For more information about Susan visit www.susanviolante.com