Many times when your book is first published it’s easy to keep the promotion momentum alive – you’re excited about its release & may even have a publicist. People are talking about it! The preview copy is in the hands of the literati! But what about a little later on? If you’re not dedicated to your book’s promotion machine, no one else will be (unless you pay them, which is just another form of dedication).
In hindsight, my clients have said that the easiest part of the process of being an author is writing their book(s). The hardest part, and the part they didn’t necessarily count on, was the marketing effort on their part to make sure people know about it so that it actually sells. And we’re talking about more than just having a website, which I shouldn’t have to tell you is a requirement.
To keep the momentum alive well after the initial release, you can do things like take yourself on a “virtual book tour” without leaving your chair. Of course you can always pay other people to do this for you, but the internet makes it relatively simple to do it yourself if you know where to spend the time.
To keep your book in the news long after its launch, here are a few ideas…
1. Make sure people know you’re an expert. Offer yourself as a journalistic source:
2. Leverage your book’s content into multiple subsequent offerings. This depends a bit on what you write about, but if you’re an non-fiction author perhaps new research or news sheds new light on your topic and you can write about that. If you’re a fiction author perhaps there’s a short story with your characters released for the holidays, or quarterly between books in a series. Leveraging work you’ve already done to keep people interested in what you’ve already written, but also as a bridge to what you write next is a great way to engage an audience over time.
3. If you get a mention in a publication, follow up! Leave a comment, email the author & link back to your website. Even if the mention is about your topic, but not about you or your book, get in touch with the author to give your perspective. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small-reach blog or a national newspaper, it’s worth it!
4. Provide a way to keep in touch with your readership and the media. Build a mailing list (I recommend MailChimp.com) for a newsletter, or a tip-of-the-week, or whatever else you dream up, but be sure you’re offering something interesting, helpful & relevant.
5. Write articles or whitepapers. There are lots of online article aggregators – they take content written as articles and categorize it and make it searchable to the public. Expand on an idea in your book or come up with a new one to write about – no one wants stale content. Be sure to link back to your website and mention your book in the attribution. You can also target journals or magazines that cover your genre. If you make it timely (namely, around a holiday) information, you’re likely to gain some additional buzz. It could even be in presentation mode, or as a video.
6. Get interviewed. This can sound much more daunting than it actually is, but there are lots of podcasts and radio shows that are actively looking for experts to interview. If you can’t find a podcast that would be right for you, then you can always create your own: Blog Talk Radio – all it requires is a computer and a microphone. Or, search for existing podcasts: Podcast Alley or in the iTunes Store. Visit their websites and find out if they have an existing submission process for prospective guests.
7. Get local. Local media outlets love to support local talent, this means that your hometown newspaper, NPR station, or TV station are great places to let know about your expertise. And if you’re traveling, do the same for your destination location! Put any information about where people can find you via these outlets on your website.
You don’t have to do *all* of these to benefit from them, just pick a handful that you think you can dedicate yourself to and then get out there and get marketing!