Two days ago, I shared 11 book publishing tips I learned from book shepherd Judith Briles, book distribution expert Amy Collins and social media expert Georgia McCabe, who presented with me on the recent Publishing at Sea cruise to the western Caribbean.
Today, I’m sharing 11 things I taught during my own presentations. Here they are, in no particular order:
1. Create a profile and participate on book review and book recommendation sites such as Goodreads.
Millions of readers are on these sites, searching for books to read and looking for their friends’ recommendations. You no longer have to rely only on book reviews from traditional media. Many book review sections in major newspapers and magazines are shrinking, or they have disappeared.
The Goodreads Author Program offers several tools and tips for promoting yourself and your book.
2. Research journalists and bloggers before you pitch.
This will help you find juicy details about each person you’re pitching, and you can work those details into your pitch. You must send the message, “I know who you are, I know what you need and I’m here to help you.”
In yesterday’s ezine, The Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week, I wrote a sample book review pitch. See Item #1, “How to Fix a Lousy Pitch.”
3. If you want publicity, think beyond traditional media.
Don’t just pitch reporters, editors, freelancers, photographers and broadcasters. Pitch podcasters, ezine editors, bloggers, and experts who host Google Hangouts.
4. Use Google Search, the best replacement for expensive media directories.
Looking for the top mommy bloggers? Search Google for “top 20 mommy bloggers.” Or look for niche blogger directories. (See Item #1).
I also taught authors how to find the name of a blogger’s dog, cat or kid in 60 seconds.
5. Check out PressPass.me, a live directory of journalists organized by beat, outlet and region.
This site lets you ask them if you can connected. You can also follow them, share a tip, pitch, and send a tweet!
6. Save time blogging by writing about frequently-asked-questions you see in your email.
When you find yourself answering someone’s question, do a quick cut and paste and use the answer as the basis for a blog post.
You don’t always need to start from scratch. Be aware of all the opportunities to repurpose your content.
7. Before you pitch anyone, look for clues about them on their social media streams.
Do they tweet? If so, scan their tweets for clues about topics they think are important. Do they welcome pitches on their Facebook page? Many don’t, but some do.
Do they blog? If so, you’ve struck gold! Leave a comment or two at their blog a few days before you pitch. Here’s an excellent example of how personal details in your pitch is your ticket to publicity.
8. Submit your book to be reviewed in the Library Journal.
The Library Journal publishes about 8,000 reviews a year of books, ebooks, audiobooks, and videos/DVDs. No textbooks, kids’ books or technical books.
Send your book three to four months before the publication date. See how to submit titles to the LJ Book Review.
Because of the economy and other reasons, libraries are seeing a surge in patrons. Finding your book in a library might be how a reader learns about you.
9. Pitch freelancers who review books.
Freelancers are excellent contacts for you because they write for multiple publications and websites. I love the Society of Professional Journalists Freelancer Directory. It lets you search by city, state or specialty and includes contact information for most of the freelancers.
A freelancer who reviews your book might use you as a source for the next article an editor buys.
10. Guest blog for other high-traffic blogs that reach your target market.
This is a fabulous way to let people outside your circle of fans learn about you.
Here are 10 famous blogs for guest posting. Pitch these only if your topic is a good fit. You can also offer yourself as a guest blogger, or find guest bloggers, via BloggerLinkup, a free service.
11. It’s OK to be overwhelmed, but don’t let it paralyze you.
Authors on our six-day cruise said we overwhelmed them with fabulous content. We weren’t surprised to hear that because we’re overwhelmed, too, when we attend these kinds of training sessions as audience members.
My advice when you’re overwhelmed: Choose only three things and put them on your to-do list.
Mark them off one by one as you complete them, and choose three more. That’s what I’m doing. The to-do list I brought home with me has more than 50 items on it, most of them things I learned from the other three presenters!
OK, authors and publishers, it’s your turn. Let’s hear about your best book publicity or promotion tip in the Comments section. And don’t forget to share this post with your friends, followers and fans.