A subscriber wrote me, “Mostly I need to learn how to promote my books. I am good at writing but a novice at promoting.”
Is that you?
Authors tend to like being solitary. After all, writing is basically something you do by yourself.
Promotion is the process of connecting with others — and encouraging them to connect with you. It isn’t something you do by yourself.
Accept the fact that you need to connect with others to promote your books. It might feel scary, but you just need to set up a step-by-step system and follow it.
Find where likely readers hang out
Luckily, you don’t need to promote to people who are not likely to be interested in your books. This is a good thing, because you’ll get more support and fewer rejections when you stick to people who are already interested in the topic of your books.
I’m not sure how to do this with a fiction book, but for a non-fiction book, you just need to find existing groups, and blogs involved in the same or a related topic.
- Social media and industry groups
Start hanging out in these locations and then start making connections. What does that mean?
- Join and contribute in social media and industry groups. Start developing connections with people who might either become readers or who might introduce you to readers.
- Read and comment on blog posts.
Spend 15 minutes a day doing this, Monday through Friday.
In groups and in blogs, you’ll find other entrepreneurs who cover the same or similar topics. Connect with them on social media (friend them in Facebook, invite them to connect in LinkedIn, etc.)
Start developing a list of people you might want to partner with and contact them to set up a time to talk. Have a discussion about how you can help each other out.
Perhaps you can each recommend the other to your followers. Or write a guest blog post. Or even do a webinar together.
Are you afraid of speaking?
Speaking is a powerful way to connect with potential readers of your books. I know that some writers are uncomfortable with speaking, but here are some tips to get started in a non-threatening way.
Start with online audio venues first. These are podcasts, Blog Talk Radio shows, etc. The advantage is that you don’t see your audience and they don’t see you–this makes speaking easier for people who are nervous about it.
Many hosts need guests every week and use an interview format. They’ll give you the questions in advance so you can prepare! And they try to make their guests look good, so they’re very supportive.
It’s pretty easy to get online guest speaking gigs. Here are some ideas:
Install iTunes and search for podcasts in your field. Listen to a few episodes and contact hosts that are relevant.
Go to BlogTalkRadio.com and do the same.
Here are 3 more podcast directories:
Go to the “Shameless Mutual Self Promotion of Colleagues,” “Live Video Guest Exchange,” and “Podcast Guest Exchange” Facebook groups, ask to join, and then offer to speak with a description of your topic, website, etc. You can also find people looking for speakers.
There are websites that try to match hosts and speakers and I haven’t tried these, but they may help you:
After you get comfortable with audio only, you can move on to live video format and webinars. Although I prefer to use the webcam when I do webinars so that people can see me, most people don’t do this so you can hide behind the slides if you want to.
Make it a habit
There are many other techniques — growing your own email list, creating your own events and placing Facebook ads, for example. But you can go far by joining online communities, partnering, and speaking.
Set up a schedule and do a little each week to find online groups, find potential partners, and find speaking opportunities. Soon, your fame will spread far and wide!
What are your challenges to promoting your books, products or services? What has worked for you? Leave a comment and please share this post with your friends using the Share buttons here.