Free Book Publicity
There are hundreds of ways you could be promoting your new book. If you had the time – and the money – you’d probably be doing ALL of them.
But what if you don’t? What if you’re on a tight budget or you’re just too busy to do everything you could be doing to promote your new book?
These four tried and true methods of getting great book publicity are at the top of our list. Do these first, then choose other methods of marketing your book as your bandwidth increases:
- Take it slow – slow PR that is.
- Giving your book away is a great way to get people to buy it.
- A picture really is worth a thousand words.
- Give them an inch, they’ll buy a mile.
Want to learn more? Visit www.PitchRate.com.
Take it slow – slow PR that is.
Heard of the Slow Money and Slow Food movements? Slow PR exists too. And it’s all about building and maintaining relationships with the media. If it’s a fit, they DO want to hear from you! Gone are the days of distributing all your news through press releases and non-targeted pitching through list services. For a personal touch, follow these steps:
- Do your research to identify your media ‘wish list’ – 10 to 20 of your favorite magazines, TV shows, radio stations, news sites or blogs – those venues that you think might be interested in your message.
- Simply contact the appropriate editor at each of your wish list venues. Journalist’s contact details are often listed publicly online. If you can’t find an email address or phone number right away, do some digging. You’ll almost always find their Twitter handle (direct messaging is best).
- Make it personal by mentioning a recent article or segment of theirs that you liked, or by commenting on a topic they’re discussing on their Facebook timeline.
Remember, making first contact with the media people on your ‘wish list” is just the beginning. Just as the slow food movement is a celebration of traditional and regional cuisine and the preservation of the farming of plants, seeds, and livestock, slow PR is all about the cultivation of meaningful media relationships over time. As the pace of the media continues to increase, it’s becoming increasingly effective to slow down the speed in which we want the media to respond with coverage. And by trading quantity for quality, that media coverage will likely resonate more with your target audience and likely produce more book sales for you. Taking your time to build solid media relationships is the quickest way to PR success.
Giving your book away is a great way to get people to buy it.
No, we’re not talking about giving away your book to everyone! But bloggers LOVE to host giveaways. It gives their readers extra incentive to participate on their blog and social media channels, by posting comments, sharing images, and liking pages – all common requirements of entering contests. Giving bloggers a few copies of your book to give away as part of a contest prize is a great way to get exposure for your book. Not all blogs are a perfect fit for you, though. Here are three ways to vet a blog before deciding whether to offer copies of your book as a contest prize:
- Does the blog audience match your audience? Look through the content already posted on the blog you’re vetting. Is that content the type of content your target audience is likely to read? Is it compelling content? Maybe you’re a children’s book author looking to promote your latest illustrated book intended for toddlers. A parenting blog might be a great fit for you. On the other hand, a blog that reviews and gives away books about murder mysteries or espionage is not the place for you.
- Does the blogger have reach? Once again, look at the blog you’re vetting. Are there lots of comments on each post or are there crickets chirping in the background? Is there adequate website traffic to indicate this blog has a substantial audience? (Use Alexa.com to get a reading on this.) Does this blogger have lots of Facebook fans and Twitter followers, and does the blogger have lots of activity from those fans and followers in social media? (Think comments, likes, shares, reTweets, etc.)
- Will it benefit your SEO? Most bloggers will post a review of your book along with the contest – and that review will likely contain a link back to your website for more information (and to buy your book!). Look at the Google Page Rank of that blog to determine if you’ll get any SEO benefit from the link back. A great tool to measure Page Rank is PRChecker.info
When you’re vetting a blog, it’s important to look at the whole picture – not just one or two of these criteria. In other words, don’t write off a blog just because the Page Rank is weak – especially if every contest receives hundreds of entries. It just might be worth an investment of a few books and the postage required to deliver them to a few lucky winners.
A picture really is worth a thousand words.
Facebook fans love visuals and will share them with their friends – which creates awareness of your book without spending valuable advertising bucks. Create a quick image by selecting a photo (use your own photo or buy one at a stock image provider like Shutterstock, iStockPhoto, or Getty Images), insert a quote from your book or an interesting industry statistic using Microsoft Paint or Adobe Photoshop, insert your company logo or web address, and Voila! – you have an image you can either post immediately or schedule as a future post on your Facebook fan page.
Give them an inch, they’ll buy a mile.
Free offers work. And we’re not just talking about contests that give away copies of your book as prizes. They work on your website and in your social media too. Be generous with your book content. Offer a free first chapter, an exercise or two from your book, or an accompanying workbook – something of value that is likely to get your audience pumped up and ready to buy your book to get the rest of it. Then, make sure that free offer is easy to find. Did you know you most free offers on a Facebook fan page will convert 8-12 percent of new fans onto your email list? It’s true. Here are a few examples that convert at that rate or even higher: