Part of an author’s responsibility is to promote their book any way they can. Building local awareness for your book is a strategy that you can easily overlook if you are too focused on social media, blogging and other online strategies. While all of these marketing opportunities are important, authors should take the time to be successful with each one. Here are some tips on how you can be successful in building local awareness for your book.
Newspapers are always looking for interesting content to put in front of their readers. Newspapers are competing for readership and have to be creative with the material their reader’s want. When planning this strategy think of an original pitch about your book or overall message. Unique stories, human interest stories, memoirs, and other novels tend to have an obvious spin, however, don’t discount any book based on the message. The exciting part of the story can be you!
Gather a list of newspapers or magazines that operate in your area and reach out to the editor. It might be a good idea to send the initial correspondence to the chief editor who can always forward it to the appropriate editor. Make sure the email includes a synopsis of your book, your target audience, some meta details of your book, a cover image, your bio, any local events on the schedule and where the book is available. Keep it short and to the point but organized well.
Note: Similar to the strategy you would incorporate for a Press Release, try to tie your book and the timing of this strategy into a day of celebration or remembrance. Let them know about any book events!
Approach the library manager and tell them you would like to donate a book or two to the library. Discuss any events that you can participate in to include author readings, fairs, career days, etc. You should also find out about the process and methods they use when choosing books to carry. You can learn about the groups and social media platforms librarians use to communicate with other librarians. If you play it right, you might be able to get some referrals to approach about carrying your books.
Depending on the genre and topic of your book, try to find opportunities to have a reading and Q&A session. If you have written a children’s book, speak to local schools about reading your book in front of students and educators. It might seem like your return on time invested is small, but you can use these opportunities to approach other schools, and even school boards for entire towns and cities. It’s also an opportunity to capture some pictures or videos of the event.
Note: Make sure you speak to the school before your event to find out about your audience, any rules or regulations you need to be aware of, like taking photos or recordings.
Groups like your Local Chamber of Commerce, Entrepreneurs Clubs, Business Networking Groups and others usually meet once a month and are a great way to spread the word about your book and message. It’s best to attend a couple of meetings before you start working things but most of the meetings have time for introductions. Keep in mind; these meetings are about sharing knowledge and networking. People that are all about promoting themselves get flushed out fairly quickly. Don’t be that person! Here is a link for 7 of the Best Networking Groups.
If your book or message ties in with a particular event or day of importance chances are local television and or radio station might be interested. If you are picked up by a local newspaper or magazine, this will increase your chances for others to follow. Employees in these stations have to pitch the story to their bosses, so the more excitement and activity surrounding you and your book, the better shot you have.
Note: Before approaching these stations, organize any videos, interviews or exciting content to send with your introduction. Share any articles that have been written about your book. The less work the producer has to do the better. If you don’t have any media yet, give it a shot anyway but use this as a blueprint for what’s needed to get these stations interested in running a story.
Bookstores always have author events and signings. It’s a way for them to get traffic in the door while promoting the store to the local community. There are ways to approach these stores and take advantage of this opportunity. In my article Getting Your Book into Bookstores, I discuss the tips needed to be successful with this strategy. Where most authors fall shot is not continuing to promote the store as a way to buy your book. The longer you send local people into that store to buy your book, the more books the owner will order.
Using your local media and retailers is a great way for building local awareness for your book. You should always consider these strategies as part of your overall book marketing strategy. The more local press you get; the more other local media will pick up on the story. There is nothing better than having media coverage. Use any success you achieve to open up other markets. Local media can turn into regional and statewide media coverage. Depending on how well you work your local coverage, you can jump into the national arena and watch book sales soar. Happy Selling!
Rick Lite of Stress Free Book Marketing, stands at the forefront of the ever-changing book industry. He is a seasoned book marketing professional with over 13 years of experience in the industry. Rick’s expertise comes from tirelessly working on new and innovative ways to market his own books and CDs with his company and parent company, Stress Free Kids. Embracing the core values of integrity, innovation, and growth, Rick works closely with authors to create custom, robust book marketing programs. His easy-going manner provides “stress-free” support and comfort to authors going through the book marketing process for the first time. Rick is quick to share his knowledge and “insider tips” for a successful marketing campaign that will lead to increased exposure, awareness and most importantly, sales.