(Reprinted from http://bookmarketingmaven.typepad.com/book_marketing_maven/2010/12/create-publicity-for-your-book.html)
NQ Note – this is an older article (updated December of 2012) but I do find it to be relevant to current times and offer it as a well written article with worthwhile tips! Enjoy.
Author Barbara Techel has gotten an impressive amount of publicity for her children’s book series. In today’s guest post, Barbara shares the story of her amazing dog, Frankie, and offers some tips on how authors can generate publicity for their books.
In 2007 I embarked upon writing my first children’s book to educate others about animals with disabilities, as well as help children see their challenges in a positive way. My dachshund, Frankie was diagnosed with Intervertebral Disc Disease in 2006 which caused paralysis. She is now mobile and living a quality life thanks to a dog wheelchair. Watching Frankie persevere after surgery to repair the ruptured disc, months of physical therapy and ultimately fitted for her dog wheelchair, I realized I was being given an opportunity to share a story of hope.
Having virtually no experience in the book industry, I set out with the will to learn and the passion to share my message. Here are some ideas that have worked for me:
1. Watch what other authors do, especially in your genre or area of expertise. Follow them via Facebook or Twitter, study their websites, and build a relationship with them. I’ve learned many valuable lessons from other authors that have helped me spread my message. One way in particular, is watching what radio shows they are doing and then pitching to that particular radio show.
2. Subscribe to HARO – Help a Reporter Out. This has been a wonderful free tool for publicity! When a journalist is looking for a story that pertains to your subject, pitch them. One pitch I made was to a woman looking for stories about therapy dogs. The writer contacted me, wrote my story and it made it into a book. This book got into the hands of Bauer Publishing who publishes Woman’s World magazine. Out of 21 stories in the book, they chose my story to feature in their magazine.
3. Pay attention to writing contests (search Google). Enter those that speak to your heart. One such contest I placed second and made it into the book, Dogs and the Women Who Love Them, which was just recommended by Oprah’s O Magazine.
4. Enter book award contests. If you place as a winner, or even a finalist, this is a great opportunity to write a press release for your local paper, as well as online directories. This keeps your name and message out there for others to find you and remember you.
5. Do charitable work. I volunteer with Frankie, who is a registered therapy dog, and because of our work, Frankie was inducted into the Wisconsin Pet Hall of Fame. Even if you don’t receive this type of recognition, charitable organizations work on publicity often, and if you can tie into that this can bring free publicity to you. Another example of this is that Frankie and I volunteer at a local community hospice with a monthly newsletter. We were featured in the newsletter, which brought notice to me as an author and my books.
Thinking outside of the box and watching for opportunities that look like a good fit are some avenues that have helped me generate publicity. Even if it seems like a small opportunity, you never do know where it will lead. If you are passionate about your message, are consistent, as well as open to new opportunities, you never know where it will take you!
Barbara Techel is the award-winning author of Frankie, the Walk ‘N Roll Dog book series. Along with sharing Frankie’s story with children, Barbara and Frankie routinely volunteer as a therapy dog team at local hospitals, nursing homes, and hospice centers, spreading joy wherever they go. Learn more at www.joyfulpaws.com.