Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Many authors, either self-published or published by major publishing houses, find getting the word out about their newly-released book to be a challenge. There are just so many reviews appearing in the major newspapers and they primarily focus on already established authors. How can an unknown writer raise his or her profile and get reviews to bolster book sales?

Publicity is key!

In order to maximize visibility for you, your brand, and your book, it’s best to use the following guidelines:

  1. Send review copies to the major media outlets that will review the book, including Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and other publications that will do an honest critique of the book.
  2. Build up your own network of supporters of your book, including friends and family. You want them to write reviews on websites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, GoodReads, and other book-specific blogs, ezines and sites.
  3. When you reach a specific milestone --like signing a book deal, the actual printed books arriving, etc., organize a party at your home to celebrate. At the party, read excerpts from the book and answer any questions from your guests. Request that they write reviews and post them after they’ve had a chance to read your book.
  4. If you don’t have any interest or talent in actually promoting the book and if your publisher is not investing any money in publicizing it, consider hiring a book publicist.  Getting publicity and speaking opportunities for an author – especially a new author – is a time-consuming endeavor. It’s best left to the professionals who have media contacts and have done book publicity for years. Reach out to websites that focus on book marketing to see which public relations agencies they recommend. With technology, it is no longer necessary for your publicist to be in your geographic area….they can work from anywhere to help you get the word out about your new book. Publicists can work within an author's budget and can be very cost-effective. If an article in a newspaper focuses on you and your book, it could translate to thousands of dollars of comparable advertising of your book in that same publication.  Hiring a Public Relations firm or consultant is much more economical than advertising, and has three times the credibility of an ad because the story is written by a third party. Publicists can help you with every step of getting you and your book out there to the local area and the world! For a comprehensive listing of book publicists, go to John Kremer’s Book Marketing Best Sellers website listing: http://bookmarketingbestsellers.com/book-publicists-pr-services-and-book-publicity-experts/  You’ll find yours truly under “T” (Tomic Communications)
  5. If you have no budget at all for public relations, you may wish to try to do it yourself. Start by writing a one-page summary of the book. Get a great head shot taken by a good amateur or professional. Include a color photograph of the book cover. Next, write a short biography of yourself and a pitch letter to the reporter you are trying to reach. Be sure to include a link where the book may be purchased (the Amazon page, for example) in your signature line.
  6. Creating a website for the book is another selling tool. Include sample chapters, a blog about the book, the media kit, a schedule of your upcoming speaking engagements (if you have any) and contact information.
  7. Six months or so before the book is published, ask for reviews or blurbs from influential individuals – including book reviewers at major newspapers. If your publisher doesn’t let you send the entire book, you can send the first couple of chapters, a table of contents (if it’s a non-fiction book) and your bio.
  8. Try to get speaking engagements in your local community. Ask your local bookstores, libraries, schools, colleges, if they are looking for speakers.  Make sure to send out a calendar listing of the event in advance to help draw a larger audience. Bring a box of books and designate an area following the Q & A for a book-signing. Expect to talk about a thirty minutes with 15 minutes or so of Q & A.
  9. Create videos and post them on YouTube to help create an online following. This is particularly useful for non-fiction authors who want to be seen as experts in their field.
  10. Be persistent! 99% of success requires hard work and persistence! Believe in yourself, your writing, and your book and your enthusiasm will draw people to you. They, in turn, will recommend your book to their friends and family. In some cases, that’s how a viral marketing campaign succeeds – through word of mouth.  
  11. Hire a publicist who really knows how to guide you in getting interviews and speaking engagements. Many offer much-reduced fees for independent authors.
  12. Good luck!

Charlotte Tomic, President
Tomic Communications, Inc. 917-882-5243, charlotte@tomiccommunications.com

Tomic Communications is a boutique public relations company that serves clients around the world. We assist in shining the spotlight on companies, authors, nonprofits and professionals to burnish their brand via strategic communications and planning. 

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