Strictly speaking, publicity doesn’t sell books. It’s not one of your four main sales channels. But publicity is incredibly important in terms of creating awareness of you and your book and is a very effective strategy to incorporate into the overall mix of your marketing and sales efforts.
In general you want to use publicity for the following:
1. To make people aware of your book’s message and how it will help them
2. To establish you as a credible “thought leader” about your topic
The results you want to see from your publicity efforts should be:
1. An endorsement or plug for you or your book (e.g., a positive book review)
2. A forum to talk about your message and the benefit it brings the reader (e.g., an article quote, a radio interview, a television interview, a speaking engagement)
The best way to get significant publicity for you and your book is to hire a publicist or publicity firm to work with you. Most typically a publicist will want a 4-6 month engagement to bother working with you. At HigherLife we’ve vetted several top publicity firms and can set you up with one that will meet your needs and fit within your budget.
Some publicity strategies may focus on generating internet connections for you, getting popular bloggers to write about your book or excerpt your book as a guest blog. Other publicists are stronger in getting radio and television interviews set up for you. Still others specialize in generating newspaper and magazine articles about you and your message. Ideally you want to get as much publicity as possible.
One key to remember though…in every media engagement you get, always make sure you have a strong call to action. Make sure you do or say something that will motivate the audience to respond. Just because you are interviewed on Good Morning America or some major media outlet, no matter how charming or engaging you are, if the interview doesn’t motivate people to call in to order your book, or go on line to order it, pick up a copy at the local bookstore or download the eBook, then all that publicity, while great for your ego, doesn’t translate into book sales!
There’s an old saying: “If you want to catch fish, go where the fish are.” The marketing and publishing corollary to that saying is, “If you want to reach your audience, you need to capture their attention in the way they prefer to be reached.”
Maybe you like reading the newspaper. Great. But does your target audience? If you’re trying to reach teenagers or 20-somethings, a full-page advertorial or feature article in a newspaper won’t gain you much ground.
For a younger audience, you have to make use of online social tools, like Facebook or YouTube or an iPhone app. If you’re trying to reach stay-at-home moms, think about where they hang out. They get a lot of information from online “mommy bloggers,” so perhaps you’ll go after a chance to be interviewed by one of those sources.
My point is simply this.
You need to tailor not only the style and presentation of your message to your target audience, but you also have to deliver that message through the mediums your audience already uses.
Need help figuring all that out? Let us know. We love getting helpful messages out to a culture that needs to receive them, in whatever forms and formats make the most sense.
I recently watched a video short by Simon Senek on why people buy. In the video, he talks about the “golden circle”.
In his presentation, Simon talks about the difference between how truly inspired leaders and companies communicate versus the rest of us.
He says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy based on why you do it.”
You see, most of us communicate from the outside in. We start with WHAT we do, then maybe progress to HOW we do it and most of the time never get to the WHY. For example, “We make computers (what) we make them fast and sleek and user-friendly (how). But the truly inspiring companies communicate their beliefs and values, their WHY, first. For example, Apple might say, “We believe in thinking outside the box, in breaking tradition (their why), and that’s why we make things sleeker, faster and more user-friendly than anyone else (their how) and oh by the way, we sell computers, (their what).”
I’m sure you’ve heard that it’s always better to sell benefits rather than features. In the example above, the features are the how…our computers are sleek, fast, user-friendly. Not bad…but it would be much stronger to lead with sharing the benefits of buying our computer. For example, if you buy our computers you’ll have more time to do the things you love, or our computers will give you an edge over your completion. This is better copy because now you’re selling benefits not just features.
But what I learned in this video is the importance of communicating your WHY. Now, if your WHY is simply to make money, I’m afraid you’ll be better off just selling the benefits of your product. But when your WHY is based on a belief or a value that resonates with your audience, you’ll will be most effective if you communicate your WHY first, then share your benefits. “We believe in bringing people together because communication is the key to living in peace and harmony.” If this is your WHY, then lead with that. People who relate to and identify with your WHY will be more motivated and more strongly moved to buy than if they are simply attracted to your benefits, or to an even lesser extent, just want the features your product or service offers.
So in telling your story, in promoting your message, product or service, take time to consider your WHY. Evaluate the core beliefs that motivate you to do what you do. If people connect with your WHY, they will be more likely to respond.
Need help in discovering and sharing your WHY? Call us.
Twitter hasn’t enjoyed the same massive growth as Facebook because people are still trying to figure out how to use it. However, 300,000 users per day sign up for it. Twitter recently disclosed these facts:
• Twitter now has 105,779,710 registered users.
• 180 million unique visitors come to the site every month.
• Twitter gets a total of 3 billion requests a day via its API.
• Twitter users are, in total, tweeting an average of 55 million tweets a day.
Authors can take advantage of the unique relationship-building and promotion opportunities Twitter offers. Twitter is another tool in your social media strategy that could pay off in increased sales or connecting with a publisher. If you decide to join the 300,000 users on Twitter, here are 10 tips to gaining followers and building relationships.
#1 Set your purpose or strategy for Twitter. Your strategy will determine your status updates and the followers you attract. If you wrote a book about fly-fishing, then your tweets would be useful information about fly-fishing or your favorite fly-fishing lakes. Your tips and expertise would attract fly-fishing enthusiasts and hopefully a publisher of fly-fishing guide books.
#2 Use Twitter as one part of your overall social media presence. Besides Twitter, you should have a web site, blog and Facebook fan page. Your tweets – 140-character status updates – are teasers into your web site, blog, or fan page.
#3 Make sure your Twitter presence stands out. The standard Twitter background screams “newbie.” Pay close attention to your profile photo, bio, and background. There are several templates online that you can follow to create a customized background. Take advantage of the background to promote your web site, book, blog, or Facebook fan page. Show your personality in your photo, profile, and background.
#4 Connect with your followers through # tags. A # tag is a list of followers in your niche you can follow. For a list of authors to network with, check out #inkyelbows.
#5 Retweet or reply to tweets. The more you participate, the more your follower base will grow. A follower who retweets your tweet can exponentially grow your follower base. Especially if that follower has more fans than you have.
#6 Mix up your tweets. Just promoting your books or events will come across as spam. I schedule my updates using a third-party application, and then I insert some updates on the fly throughout the day just to keep my presence fresh and show some personality. Besides tweeting useful information, talk about what you’re doing during the day. Tweeters love a funny anecdote or quirky observation.
#7 Use third-party applications such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, or SocialOomph to schedule your updates. Joanna Penn, an author with over 14,000 followers on Twitter, schedules her updates and then mixes it up.
#8 Reach out to bloggers in your niche on Twitter. Penn says she has landed podcast interviews by reaching out to bloggers on Twitter. For the fly-fishing author, you can connect with fly-fishing bloggers on Twitter to build a relationship.
#9 Give and it shall be given unto you. In your “thanks for following me” message, include a link to a podcast, free download of a sample read, or your blog. This will help build your follower base.
#10 Keep your tweets positive. The twitterverse doesn’t like negativity. This isn’t the place to rant about your manic editor or publisher. You’ll get unfollowed fast.
Are you on Twitter? Tweet me at KCIslander or HigherLifeInc. — Leilani Haywood
Facebook boasts over 500 million users with 50 percent of those users who log in everyday. According to Facebook, the average user has 130 friends. If that’s not enough to convince you that you should have a presence on Facebook, here are five more reasons:
1) Your friends are on Facebook. The best way to market and promote your book or speaking engagements is to tell your friends on Facebook. Let’s do the math on the potential reach for the so-called average user. Say you have 130 friends who each have 130 friends. You tell your 130 friends about your book. Your 130 friends tell their 130 friends about your book. You’ve just told 16,900 people about your book! If 10% of them bought your book, that’s 1,690 books sold. Not bad for unpaid advertising! 2) You can instantly promote your book signings, seminars, or workshops on Facebook. Create events for book signings, seminars, or workshops that you’re speaking at to further promote your book. If your book, seminar, or workshop made a positive impact on an attendee, he or she can post a reaction on his or her own wall to further your reach.
3) Your competition is on Facebook. Here are some examples of authors using Facebook’s “like” page or groups to promote their books:
There are thousands of groups with special interests on Facebook. You could reach that group with your unique message.
Just think, with a few clicks you could reach hundreds of people with your book. Of course there’s a strategy and tactic for connecting on Facebook. If you would like to know more, call me at HigherLife at 407-563-4806 or send an e-mail to email@example.com with your questions. If you have a Facebook success or not-so-success story, I want to hear it. – Leilani Haywood