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Self-Promotion Advice for Authors

Self-promotion, for most authors, is a daunting proposition. It can be a cringe-worthy endeavor fraught with fears of embarrassment, ego-deflation and just-plain awkward moments. Telling people how great your book is just doesn’t come naturally for many people. Traditional wisdom is to let others say how good you are, or when it comes to book marketing, how good your book is. After all, that’s one of the reasons you hire a book publicist.

But even as book publicists, the best approach isn't telling media how good a book is, but showing or presenting information that shows how good it is. You’ll never, or at least rarely, see a professional book publicist say or write, “this book is great!.” Rather, we highlight compelling and newsworthy elements of a book and draw an editor, book reviewer or producer in, and persuade them to take interest.

Even if you have a publicist, book marketing is a team effort, so some elements of self-promotion will be necessary. Yes, you may be hiring a professional, but publicists need you to be a partner, someone willing to confidently engage media and skillfully talk about your book via broadcast interviews or conversations with print media.

Here are a few quick tips to help the self-promoting author:

  • Maximize the power of social media. Online social platforms enable you to engage with potential fans and readers in an easier manner than speaking personally to someone. Be active, connect, and give followers a reason to be interested in you and your book. And social media, actually, is not a place for self-promotion – it’s about promoting yourself and book by providing information and giving something to people. You don't tweet “My book is great! Buy it now!” Rather, make meaningful connections by offering something to people – whether it’s great information from a non-fiction book, or fun contests related to your novel.
  • Remember that you sell yourself every day. We get hung up on the term “self-promotion,” but in reality, whether at work or in daily life, we all do things to try and make people like us, and like to be around us. We’re all natural self-promoters. When talking about your book, it’s really no different.
  • Write, write and write. One of the easiest ways to bring attention to yourself is by writing – I’m not talking about your book, but on blogs and other online platforms. Even if you’re writing about something not directly related to your book, if you provide good, useful or entertaining content and put your book in your bio, you’ll get people interested in you.
  • Stay out of politics and religion! It’s the Thanksgiving table rule – expressing opinions about politics and religion will inevitably offend someone, and there are right and wrong places to discuss these topics. Example: You may be someone who detests President Trump or you’re a hard core conservative; it doesn't matter – keep your opinions offline! Unless you’ve written a political or religious book or having strong opinions on certain topics is part of your brand, keep personal beliefs to yourself on social media and any other public forum.. Remember that you will offend someone, and that perhaps even large segments of your potential book-buying market may feel strongly enough to not buy your book because of what you’ve expressed.

by Dan Smith, CEO & Founder

[Image via Self Promotion is Not a Crime at DavidPoulos.com]

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