The Publicity Side
Drumming up some positive publicity is equally important to spreading the word about your new book. Today, there are more platforms for media coverage than ever before; authors can appear on television talk shows, on websites and blogs, on clips of televised talk shows hosted by website and blogs, on podcasts and XM radio programs, and so much more. So take advantage of the wealth of media around and get some publicity with the following articles.
Book Marketing Tips: 6 Reasons You Don't Have to Travel to Do Book Publicity by C.S. Lewis and Co. Publicists
How to Get Massive Publicity for Your Book Without Spending a Cent by Jonathan Gunson - Bestseller Labs
On the Air, Live! How to Get Publicity from Local Television and Radio Programs by Lauren White—Independent Publisher
How to Build Pre-Book Buzz
Marketing to the Industry Before Your Publication Date
One of the hardest parts of marketing your soon-to-be-published book is reaching targets within the publishing industry. Reviewers, booksellers, journalists, and librarians are all crucial allies in getting to readers, but how do you get them on your side? To make the most of the natural marketing momentum that comes with having a fresh title, start reaching out to professionals in publishing well in advance of your publication date to generate the most anticipation for your book’s release. Read on for a few tactics to help you market your book to the industry.
There are many different ways of sending out advance review or reader copies (ARCs), and many potential reader groups to send your book to. For a more traditional means of getting reviews for your upcoming book, consider sending out advance review copies to bloggers, journalists, and other professional reviewers. You can purchase a media list containing pertinent contacts from publishing services firms, or dig up the contacts yourself with a little research. But remember—narrow down the list to people who would truly be interested in your topic. Sending a history book to a popular children’s book reviewer, no matter how many people follow that particular reviewer, is not likely to result in a helpful review. For specifics on what to send to reviewers and more, read Jillian Bergsma’s “The Almighty Book Review.”
You might also consider tapping into the indie writing community itself by contacting other indie authors in your genre about exchanging reviews of books. Many would be more than happy to oblige, especially if they can get a review of their own book in the bargain. Networking with writers in your genre can lead to friendships with benefits; for example, a fellow romance author who has just reviewed your book might reach out via social media and let their own fans and friends know about your upcoming release.
Finally, never underestimate the power of your readers’ reviews. Offering your book through a giveaway deal on sites like Goodreads has multiple advantages. Providing an ARC to winning readers is a great way to spark up some interest in your book’s publication and release date. Taking part in a deal gets the word out about your book, and winners often write powerful endorsements and post them back on the Goodreads site.
NetGalley is a website that seeks to streamline the book reviewing process by making digital galleys easily accessible in one online database. Since its launch in 2008, the site has become a staple for reviewers including bloggers, librarians, reporters, and journalists, and even booksellers. In addition to the pre-publication books hosted on the site are older titles, and users can filter through the mass of books available with sorting features based on genre, publisher, and date uploaded.
NetGalley was initially directed at large to medium-sized publishers, with a set-up fee and monthly hosting cost dependent on the number of titles each publisher had uploaded. However, they have also opened the doors to indie publishers with two pricing options. For $599, indie authors and publishers can purchase a six-month hosting of one title that includes a marketing bonus—one spot in a scheduled NetGalley newsletter. If you aren’t sold on the newsletter, you can purchase just the six-month hosting for $399. IBPA members get discounts priced here.
Why is NetGalley a great way to market your upcoming title? For starters, the website reaches well over 100,000 members who review books professionally. Simply hosting your title is an effective way to get at thousands of potential reviewers and make them aware of your upcoming title in one fell swoop. Reviewers are always looking for fresh titles, and NetGalley’s offering include listing your book on their “Recently Added” section, making it easy for reviewers to find your book. NetGalley incentivizes reviewers to actually review the book by ranking them based on the ratio of books downloaded to books reviewed. Afraid someone may not give your book the review it deserves? You can always deny the reviewers request for your book if they don’t seem like the right fit.
For more information on how to upload your title to NetGalley, click here.
Trade shows seem daunting to many indie publishers and authors for a reason. With hefty price tags and floor layouts/formats that haven’t quite adjusted to the huge rise in indie authors, trade shows seem dominated by the traditional and slow to change. However, recent months have shown that many trade shows are trying to embrace the significant upheaval in the industry by reworking their formats to reflect these changes. While each trade show differs, indie authors generally have two options for participation.
The first option for indie booksellers and publishers is spending the money to buy a booth at the trade fair. This option comes with the most networking and marketing benefits, but for a price. If you have a healthy budget, purchasing a booth at a trade show can definitely be worth the investment; it offers you the opportunity to personally get in front of your book’s biggest potential buyers. Getting face-to-face with booksellers who are in a shopping mindset can be an incredibly successful way to market your upcoming title, so be sure to prepare with these interactions in mind. However, keep in mind that the layout of each trade show will affect the amount of foot traffic you have.
The second option is getting your title shown with some form of an exhibition package offered by self-publishing companies or publishing services companies, such as Combined Book Exhibit. For a lower but still significant price, these companies will display your book at the event along with other titles and/or showcase the book in a catalog distributed during the event. If you don’t have the budget to buy a booth and pay for transportation/travel costs, this option still allows you to get exposure for a lower price.
A third option for indie authors has been announced by BEA this year; a new offering for entrepreneurial authors to participate in book fairs called Author Hub, part of the UPublishU program of BEA. Author Hub is intended as a home base for a limited number of indie authors and a way to facilitate their inclusion and connection to the publishing industry. Attending BEA in any capacity is a great learning experience for indie authors, but this program specifically focuses on creating an informative and engaging environment for indie authors, with programs and workshops aimed at their needs. For more information on Author Hub, read what Porter Anderson, journalist and weekly author of the Writing on the Ether column, has to say in his article here.
For more about appearing at a trade show, check out what Helen Hart, publishing director of SilverWood Books, recommends for making the most of publishing trade fairs. Also see IP’s list of upcoming trade events here.
Lauren White recently graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in History and English. She is serving as assistant editor at Independent Publisher and hopes to continue her career in publishing in New York City. Please email her at larenee [at] umich.edu with any questions and comments.