What is public relations? It’s a common misconception that marketing and public relations are the same thing. In fact, a good PR strategy is actually one component of an overall marketing plan. In order to promote your book, you’ll need to develop a strategy for attracting media attention. In this day and age, this includes not just newspapers and magazines, but blogs and other online news outlets. We’ve put together five quick steps for you to take to promote yourself and your book in print and online media.
Step 1: Create a media kit
You need a media kit. Period. If you don’t have one yet, take 30 minutes to go through our marketing kit mini workbook and create one now. If you have one, make sure you keep it up to date. You’ll also want to have both a printed and digital version of your kit to share with interested parties.
Step 2: Prepare your pitch
In 30 seconds or 100 words, you need to be able to convince someone that you and your book are interesting and original. Write and rehearse your pitch so you’ll be ready when the time comes. Prepare a few alternate versions of your pitch that you can use in different scenarios depending upon your audience.
Step 3: Do your research
Before you start approaching people looking for publicity, make sure you know who you’re talking to. How many people read/visit the publication each day? What are their interests? Do they align with the subject matter of your book? There are so many blogs and publications available on the web you should take advantage of the variety to find just the right fit for your target market.
Step 4: Put together a press release
In addition to your media kit and pitch, have a press release put together that’s publishing ready. Read over our tips for writing a stellar press release if you need some extra guidance. Essentially you just want to write something from a third person perspective (no “I” or “me” references) that gives a brief synopsis of you, your book and where its available for purchase. Some publications might print the release as is while others can at least use it to get a better idea of you and your book.
Step 5: Just ask!
Once you’ve got your potential targets selected, go for it! Contact them via the appropriate means (e-mail, Twitter or Facebook) and lay out your pitch. If you’re asking for a guest post or article, suggest some topics you can write about that might interest their readers (make sure they’re things you can tie into your book as well). Be sure to point out what benefit your book/post/article would be to their organization and why it’s relevant. Finish with your contact information so they know how to get a hold of you if they have additional questions or follow-ups.
That’s it! Five easy steps and you’ll be on your way down the road to (free) publicity!