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Get Noticed: 5 Steps to Boosting Book Publicity

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.

If your target market makes hats out of their newspapers instead of reading them, you should probably try an online publication. (photo by katerha)

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!

  • Great post, authentic and informative. Thank you!

  • Spot on post.

  • Thanks for the post. Lots to do and think about.

    James Piper
    Author of The Protectors

    [email protected]
    Twitter: @JamesPiperCA

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  • Terrific advice, thanks for sharing!

  • Great post, feel inspired to start doing it. Thanks.

  • I used to make media kits for my books. I’d even write press releases and use press release services such as PR Web. Yet for my most recent bnovel, LOVE AT ABSOLUTE ZERO, I haven’t done what I used to do. One reason is that reviewers more and more are asking for Kindle copies of a book, so a cover note with it covers what used to be a media kit. Also, a blog tour seemed to get the word out. After reading your advice, however, I’m reminded of these tools. Let me ask you this: when does one need–or should use–media kits and press releases these days?

    • I’d say they’re really handy for when people want an instant shot of info about you, the press kit can supply that.

  • And as a follow on to Christopher Meeks’ comment: How does one find people to distribute media kits to these days?

  • Very helpful. Just clarified all the things swirling around and provide a great link to refer to when lost!

    Thank you.

  • Very informative. Thanks!

  • Christopher Meeks asks a good question. I’m curious too. Thanks for the info ladies!

  • VanessaF

    Good post with some excellent advice :)

  • Lovely, concise and massively useful piece, Shannon : ) x

  • April Danann

    This is all great advice – time to get down to work! Thank you kindly,

    April Danann

  • Excellent! Motivating!
    Thanks Ladies.

  • Good advice, thanks!