Advance Book Publicity for Indie Authors: It's Only the Beginning

Traditional publishers see book promotion campaigns in a way that’s different from the way in which indie authors, and small publishers, view them. Because traditional publishers have so many books on their plate, it’s important for them to focus on the books that are creating the most buzz.

From their point of view, it’s okay if the rest of the books they publish get left behind. At least, they can assure their authors, they’ve created some advance book publicity. They’ve tried their best to promote the book. That’s enough, right?

For traditional publishers, orchestrating an advance book promotion campaign is adequate. Saying, “Well, anyway, we tried,” is all there is to it. They have other books to promote.

For indie authors and publishers, that shouldn’t be enough. As a matter of fact, a book publicity campaign that ends before the book is even available for purchase is not much of a book promotion campaign at all. Here’s why.

Advance Book Publicity Is the Only the Beginning.

It’s wonderful to reach out to advance book reviewers before the book’s publication. That’s an important window to leverage, and you can only garner advance book reviews before the book has been published.

Similarly, during the advance book promotion campaign, it is your responsibility to enhance your social network. Develop loyal followers, friends, and contacts who are most likely to become part of your readership base. Provide them with information they can use, entertain them, or make them smile. In other words: make friends and build your tribe.

Advance book publicity is important. If you have the time and resources to conduct an advance book promotion campaign, you should.

But the main show is the book promotion efforts that begin once your book is actually available.

The advance book promotion campaign is over when the book has been published. For traditional publishers, that is most often when their entire book publicity campaign comes to a hard stop. For indie authors and independent publishers, that’s when the real work — and successes — begin!

Creating Book Buzz After the Book’s Publication

The most exciting time to promote a book is when there’s actually a book. It’s also the most productive time for indie authors, because their book marketing efforts can translate into book sales.

So now’s the time to create book buzz. Creating visibility for your book can finally lead to book sales.

Advance book promotion isn’t the same thing as post-publication book publicity. The main difference is this.

Book publicity campaigns at the post-publication stage of a book’s life revolve around authors, rather than books. Indie authors are experts. They are entertainers. They have something valuable to offer the media and readers. This is the time to start sharing it!

Book Promotion Campaigns Provide Opportunities to Disseminate Your Messages

To begin, determine your offerings and their relevance to what’s happening in the news. If you’re a subject matter expert, then create your message points and determine the best ways to deliver them. Who is most likely to be interested in what you have to say? Which media beats are the best to target?

Scan the news. When you see a potential news hook, that’s the time to create media pitches. Scout out opportunities for media interviews. Which media outlets are covering the story? How can your perspective and experience be of value to them?

You can pitch yourself as an expert as frequently as you’d like, as long as the focus is on what you can offer viewers, listeners, and readers, and how you fit into breaking news and current events. Just vary your media pitches, and customize each overture to your target audience.

It’s also the time to write, and publish, op-eds that relate to the news and current events. Distribute your press releases now, and frequently, during the months ahead.

If your book is a work of fiction, then you can provide the perfect respite from the news of the day. Is the world a scarier place than usual? Then the media’s viewers, listeners, and readers need a break from it. That’s where you can help.

Frame what you have to offer with respect to what people need a break from? What’s your value add? How clever, cute, different, or funny is your offering? Prove it!

Prime Time for Book Promotion

Once the advance book promotion campaign has come to a conclusion, you’ve reached the prime time to use social networks and your web site to build your mailing list. Use online advertising, and leverage your book web site as the hub of your book publicity campaign. Grow your readership by offering newsletters, and free information and free samples, to your targeted audience. This is where you can harness the power of Google Adwords, as well as social media advertising campaigns.

Sound complicated? That’s okay. Focus on your messages, and disseminating the information you have to the people who need it. You are the expert or the entertainer. You are there to help people, either by educating them or by relieving your target audience from stress.

You can inform your targeted readership. Or you can make them smile. Maybe you can even do both.

Not only can you do it, but you have a responsibility to do it. After all, that’s why you wrote your book and became an indie author to begin with, right. As a bonus for doing the right thing, you’ll also find yourself selling books.

By Stacey J. Miller, independent book publicist and founder of the Massachusetts-based book promotion firm, S. J. Miller Communications. For more information, please visit www.bookpr.com. Follow me at @bookpr.

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