face-to-face book promotion tips


Create and perfect your spoken book pitch

Before you start meeting people to do face-to-face book promotion, create your book pitch.

This is a short interesting and promotional piece you learn to say off by heart. Consider writing at least three sales pitches for your book: 10 seconds, 30 seconds, and 60 seconds. When someone asks what the book is about, give them the 10-second pitch. If the person responds with interest, have a longer pitch ready!

Practice your pitches on friends until they tell you the pitches work.

This is an easy way to build trust. Make it personal. Show people the book. Let them hold a copy. Let them have a browse through. It works.

Create a series of pitches of different lengths

Write three of different lengths: 10 seconds, 30 seconds, and 60 seconds. When someone asks what the book is about, give them the 10-second pitch – around 40 words. Don’t be bland. Use enthusiastic, honest language that reflects what you stand for.

Make sure your pitch is all about how your book will help them – not your and your ego or bank balance! If the person responds with interest, have a longer pitch ready!

Include a call to action at the end to boost your chances engaging with the person. This can be an open question to begin a dialogue “how do you feel about…..”, or something more direct “take a look”.

Create pitches for different audiences

You’ll have 3 audiences, your readers, industry influencers and your potential joint venture partners. Rehearse your pitches for each audience – especially the call to action. Practice your delivery on friends so you will come across as interesting, friendly and confident later.

Promote your book at relevant networking events and conferences where your audience hangs out. Search these in advance, to make sure a good opportunity does not slip through your fingers. Go old school and send a printed proposal idea to the organiser. Offer to present. Offer books as prizes. If you get turned down, press the flesh and walk the floor.

Create a presentation based on your book

Aim for a short, snappy presentation that’s about 30 minutes long, with 10 minutes for questions and answers after. Start this section off with a couple of suggested questions to get the audience thinking.  Allow 5 minutes after the Q&A for networking with your audience. Have a table in the back of the room where you or someone on your team sells books. Make sure you’ve got a way to pay online (for example with a device that takes card payments that pairs with your smartphone), and offline, with pre-printed paper order forms and receipts cheques and cash (and change). It’s old school, but if the internet dies at the venue, you need a backup plan.

Do a presentation at a local meetup group. Contact the group leader and ask if they bring in guest speakers. Don’t ‘sell’, just give great, inspiring information, and make sure to have some books to hand in case people ask.

Add your book to your business card

Give away professionally printed business cards with the book cover on one side and your contact information and author platform website. They are cheaper than giving books away if you are on a tight marketing budget. Alternatively, add your book details to your existing business cards if it’s not going to look cluttered and amateurish.

Set up a QR code link to your book’s page on Amazon

Have a QR code to hand so the person you are talking to can zap it and be taken directly to your Amazon page to buy the book. ( Set up a free one here: http://www.qr-code-generator.com/)

Set up book signings

Do a book signing the traditional way — arrange this with a local book store or a book festival or even an event — maybe you have a food related book that would do well at a food festival? Or a children’s book at a children’s summer activity centre. Or a sport-related book at a sporting event? Think a little outside the box on this about where your potential readers might be and engage them with a free bonus offering like a sticker or a USB stick with some audio content on it…  sky’s the limit on this one!

Have a launch party

Host a book release party – this is best done when you have already built some buzz about your book and have influencers and JV partners identified. The last thing you want is a dull event with the 4 people who did attend looking at their shoes. Don’t be afraid to “rent-a-crowd” and ask friends and family along. Most people love to celebrate the achievement of someone they know publishing a book, so getting them to attend should be easy. Especially if free food and drink is involved. Plan out the space devoted to your book. Having copies on display, with an area to do signings makes sense. You can also have flyers, bookmarks, mugs and clothing on display. Ask people to bring friends, and have a bowl for collecting business cards. Have books available to buy. Give away relevant prizes in the evening.

This is a significant (and often stressful!) investment on your part, so make sure you take a lot of pictures and video to make the most of the publicity.

Find a venue with a link to your book topic wherever possible. Written a book on fitness? Hire a function room at a five-a-side football centre. Written a book on seafaring, hire out the bar at the local yacht club.

Promote the hell out of it!- You’re never going to have another book launch for your first book. Do it right. Invite friends, family, and fans via email, by phone, in person, over social networks. Remind them of the book launch in your email newsletter. Create a Facebook event. Tweet and blog about your preparations and what people can expect. Shoot a video invitation and put it on YouTube. Make it sound fun!

Put up posters in public places where your readers visit

Design fliers and posters. If your book is aimed at consumers, hang them in coffee shops, libraries, bookstores, and community centres. If your book is aimed at business owners, shared working spaces and partner businesses like accountants and printers is a good place to start.

Tell the local press

Let the press know in good time. The more notice the better. Send them a press release explaining how your book will help their readers and include your press kit. Approach local newspapers, magazines, and radio stations and just about anyone else you can think of who has an audience close related to yours.

Always, always, always follow up

Always follow up with people you meet face to face after the event. The whole point of meeting them is to boost the know like and trust factor! If you lose touch with them, the rapport fades and you’ve wasted your time and money and have to start again from scratch.

Up next is how to network with influencers.

See you then!


Get my self-publishing checklist


Don't risk missing a step.

One simple checklist for everything from planning to publishing.

You have Successfully Subscribed!