Struggling to get your book noticed? Here are 3 simple strategies to boost your credibility and book sales.
One of the big questions people have is, “Once I’ve written my book, how do I let people know that it’s available for sale? How do I get the traction and the influence, the credibility boost that I’m looking for?”
Let me share with you three simple ways you to do that now.
The first thing that you need to do is create a press pack. Your press pack has a series of documents in it. The one I use with my authors has 14 different documents at the moment, it’s always growing. But there are three core things that you need to include.
Your author bio
Your author bio explains who you are and why you’ve got the expertise to write a book on your chosen subject. What is it about your background, your personal experience, your professional qualifications that make you a good person to write this book? I recommend you have bios of different lengths in there. You don’t want people rewriting who you are so it fits the space they have available. You want to have a very tight control of your personal brand or how you want to be seen as an author.
You want something that can be tweeted, around 140 characters, something that can fit in a magazine those tiny little sidebars. You need around 10-20 words to say who you are.
Then you’ll want a longer bio. These will have a couple of slants. One of the slants will be on you and your professional career, the results you get for people. The other slant will be a bit more about you and your personality, where you live, what makes you tick. Then people who feature you can choose which one angle’s appropriate for what they want to share about you.
You could also include a bio to be read out before you take the stage. If you’re going to be doing speaking gigs based around your book (which I recommend that you do) you’re going to be introduced, and again. You need to micro-manage how you are introduced, to make sure people understand clearly who you are; you don’t want any paraphrasing by the MC. Often, organisers will include this bio in their speaker profile material they use to promote their books. Again, if you’re going to appear on a podcast or a radio show or something like that, you can be introduced properly if the presenter reads out this profile.
The next thing you want is some snippets of the book you can repurpose. Choose tips from the book. Lift and shift, small 150 word, 250 word sections that give people pointers on how they can have some quick wins with your subject. These tips are brilliant to go in magazines: 10 Ways To Get More Leads From Your Website, for example, would be a really good thing to include as a book synopsis feature. Readers will learn actionable advice and can buy your book to get even more. These tips can just put it straight into a magazine, newspaper, podcast feature, a website. It’s so flexible.
Content producers are always looking for good quality information to publish. By giving them that on a plate, it saves them a lot of time and boosts your chances of success.
The last thing that you can put in your press pack is your interview questions. If you’re going to appear on a podcast or a webinar, then you can give the organiser some questions to ask you. This helps you avoid any curve ball questions. I remember once when I wrote my first book, which was on social media. It was one of the first interviews that I’d done and was a radio interview.
I got asked about racism in football and I hadn’t come on to talk about that at all, I’d come on to talk about how to boost your personal brand with social media!
There I was, live on air, thinking, “What are my thoughts on football racism?” I know very little about football it is apart from the pitch has two ends, and I just didn’t know how to answer. Because I didn’t have this sheet, I got this topical but random topic to share my thoughts on. Going forward, I had the sheet so I could be asked questions I could anticipate. You can also tailor the questions to suit the interviewer’s audience, so you can make sure that they’re going to get something good out of the session as well.
What to do with your press pack
The other thing you need to do, once the press pack is done is to send it out to targeted people. Start off by approaching them by email to see if it’s OK to send the full press pack to them – don’t send the press pack unannounced. It can be a large attachment to download that sucks up a lot of mobile data – and time. Not good when you are approaching busy people with tight deadlines
You need to send your press pack to three sorts of people.
The first type of person is influencers, prominent people in your industry. They may want to share sour tips in their blog posts. They may want to have you on their podcast. So look for influencers where their audience matches with the demographic for your book.
You need to speak to journalists because they, again help spread the message. So if you’re writing a book about marine engineering you find trade journals on marine engineering and say, “Would you like to feature these tips that I’ve put together?” You find journalists that are talking about your niche and then say, “Would you like to cover this?” And typically they’ll say yes, because they’ve got this problem of constantly needing a fresh content.
Finally, approach your personal network. A lot of people will have supported you as you write your book because they want to write one themselves, and they want to see what it’s like. Professional friends and colleagues will want to see you succeed.
Perhaps they’ve worked with you and they know that you’re the real deal. They will then say, “Hey, my friend’s written this book. Please go and pick up a copy because it’s good for this reason or that reason.” So your network can do a lot of promotion as well. It helps save you going, “Buy my book, buy my book, buy my book, buy my book, buy my book.” All the time. Because that’s not a good look, is it? Let’s face it.
Shouldn’t this be the publisher’s job
Some people think that when you go to the publisher, the publisher is responsible for selling the book, and it’s not the case. If you look now in the marketplace, if you want to go with a traditional publisher, they will only take you on if you’ve a solid author platform, and that will be a massive mailing list of 10 to 30,000 people, you’d have a huge, massively engaged social media following, and so on. Because they know it’s difficult to promote the book. The author still has to do the legwork.
That’s why when you see chat shows there’s always the host saying, “Ooh, I believe you’ve got a new book out.” “Funnily enough, I have!” replies the guest And they start talking about the. The author has to do the hustling, it’s not down to the publisher to sell the book, they can do some work, they can put out press releases and speak to the correct influencers and so on, but actually your personality, your passion and belief in your book, and your willingness to share it, is what’s going to help promote it as well.
And no one can do that but you…
That’s how to promote your book.
Remember, create the press pack with your author bio, the book synopsis, and tips to share are good things to give away.
You also need to have those interview questions so you can make sure you’re represented properly and get questions that you’re expecting.
Then you give that to influencers, journalists, and people in your network.