You’ve self-published your book and now it’s available for sale. But the bookstore shelves are crowded (both brick and mortar and virtual), and it can be hard for your novel, memoir, or nonfiction book to gain any attention. At Self-Publishing Relief, our marketing experts know that a book publicist can help get the word out about your book. The role of a book publicist includes arranging book tours and signing events, and knocking on a few doors in hopes of getting media attention for an author. You can hire a publicist for your self-published book—but this can be extremely costly. If you’re on a budget, here’s how to be your own book publicist!
The Role Of A Book Publicist, And How To Be Your Own
Occasional Wordsmith: The publicist might weigh in on the text for the book jacket or online book summary, paying close attention to word choices and the overall length from a marketing standpoint. When you’re creating this marketing text for your self-published book, remember to take off your writer’s cap and put on your marketing hat: You want to entice readers to buy your book.
Kudos Collector: A book publicist works to get the attention of outside critics and reviewers. While reviews and attention from your fans and followers are important, a publicist will try to get your book reviewed by professional outlets, such as bloggers and influencers, magazines or other trade publications, or other authors successfully published in your genre. A book publicist might also submit the book to be considered for awards.
To fill this publicist role yourself, research different bloggers, influencers, and institutions you can ask to review your book. And you can check online or in the Writer’s Relief Submit Write Now! free newsletter to find contests to enter.
Event Planner: A good publicist knows your online marketing efforts should be supplemented by live events so you can connect in person with your readers. Celebrate the book’s launch, give readings from the book, answer readers’ questions, and participate in panels. It’s the publicist’s job to connect with bookstores or other venues to set these events up. And in this day and age, virtual tours, where you give interviews to multiple different blogs and host events via video chat software like Zoom, are more popular than ever.
As your own DIY book publicist, be sure to reach out to local libraries, bookstores, and other potential in-person venues for book-reading event opportunities. Pro tip: A mix of in-person and virtual events will help you reach more readers—and more potential buyers.
Press Kit Organizer: A press kit, or media kit, is a list of resources that introduces your book to media outlets and provides all relevant promotional materials and information about any accolades. This ensures all the important info about your self-published book is readily available for the media, reviewers, or bloggers. Be sure to compile your own press kit for your book. Have a dedicated page on your author website to hold your press kit elements. You should include a press release about your book in your press kit.
Talent Wrangler: A book publicist coordinates social media efforts, maintains your author website and newsletter, keeps track of your marketing, and coordinates in-person or virtual events. To be your own publicist, consider getting a planner or calendar just for your marketing efforts to keep yourself organized.
Trend Tracker: A good book publicist will keep track of all the latest trends in social media and sales promotion. It’s also the publicist’s job to suggest new events and strategies the author might not know about
Be Your Own Publicist: Our #1 Tip
To succeed at being your own book publicist, you have to be fearless when promoting your book. Many writers are a bit shy and introverted, so networking and “tooting your own horn” can seem difficult and scary. But take a deep breath and keep in mind that no one can buy your book if they don’t know it exists. If you don’t want to hire a book publicist, you need to be your book’s best advocate. And be sure to follow the tips above and stay on top of all the must-know marketing strategies for your self-published book by reading the Self-Publishing Relief blog!
Question: Which part of being your own book publicist seems most difficult?