Here are some of my promotion tips for authors who are planning book talks and signings. If you have tips, please share them. Thank you in advance!
1) If you use Facebook and LinkedIn, create an event for your book talk and signing. Post it on your personal profile, book page, and/or Fan page. Also post it on any group pages that serve as your audience. Make sure you invite all of your friends to the event. Ask them to share the event on their pages. They can be your ambassadors of goodwill and PR!
For LinkedIn Users: Once you post your event, you can share it with members of groups you belong to. That helps to promote your event to a wider audience.
2) Create and send an Eventbrite invitation to your email list on Yahoo, Gmail, or AOL. I used Eventbrite a few days ago and plan to use it again for my July and September events. Here is my invite: http://anandaleekebookreading.eventbrite.com.
3) Hold a Twitter chat (haven’t done this one yet, but have watched some friends do it) or UStream.tv live chat before the event (have used this before; it gives folks a chance to see you and ask questions).
4) Talk about your event on Twitter and get a group of your followers to retweet your event notices. Let your peeps help you. They love it. It feels good to be able to ask for help and then show appreciation.
5) Post your event on your blog and social networking sites where you have blogs. Ask folks to spread the word.
6) Ask your fellow bloggers to post notices about your event and book on their sites. You may need to swap some guest posts or event promotions, but it is worth it. Sometimes folks post your events without a request. That’s a true blessing too. It happened to me recently when the Hell in a Hand Bag blog posted about my event. Many thanks to blogger extraordinaire Original Najeema for the post and tweets on Twitter.
7) Consider doing audio blogs with excerpts from your book and posting them on your web site, blog, and social networking sites. You can use www.cinchcast.com or www.utterli.com. I use Cinchcast a lot these days. Check my page out: www.cinchcast.com/anandaleeke.
8) Create a short video commercial about your book events and post it on YouTube (used for my book release in November 2009 – did a 7 day countdown in December 2009), Vimeo, or Blip.tv. You can use your computer’s web cam, cell phone camera, digital camera, or a flip camera. Share a summary about the book and read an excerpt. Post the video on your web site, blog, and social media sites. Ask your friends to share it with their friends as posts on Twitter, Facebook, and other sites.
9) Connect your book and event to a national observance or local event. I tie a lot of my book events to national observances. For example, I am having a book reading during June which is Black Music Month. My novel Love’s Troubadours and memoir That Which Awakens Me discuss Black music. So I have been tweeting about the music in both books this week. I also mention my book web sites and book reading dates. In addition, my book reading is happening during DC Digital Week. So I am hosting a free yoga class to support the Week. During my class I will read a short excerpt from my memoir because it is yoga-inspired. I will also share that my novel is yoga-inspired too. I am teaching the yoga class in a park that I discuss in my book. So I will mention that too. My memoir includes insights about my social media journey. So that will be included too.
10) Share what you learn from the book promotion process with others. It helps you establish social capital and participate in the gift economy author Tara Hunt discusses in her book The Whuffie Factor (one of my favorite books). When we give and share, we will be blessed. That’s the universal law of give and take!
Thank you Ananda for all this great advice. I think author’s have to shift their consciousness from the old model of promoting to the new model of social networking. Years ago I remember designing, printing and distributing fliers. Now, I follow the steps you outlined above.
Thanks JJ. I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts.