Publicity can come on a TV talk show, a radio talk show, through an article in a popular magazine that your target audience is likely to follow, or even through a blog that your ideal readers may follow. Publicity helps people learn about you, your message, and your book, but it can never guarantee sales.
If you add publicity to your marketing mix, make sure that you set up your online platform first to allow people who are interested in your message to connect with you-even if they don’t buy from you now-and choose the options that are most likely to connect you with your ideal readers.
The following list orders publicity options from those that are generally most expensive to the options that are generally the least expensive.
Publicity Option #1: Hire a Book Publicist or Book Publicity Firm
Smith Publicity is one of the biggest names in book PR. Even if you don’t use their services, visiting their website will help you get an appreciation of what publicists offer. Their services start at a couple thousand dollars per month. Their website is SmithPublicity.com.
You can find other book publicists by asking other authors or using a database like BookCentralStation.com that includes ratings of book publicity services by the authors who have used their services. Think of it as the Angie’s List of the book world. I also recommend this $150 press release writing and distribution option from a Fiverr publicist.
Publicity Option #2: Schedule a Talk Show Tour
I usually recommend that authors use Steve Harrison’s Radio-TV Interview Report (RTIR) to attract talk show producers to contact you for interviews.
They have cheaper rates than publicity campaigns and they have helped launch several authors like Robert Kiyosaki (“Rich Dad, Poor Dad”), the authors of the “For Dummies” series (e.g. “Computers for Dummies”) and even the “Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul” series.
Request free information via mail from RTIR.com. A 3-month ad-that they will write for you-may cost $1,800 and bring in 3+ interviews.
You can also learn more about them from RTIRonline.com.
Publicity Option #3: Schedule a Blog Tour
Blog tours can also be an effective way to gain publicity. PumpUpYourBook.com is managed by a group of women who work with all types of books. They can help find a series of blogs that target the readers you want and arrange to have you interviewed on those blogs or have your book reviewed on those blogs.
A few of the blogs they work with can by syndicated on national news websites like “The Washington Post.” They have options that start at $199.
If you want to learn how to set up a virtual blog tour on your own, D’vorah Lansky is the woman who can teach you. (The benefit of learning how to set up a blog tour on your own is that you can schedule your own tours annually or semi-annually to stimulate sales at will.)
Publicity Option #4: Hire a PR Coach to Help You Get Your Own Publicity
If you are willing to do some of the PR work yourself with the help of a coach, I recommend that you work with one of my favorite PR pros on Fiverr.com. Fiverr.com is a website that connects buyers with specialists that offer work starting at only $5.
Follow this link to find this PR gig.
You can buy your own media contact list from easymedialist.com so you can contact local and national media outlets directly.
Publicity Option #5: Use Free Online Publicity Tools
Before you use any of the following free tools, I highly recommend that you thoroughly check the website to make sure that the tool is designed to reach the audience you want to attract and to make sure that you meet their requirements for inclusion.
Here are free online publicity tools for you to consider:
- Google Alerts to let you know when news outlets are talking about your topic so you can strategically position yourself as an available expert on a topic the news outlets are already running,
- Help A Reporter Out
- Chattin In Manhattan
- The Authors Show for non-fiction books, for Christian books or for Children’s books
- Indies Unlimited
- Book Daily
- PR Log (Free Press Release Distribution), and
- this 2012 post lists 46 other websites that offer free book promotion.
What other book publicity options would you like to add to this list?
Image: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Sheehan [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products or services that I have mentioned.