September 22, 2014

Creating Your Platform and Promoting Yourself

Since platform and promotion has become so important today for selling books or getting a book deal with a publisher, the big question that many writers have is how do you do this?  How do you gain that visibility in a time when there is so much clutter from millions of self-published books and celebrity has become the coin of the realm?

Here are some suggestions on what to do.

  • Set up speaking engagements with a local group or create your own speaking engagement by inviting some friends to a conference room, meeting room, or banquet room in a local restaurant. Plan to talk about a topic featured in your book and arrange for a local videographer to film you from different angles as you speak.  If you can’t afford the prices of local videographers (commonly about $50-125 an hour depending on where you are located and the videographer’s experience), you might contact a local school or media training center and you might pay a much lower price (say $15-35 an hour) or even get a volunteer to do this.  Include the video in a 3-5 minute promotional video about you.
  • If possible, arrange for two or preferably three speaking engagements, so you can cut them together in your video.  Whoever is editing this should cut from you speaking to audience reactions, and perhaps even include cut-aways of whatever you are talking about, such as a busy street if you are talking about life in the city.
  • Post your video on YouTube and other video sharing sites. Also burn it on a CD or DVD and add in an attractive label.  Then, use this video — or a series of these – to get other speaking engagements or interest the local media in doing an interview with you.
  • Look for ways to tie what your book is about to the current news. Sometimes the media will find you when they are looking for someone to talk about a particular topic and your book pops up in search engines or on AMAZON.  Or take the initiative by calling the local press, creating a press release and sending it out, or do both.  In contacting the media, explain how you can comment on a current news topic because of your expertise on the subject, as featured in your book.  For example, since one of my books is on lying, I was asked to comment on how and why people lie so much after some politicians were caught in lies or called others liars.
  • Contact book fairs, literary clubs, and other organizations that might be interested in your topic to talk to them.
  • Create a blog about your topic, such as through Word press, and ideally run your blog off your Website, so after visiting your blog, people might go on to explore your main Website.
  • Write about 400-700 words for your blog, and turn each blog into an article which you can post on article sharing sites, such as ezinearticles.com.
  • As you get more speaking engagements and articles published, add these to your bio and to a flyer listing all you have done. Also include this information in any proposals you send out to pitch your book.
  • Create your own events that are tied to the topic of your book or future book.  For example, have a book launch party and create a theme party around the book’s topic, which I did when I had a “Bad Bosses Party” to celebrate the publication of A Survival Guide for Working with Bad Bosses. I invited members of the business community, including the head of the local Chamber of Commerce who introduced the event, and I created some Bad Boss games. The result was some local articles about the event. So think of what you might do to attract an audience and increase awareness of your book.  Then, later add this to your bio and press kit.

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Gini Graham Scott Ph.D.

Gini Graham Scott Ph.D.

Gini Graham Scott, PhD, is the author of over 50 books and a speaker/seminar leader, specializing in social trends, work relationships, professional development, and writing and publishing books. Her latest books include THE TRUTH ABOUT LYING; WANT IT, SEE IT, GET IT!; and USING LINKEDIN TO PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS OR YOURSELF. She also helps clients write, publish, and promote their own books and find publishers and agents through Changemakers Publishing and Writing. She has a publishing company Changemakers Publishing and writes screenplays, both her own and for clients. Her Websites are at http://www.changemakerspublishingandwriting.com and http://www.ginigrahamscott.com.

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