by Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing and author of “Virtual Assistant, The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA“
Experts in public relations (PR) and marketing don’t simply get the word out; they create such a phenomenal success for their clients, that when someone needs a recommendation they are the first name they consider. They aren’t just in the know; they are omniscient, on the cutting edge of what’s hot, trendy, and up-and-coming. They keep their fingers on the pulse of journalism to ensure maximum leverage for their clients at all times. And they do things right, which allows the message to get out to the right people.
From the latest, greatest seminar to the must-read book of the year, behind every incredible launch, high-profile event, or flying-off-the-shelves publication sits a grinning public relations (PR) and marketing expert.
But one area that PR pros particularly excel at is helping authors with book marketing. PR and marketing includes much more than getting those all-important book sales to skyrocket up the charts. It is generating name recognition and positive leverage for the author’s business and brand. It’s promoting webinars, live events, and seminars, and also taking steps to grow your business into something you can be extremely proud of. Effective marketing helps you to achieve best-selling status and keep you there.
A PR professional can ensure that when someone learns about your books, they can find your books, your products, your speaking events, etc. As servants of the all-important book launch, PR professionals tie up every loose end to ensure an author’s writing gets the recognition it deserves.
Here are just a few ways a PR and marketing professional can get you and your book to stand out from the masses.
- Make sure your website clearly points out who you are, how to contact you, and what you write in an easy-to-understand press-friendly format
- Help with all promotions on the book, from book reading opportunities to high-profile interviews as an expert in the topic-matter of your publication
- Create a plan for selling your book, inclusive of signings and supplemental marketing strategies that generate a buzz around you
- Weigh options for a book blog tour or in-person signings
- Book radio shows and additional media events (but first a PR professional will establish an irresistible press kit specific to you and your goals)
- Newsletter development and implementation so that you stay connected to your audience
- Advanced level article and press release marketing
- Create teleseminars and podcasts around your book.
- Curate excitement about your book, including book reviews and/or testimonials
- Brainstorming additional ways to leverage you, your personality, and your career path
Of course, every book is different, and things might be different and each authors’ needs will vary. Think about what your needs are and how some of the above suggestions could fit those needs.
Let’s also break it down into several other things a PR professional can do.
A PR professional can proof and edit your books and make sure that they are ready for print. But it doesn’t stop there. Many already have your book done and not need that, but could you use help proofing:
- Your blogs
- Your newsletters
- Your social media
- Your website
- Your new sales pages
The devil is in the details, as they say. It’s important to get everything in place prior to launching a high-profile book campaign. This includes: Your marketing plan, your media kit, press releases, pitches to journalists, articles for self-promotion, web copy and sales landing pages, newsletters, autoresponder series, and so forth.
For many authors, this can seem overwhelming. Remember that the first few months after a book is published take more energy to market, but once they are done you will just continue to perfect your process. A PR professional can be instrumental in making sure you have all this done.
PR professionals often oversee the personal branding process for authors and public figures. When someone sees your work, you want it to be instantly recognized. Your assistant, with the guidance of a PR professional, can make sure that your website, LinkedIn profile, Twitter and Facebook timelines, newsletter, are all branded to look the same. This consistency in branding creates instant recognition.
It is so important today to blog. It allows you to connect with your readers and build an all-important community. Your readers these days want more than just to read your book. They want to know the real you and blogging is the best way to expose your inner thoughts.
Blogging builds relationships, as well, and that’s exactly what you want. Blogging also allows you to give out your social media information. You can share on your blog how to connect to you on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. You will soon discover that your readers will connect with you too.
Blogging regularly and building a social media presence also works to get you more blog tours. You can create a pitch and then send it out to those who might want to have you as a guest blogger, or want to connect with you in some way.
Press releases capture the attention of your audience, whether it’s a local reporter, potential reader, etc. Press releases used to be only for the media, but today that is different. Your readers are seeing them as well and connecting to them. An aggressive press release campaign can be one of your best assets in business. It can be one of the best ways to get cost-effective PR to promote your business, products, etc.
Remember that you don’t only want to do a release when you have your book published, how about your speaking events, teleseminars, etc. These events will give you additional income and boost your book sales.
If you want to speak more, your VA can research speaking opportunities, develop the pitch for it, send it out, do follow-up to secure them, etc.
Also, your PR pro can create your Speaker One Sheet. This vital document showcases your area of expertise and speaking topics, making it easier for event organizers to review your qualifications and hire you.
It takes a lot to get published. Along the way it can get discouraging, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can have your VA assist all the way. From writing or fine-turning your query letter, to researching who to submit your books to, they can do it all. Again, a PR professional may lend their two cents to the process of finding publishers.
Plus, they can create an Excel sheet to keep track of everything. This is so important so that the next time you have it all down pat. Yes, some basic emails might change, but the majority of the information remains.
Whether self-published or published by a reputable publishing house, a PR professional can guide you through everything from deciding which way publishing route to take to marketing and selling.
Specifically, many authors who need to market their books often feel that, “The book sells itself.” While becoming an overnight success has happened for a few notable writers, the right marketing plan and a proper launch will give your book a the respect and sales they deserve.
Diana Ennen is the President of Virtual Word Publishing, offering PR and marketing services. She hosts PR classes through www.prsuccessseries.com, and is also the author of six books on starting your own business including the best-selling”Virtual Assistant, The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA“, Contact her at Diana@virtualwordpublishing.com or @dianaennen for a free PR Informational Package.