As a self-published author have you ever sighed with envy as you watch another author – most probably trade published – chat about their book on the sofa of a popular TV show? Or maybe you’ve been listening to a podcast or radio show and realized that someone else is getting book publicity you can only dream of?
But is it only a dream? Is it, in fact, possible to land yourself some awesome author publicity?
Sure, if you’re hoping to land a spot on Oprah by the time you’re done reading this, you may be disappointed. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find effective publicity that can help promote you and your book.
First, let’s be clear about what ‘publicity’ actually is.
According to Oxford Dictionaries, publicity is ‘Notice or attention given to someone or something by the media’.
And ‘media’ is defined as ‘The main means of mass communication (broadcasting, publishing, and the Internet) regarded collectively’.
So when we talk about media and publicity, we shouldn’t limit ourselves to Oprah and The New York Times. Blogs and podcasts with much smaller audiences, particularly where those audiences overlap with your ideal readers, can be just as effective as those very well known, much larger media outlets.
With that in mind, what should you be doing to get publicity?
If you’re a trade published author, your publicist or the marketing department at your publishing house may send a press release to media outlets, pitching you as a guest or your book for review.
As an indie, you can do this too, but you will likely find it a much better use of your time to be pitching yourself directly to blogs and podcasts.
Now, if you have ever started your own blog, you may feel a little jaded and that blogging is a waste of time.
That’s not true – blogging is an excellent way to reach new readers and engage with them, *if* they are finding your blog in the first place. Ditto podcasts.
The truth is that with nearly 2 billion websites online right now, with many of them being blogs or featuring a blog, it’s impossible to stand out, regardless of how awesome your content is if you don’t do anything to draw traffic to you.
Blogs that are successful today have spent a long time building their audience. It’s simply not true that if you build it online they will come. So if you don’t already have plenty of traffic to your blog, I recommend writing for someone else’s blog or being a guest on someone else’s podcast.
That is how you create your own publicity opportunities and attract attention to your book through digital media.
You may be thinking this all sounds great in theory, but you don’t have any media contacts, so how can you land guest blog and podcast interview opportunities?
You don’t need to be famous or wildly successful to be on many smaller blogs and podcasts and having been on some of those, you can work your way up to bigger ones. All you need is a reason to be there – something of value to offer the audience, whether that’s something you can teach or an interesting experience/personal story you can share.
The key is to do your research before pitching – read a few blog posts or listen to a few podcast episodes to get a feel for the style and what the audience engages with most.
With a little bit of research to find the blogs and podcasts that are the best fit for you, some brainstorming to come up with a few great story ideas and strong headlines, plus a clear and concise pitch directly to the blogger/podcaster, you will be ready to go.
Here’s the overview of how to be a great guest blogger or podcast guest:
Of course, you will have questions about each of these steps. Luckily for you, as part of NaNoProMo I am giving away my Smart Author’s Guide to Guest Blogging, where I walk you through these action steps – and much of the guidance applies to podcasts too – so you can get started landing your own publicity opportunities right away.
So, download the Smart Author’s Guide to Guest Blogging now and let me know in the comments if you will be trying guest blogging or podcasts.
Belinda Griffin helps authors launch bestselling books with impact, so they can make the difference they are here to make. As the founder of SmartAuthorsLab and as one of Tim Grahl’s certified Book Launch coaches, Belinda offers expert guidance, as well as practical done-for-you and done-with-you support, to help you plan your first or next launch.
Belinda also helps writers to grow their all-important author platforms, by forming authentic relationships with readers, both before and after publication. To find out more, grab your FREE guide: Ready To Find The Best Book Launch Plan For You? & follow Belinda on Twitter @SmartAuthors.
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Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month - created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader's "Best of 2015" top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs and two live Twitter chats: #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with TheRuralVA, Emilie Rabitoy) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with C. Streetlights and Judith Staff. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.
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