Every author wants more publicity but not every author can afford their own publicist. So in this post, I'm going to let you know how you can secure your own publicity. And to help you get started, I even have a publicity calendar just for you!
The right kind of media attention can skyrocket your success as an author but getting it can sometimes feel like a lottery. And if you're self-publishing, it can often seem like the door for media attention is firmly closed for you. But if you've been following me for a while you know that I don't believe that. It's just a case of finding the right outlet and the right topics to talk about.
Rather than pitching major traditional news outlets, you may prefer to go for something smaller and more targeted. Because it's not the size of the audience you can get in front of that matters. What really matters is getting in front of the right audience. That means the people that are going to be the most interested in your book.
If you're a non-fiction author this can be straightforward because you're looking for outlets that talk about the same topic as your book. For example, if you've written a book on fitness then you're looking for blogs or podcasts that talk about fitness. You know that the people listening to those podcasts or reading those blogs will be interested in what you talk about in your book.
Fiction authors can get publicity too!
But what about fiction authors? Well, you can still pitch yourself as a guest on non-fiction blogs and podcasts. It's simply a case of brainstorming topics that you feel confident talking about and that you think you can contribute something to.
Think about where else your audience may be hanging out. What other interests do your fiction readers have or what problems do they need solving? Remember that fiction readers are everywhere and they don't just read fiction. They're also parents. They're also people that care about their health. And they're also people with jobs that care about productivity or climbing the career ladder. So your readers may also be reading fitness blogs, or parenting blogs, or productivity blogs, and listening to podcasts as well, of course.
So as a fiction author, you can still pitch yourself to those outlets to get in front of your target readers.
Here are my top three tips for securing your own online publicity.
Tip #1: Think about where you might find your readers online
What are your readers' interests besides your books? For example, if you've written children's books, then the buyers of your books are going to be parents, particularly mums. So what else are mums interested in? Right now they might be learning about homeschooling. They may be reading blogs or listening to podcasts that are going to support them with educating their kids at home. So they're the kinds of places where you could pitch an idea.
Maybe you could contribute an article to an education blog or a parenting blog about how to encourage reading for pleasure or how to encourage reluctant readers. Think about what you know, what you're interested in, what you can contribute and where it can overlap with what else your readers might want to learn about.
If your readers are older, they may be feeling a little bit isolated right now. They may be turning to podcasts or radio shows to keep them company and keep them entertained. So perhaps you could pitch a reading of your novel. That could be something that a radio show or podcast would want to publish.
Tip #2: Brainstorm outlets
Once you've brainstormed some ideas or topics, it's time to think about where can you pitch your ideas – specific blogs or podcasts that you can reach out to.
If you're not familiar with what's out there then it's time to get on Google. Type into Google your topic idea plus the word ‘blog' or ‘podcast' and see what comes up. Start browsing and look at what's popular on the first page, but also dig a little deeper to see what's on subsequent pages. Start making a list of blogs you might want to reach out to.
You can do a similar search with Apple Podcasts. Open the Apple Podcast app, type in your topic idea and see what kind of podcasts come up.
You don't want to go for the very top ones because they can be difficult to get onto until you've got a bit of experience under your belt. So look for slightly less well-known podcasts. Look for things that are in the top 200, for example, and start writing down podcast names.
Tip #3: Come up with story ideas
Now you have your list of possible outlets, the blogs and podcasts you're thinking about pitching, what will you pitch?
It's important to come up with story ideas rather than topics because blog and podcast hosts want to know exactly what you are going to contribute.
Topic ideas are things like ‘encouraging reading for pleasure' or ‘getting fit after 50'. They are topic ideas, whereas a story idea is ‘7 ways to help your seven-year-old read for pleasure', or '50 things you can do to get fit after 50′.
So think about what story you want to tell or what problem you're going to solve for the audience. Try to think of something that will hook the podcast or blog host's attention right away when you send your pitch email.
Get your Publicity Calendar 2021
I know that coming up with story ideas can be challenging. It can be especially so for fiction authors who don't normally have to come up with non-fiction story ideas. So I'm excited to let you know my friend Selena Soo, an incredible publicity strategist and one of the most connected people I know, has generously offered up a copy of her 2021 PUBLICITY CALENDAR to my community!
The Publicity Calendar is full of 179+ story ideas, dates & hooks to help you create endless media attention and buzz, plus:
Smart ways to tackle sensitive & timely issues so that your pitches can make a bigger impact.
The 3 things your pitch must have to avoid the tragic trash folder and score major media coverage.
How to become a productivity machine by planning your content and pitches in advance, giving you more time… and more success!
Download your copy, and let’s start out this year with inspired action!