Hiring a publicist can be really, really expensive. So if you're self-publishing a book on a budget and you haven't got publisher to provide a publicist for you, you may be thinking that you can't get any publicity for your self-published book. Well, that is not true. You can absolutely get your own publicity and in this post, I'm going to show you three ways that you can do that.
Getting publicity for your self-published book can sometimes feel like an impossible task. You may want to get traditional publicity – publicity in a national newspaper or magazine, or maybe even a slot on a TV show. That can be tricky, but it's not impossible. And there are a lot of opportunities for new media publicity. So media like blogs and podcasts, or you could even get interviewed on somebody else's YouTube channel.
To land yourself some great publicity and exposure, you need a good story and a strong pitch, and I've talked about those things in my previous posts. In this post, I'm going to share three ways that you can land publicity for your self-published book, and this works really well for new media and traditional publicity as well.
1. Take the local angle
Local newspapers and local magazines love to feature news stories about people from the local area. So if you're the local author, then you want to get in touch with your local newspaper, your local magazine, your local news station, and your local radio station. You want to let all those people know that you've written a book, especially if your book is set in the local area.
If the local news is already pretty busy, then just being a local author might not be enough. You might need to have another angle to your story. So have you managed to write after suffering some kind of adversity? Maybe you lost your job and you decided to turn your hand to writing. Maybe you're donating some of the proceeds of your sales to charity. If it's a local charity, that can work really well for securing publicity.
If you're writing about the local area, or if the book is set in the local area, then that's often a popular thing for news channels and newspapers to focus on. They find it exciting to know that their local area features in a book that sells nationwide.
If you decide you'd like to try to pitch your story to the local media, then all you need to do is send a short press release. You need to sell the benefits of the book, get to the point about what the book is about and why the news outlet might want to feature your story.
2. Timely news stories
What's going on that you can tie into? So the obvious timely story is a Christmas story. If your book is set at Christmas, then it is an obvious story that you might want to let the media know about in the run-up to Christmas. It could be a perfect Christmas gift or the perfect Christmas read. The same can go for some summer reads and beach reads.
But, there are so many other holidays and awareness days that you can tie into. For example, in February we all know it's Valentine's day, it's the month of love. So any kind of romance story is going to make sense to try to promote during February. However, did you know that February also features International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day and there's also Tell a Fairy Tale Day? There is an awareness day for pretty much every single day of the year. Some of them will be national days for your local country. There are different days in Britain, for example, to what there are in the US. There are also international days celebrated around the world.
So all you need to do is a Google search for awareness days, or grab your Publicity Calendar for a ready-made list of notable dates. See what days are coming up that you may be able to tie your book into and pitch a story around. You may need to get a little creative here, but there are so many opportunities, and news outlets love a quirky story. Everybody likes a little bit of fun and you may be able to get a small story in that piggybacks off one of these awareness days and manage to get a mention of your book in there too.
3. Piggyback on a major news story
My final tip for getting traditional publicity is to piggyback on a big news story or a trend. As an example, I always like to use the story of one of my private clients who had written a memoir. That memoir included a story of a particularly hair-raising car journey with an older relative at the wheel. When the UK's Prince Phillip had a car accident, it was all over the news. And my client was very quickly able to pitch a story idea about older people driving and when it's time to give up. He had no idea that opportunity was going to come up, but he was very quick to see the connection between that news story and his book and pitch a story that was of interest.
The newspapers liked his story idea because they all wanted to continue talking about Prince Phillip's car accident. However, everyone had already covered that story. There was nothing left to say about the incident, but they still wanted to talk about it. That's because people still wanted to read about it; people were still buying newspapers to find out more. And so they still wanted to cover the story, but they needed new ways to do so. And so my client was able to sneak in there and take an opportunity to talk about his book and the newspapers were very receptive to the idea.
So if you see a big news story happening and you think you can piggyback on that, give it a try.
Grab your Publicity Calendar
So those are my three ways of landing publicity for your self-published book, whether that is for traditional media or for new media. You want to go for the local angle, you want to try timely stories, and you also want to piggyback on big news stories.
Now, if you're wondering where you can get a list of awareness days, where you can get more story ideas and where you can get more tips for getting your own publicity, then you must download my friend Selena Soo's 2021 Publicity Calendar! The Publicity Calendar is full of 179 story ideas, dates & hooks to help you create endless media attention and buzz, plus more great tips on securing your own publicity. I can't wait to see the publicity you land with it!
Can I meet with a PR firm, rather than do everything online.
Yes, you sure can! Keep in mind that PR firms can be very costly and any exposure they generate is likely to be short-lived. Remember too that they own their list of contacts, whereas when you put effort into building your own relationships, you can reach out to people again. I recommend focusing on getting your own publicity for long-term platform building and/or if budget is tight. But if you want a short blast of exposure and you have the budget, a PR firm could be right for you.