It’s crucial you don’t neglect your hometown media outlets and people you know when promoting your book.
Building local and regional awareness for your book can spark word-of-mouth awareness and allow you to get your feet wet with media exposure. It will also strengthen your platform and help you take your pitch to the next level to attract national attention in the future.
Here are 5 tips to building local awareness:
• Tell your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers: Let those you see on a regular basis know your book has been published. Most likely, the people you’re close with will want to support you so leave your modesty behind and talk yourself up!
• Contact your local newspaper: Remember – the key is to start small. Reach out to your county or town daily and weekly newspapers to let them know that you’ve written a book. Provide them with a synopsis of your book, applicable audiences and a review copy. As a local author, you will be of interest to the local community – there’s a natural “angle” — which is key to attracting the attention of local journalists.
• Build upon your initial interest: So the small community newspaper wrote a feature about you, the next up-and-coming local author? Put it on your website. Share it on your Facebook wall. Tweet the review to your followers. Write it into the book synopsis. In sharing your media placements, you’ll show potential readers and relevant media contacts that your book is getting people talking!
• Pitch to local television and radio programs: Does your book or message tie in with a particular event? Holiday? Community affair? If so, mention to the producers/program directors that you have a timely message to share with their listening or viewing audience. If you don’t have such a tie-in for your book, remember that not you are still “local news.” Share the print exposure you received and send them your speaking points. The less work the producer has to do to put together the interview, the better!
• Hold a book signing: Here are a few tips for promoting your local signing:
Rally up the troops: Send personal invitations to your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors to encourage their attendance.Offer to speak: It’s always better to offer a presentation or even a mini-seminar rather than just sitting at table signing books. Offer something of value to the bookstore or wherever you will be holding the event.Hang flyers in community stores and local businesses: Ask local business owners for permission to hang flyers in their stores. Find out if you can post an announcement on the supermarket bulletin board.Encourage local and regional calendar event listings: Contact your local and regional newspapers and community blogs and event websites to encourage calendar listings of your book signing. Register at http://www.patch.com/ to create your own local event listing.
Bottom line: Don’t underestimate the power of your local media market. Starting with your hometown and expanding to surrounding regional outlets will help you start building media credentials for you and your book. Think of media placements as resume builders for your book and message. By noting your achievements, you’ll have more appeal and credibility when pitching to national outlets.
Corinne Liccketto is the Sales & Marketing Manager at Smith Publicity, Inc. Beginning in 1997, Smith Publicity is one of the world’s leading promotional firms, specializing in book publicity. Fueled by a passion for making good things happen for clients, the company has worked with over 900 individuals and companies–from authors and entrepreneurs to publicly-held companies and businesses representing a wide range of industries. The Smith Publicity reach is international with offices in New Jersey, New York City, Los Angeles, and London. For more information about Smith Publicity, Inc., please visit www.smithpublicity.com.