This post, from Katherine (Kat) Smith, originally appeared on WritersWrite.
The hard work, you think, is over. You’ve labored into many late nights writing your book, struggled to literally make sure every "i" is dotted and every "t" crossed. Your book — your baby — is all grown up now; completed and ready to set the world on fire.
Then, the cold, hard truth slaps you in the face like a winter chill. Like the proverbial tree falling in the woods with no one around, your book isn’t going to make a sound — or even be known about by anyone — unless you get the word out. You could hire a publicist, but the often high-costs can be prohibitive, and perhaps most of your "book money" went to editing, design, layout and printing.
What to do?
Relax, set your ego aside, and set up a plan and course of action. Book promotion isn’t rocket science; but it does involve a lot of hard work, persistence and some added touches of creativity. Here are some basic yet invaluable pointers for the bold author who has decided to go it alone in the wild world of book promotion.
Change positions with the media
The essence of book promotion is the utilization of the media to get the word out to the public about your book. Sure, producers, editors and journalists can be a gruff bunch, but the reality is they are literally swamped with books and press releases every day.
What you need to do is put yourself in the shoes of the media. If you were a feature editor at a paper or a producer of a talk show, what would interest you? Too often, amateur publicists simply believe that getting a book or press release into the right person’s hands will do the trick. WRONG. You’ve got to think of an angle, hook, slant — whatever you want to call it — that will interest the right people.
Listen to talk radio. Watch TV talk shows. Read the lifestyle and feature sections of newspapers. Read magazines. See what makes it; then create a press release that will make it happen for you.
Remember: No one ever interviews a book
Getting on radio and TV talk shows is exciting, fun and can really jumpstart book sales. But if you think your book will get you on the air by itself, you’re probably wrong. No one interviews a book … they interview PEOPLE. Of course, the topic your book may be gets the attention of producers, but they need and want people who can be informative, entertaining and articulate. People make a show … not books.
When you’re promoting a book, you’re also promoting yourself. Remember this, practice this, and go for it!