How You Can Promote Your Book in the Media: 16 Ideas

Writing a book can be really exhausting. It’s worth the effort though because it’s a great way to strengthen your personal brand. A book helps you to position yourself as a thought leader. It’s also a great way to gain (free) publicity. There are a lot of things you have to think about before, during and after publication to gain attention from readers, journalists and editors. I’ll share 16 ideas with you how you can do this.

1.      Know your audience

You have to think about this long before the writing process starts. Ask yourself who your target audience is and what questions, problems and frustrations they might have. Are there any specific needs or interests you can respond to in your book? It’s important because it helps you create (promotional) content in order to gain media attention.

2.     Create a website

A website is an essential part in the promotion of your book and your personal brand. It’s the first place readers, proofreaders and editors look for information. Your website needs to be compelling, clean and easy readable on desktop and mobile devices. You can link press publications, positive book reviews and links to your blog and social media accounts on your website. Don’t forget to write a short bio and pitch about your book. This helps to trigger your readers and other people who are interested, to find out more about the book. It might persuade them to order a copy.

3.     Use social media

You can announce press publications and bonuses with the help of social media. It’s a great way to connect with your (readers) audience or journalists. Then think about what channels to use to attract the right audience. Do they use Facebook? Then it might be interesting to create a Facebook advertisement.

Are you organizing a book launch? Then you can create a Facebook event for which you can invite people. If your book contains a plot or setting in a certain theme, such as Christmas or Spring, you can create an advertisement around this theme. LinkedIn is a great platform to promote management books and books about leadership and success. These topics are very popular on LinkedIn Pulse, LinkedIn’s blog platform.

4. Contact the media

Contact (local) journalists in an early stage about your book launch. Don’t just promote your book, but help the journalist with an interesting story around your book launch. Pitch ideas for an article or interview or send them (the first chapters of) your book.

5. Write a press release

There are more effective ways to promote your book than writing a press release. Increase the chance of publication by creating a newsworthy story. Try to relate your book to current events such as a recent research. Emphasize your area of expertise so journalists know when to contact you. Whatever you do, try to imagine what a journalist or editor looks for in a story. This will  increase your success rate significantly. Remember that it’s not about you or your book, but about what’s interesting for your audience.

6. Create a media kit

A traditional media kit is a bit ‘old school’ but still very effective! You can create an online or hardcopy version to impress journalists and editors. A professional media kit contains business cards, a cover photo of your book, a recent profile picture of yourself, a short bio and more information about your book. You can also add a press release, other publications and book reviews.

7. Start a blog

You can create a loyal fan base by starting a blog. Even before you start your promotion campaign.  You can write about your book, but also about things that relate to your book. Write in an informative and fun way to provide your readers valuable information. Does your book have a main character? Create a contest around it for your readers. Let them think of an interesting name for this character. Link your blog to your website and social media accounts so your readers will be updated about recent developments.   

8. Write a guest blog

Guest blogging helps you increase your reach and visibility within your area of expertise. Blogging platforms are useful resources because of their large following. Guest blogging helps increase your personal brand. People visit your blog and website for more information about you or because they want to order your book.  

9. Visit seminars

Visiting seminars to promote your book may seem a bit far-fetched, but it certainly isn’t. Seminars offer all kinds of opportunities to promote your book before, during and after publication.  You can talk to potential readers, make a request to speak at a conference or you can rent a stand to sell your book.

10. Create an email list

You can find readers for your book even before it’s published. Invite people who are interested in your book to register for your newsletter through your blog or website. Use your newsletter to inform your readers when there’s news about your book or blog. You can use user- friendly email platforms for this.

11. Collect book reviews

Book reviews websites such as Amazon are great to collect reviews. You can ask family and friends to write a review for you. Send them (some chapters of) your book when they haven’t read it.

12. Trigger your readers

Create a preview so your readers get a glimpse of the content of your book. You can collect ambassadors before publication to help you promote your book. You can reward them with a great giveaway, bonus or discount after the book is launched.

13. Connect with old classmates

Reconnect with old classmates and tell them about your book. You can also inform the school about the book launch. They often like to publish something about former students or within the alumni-network. Ask if you can give a talk or a signing session for alumni students.

14. Organize creative campaigns

Create buzz around your book by organizing limited actions, giveaways or competition. You can, for example, offer readers of your book a bonus chapter when they buy the book in a specific timeslot. This can increase the ranking of your book significantly which helps you gain promotion for your book, because your book gets noticed by reviewers and readers.

15. Take part in discussions

Join forums or LinkedIn Groups that relate to your industry. Respond to posts and give advice. When it’s allowed (check the rules) you can, for example, mention the name of the book with a link to your website and blog. You can also ask group members if they want to read your book, want to provide feedback or write a review of your book.

16. Keep promoting

A lot of writers promote their book before and during publication, but promote your book also after publication by creating content for your website, blog and social media accounts to continuously attract readers.

7 Tips for Free Publicity

Did you know that 9 out of 10 press releases are thrown away without ever being read? These figures show that it isn’t easy to gain press coverage. How do you make sure your story will make the headlines? The following tips can help you.

1.        Avoid promotion

Publicity isn’t the same as promotion. It’s about telling a story that’s interesting for a journalist. People don’t care about bragging or shameless promotion. Most journalists are allergic to it.

2.       Research the medium

Whatever you do, avoid sending a standard press release to a complete media list. Editors receive far to often stories that don’t fit their medium. Researching the channel upfront increases the chance of publication.

3.       Research the journalist

Although a lot of news mediums use online forms for people to pitch their story, it’s better to look for a direct email address to make sure your email ends up in the right email inbox. In this way you avoid that your email ends up in the bin without ever being read.

Pro tip: When you can’t find the name of a journalist you can also look for a specific department, like economics. You can also look for articles on the website of the news medium to find out what topic a journalist focuses on.

4.       Involve the journalist

When you send out an email, add a personal note that the specific journalist can appreciate. Keep it short. About 1 or 2 sentences is enough. Explain why your story is interesting for the journalist as well as the medium.

5.       Create a media list

When you want to approach news outlets in the future it’s useful to create an overview of all editors and journalist per news medium. The next time you can see instantly by whom you can pitch your story. This saves you a lot of time!

6.       Timing is key

Never pitch old news. Take into account what time of day you can best pitch your story to a journalist. The morning is the best time when you pitch to a medium that covers daily news. When you, for example, pitch a story to a monthly magazine, it’s important to take into account that they, on average, work three to four months ahead. When summer is over, magazines start with Christmas stories.

7.        Don’t give up without a fight

Don’t be discouraged when your story won’t make the cut. It sometimes can help to make a phone call. Then, you’ll find out why your story is interesting or not. You can learn from it for the next time. Look at it as a game that you keep getting better at.