If you are waiting around for meetings, conferences, podcasts and virtual summits to invite you so you can promote your book, you are slow rolling what could be a watershed of opportunity.
For authors, after the exhaustion of energy expenditure on getting the book written and published, marketing oftentimes takes a backseat. Further, there is often the perception that your words are so important, the people should automatically come to you. (Field of Dreams this isn’t!).
Thus, authors tend to let opportunities come to them, rather than develop an ongoing outreach campaign to secure the visibility they need to ensure a long-term strategy for book sales.
But if you want to create loyal fans and followers, attract clients and build your bank account, you need to be proactively putting yourself where your audience is! Book signings, email marketing, Goodreads, and Amazon reviews alone won’t do the trick. It takes going where they are, and not waiting for them to come to you.
Today, the fastest and most effective way to create the massive visibility that will make you a bestselling author is through speaking, radio shows/podcasts and virtual summits. And these are tactics that can keep sales going long after your initial launch.
You need to be in these places where people can connect with you and your message.
Finding them and getting booked are among the things that authors often dislike, resist or don’t find the time for. But once you develop some simple steps and get into the swing of being your own best advocate, you’ll enjoy a steady stream of appearances that will invite you back time after time!
Here are some suggestions to get you started.
Public speaking is THE most effective way to sell books. When people see and hear you, they will want to read the book.
The first step in this process is to actually commit time to locating opportunities and pitching the bookers. Block at least three hours each week in your calendar just for this purpose. If you can’t do the time, you can’t earn the dime!
Identify at least three different topics on which you can speak. They could be derivations of the same one for different audiences or three entirely different subjects that all lead to what you are marketing. This gives bookers flexibility and you more chances to get a “yes.”
If you are concerned about your presentation skills, you have three paths…start testing your primary signature talk locally on small audiences, working to perfect it. Join a local Toastmasters chapter where you can safely learn and grow into a speaker within a welcoming community, or lastly get connected with one of the brilliant speaker trainings around. This may be a little more costly, but it’s the quickest path to proficiency
Create a stellar Speaker One-Sheet. This document features your profile, photo, testimonials, brief descriptions of your presentations, and book cover image packaged in an attractive manner. When you include it in an email to a speaker booker, it gives them a capsule summary of why you would be great for his/her audience
Now you want to get out in the world. Some obvious—but often overlooked—ways to find engagements are to ask your friends and your clients if they belong to or know of organizations that might like to have you present. Explore local book festivals, chambers of commerce, women’s groups, service organizations, Unity or Centers for Spiritual Living, library speakers series, networking groups, associations, industry-specific meetings, special interest groups, health and wellness support groups, etc. Most of these are easy to find on Google by typing the organization + your city. You might even find some book clubs that way!
If you wish to be doing conferences, check around in your industry or genre, or once again, Google! Lastly, there is a website called Events in America you can explore for aligned events.
You can also create your own events, pair up with other leaders in your field to host joint events, or, lastly, negotiate with people you know who are already hosting their own events. Sometimes, you may be able to get free stage time, sometimes you may need to pay for it, you may also split your revenue with the organizer and lastly, you might propose a stage swap—where each of you speaks on each other’s stage.
Radio Shows and Podcasts
Today, there is a vast array of audio possibilities. With the advent of internet radio and more recently, the explosion of podcasts, there’s almost an infinite number (more than a million podcasts alone!). And the latter two options bring highly targeted audiences interested in the hosts’ subject matter so you can zero in with impact, where with most broadcast, you may not know on whom your message will land. Keep in mind a large percentage of these are now also Videocasts done over Zoom or Facebook Live as well.
So first, you will want to put together a great 1 to 1.5 page pitch letter, which makes you sound irresistible! You should tell the host or producer exactly how you will impact the audience—what solution or inspiration you bring: how it will help them change, heal or move forward in life more successfully. This also applies to “memoirs with a message!”
To find these opportunities:
• Discover broadcast opportunities by searching online for radio stations and local shows in your market. But if the website doesn’t give you names of producers (which are often different that then host in the broadcast world), then pick up the phone and call the station.
• For internet, you can search by subject matter or go to selected radio networks. Some networks focus on a specific genre, such as health or business, but others have different “channels” where you can find shows covering your topic area. Look for shows that actually focus on books and authors, too!
• With podcasts, the easiest to access are Apple Podcast, iHeartRadio and Spodify (and there are many smaller podcast aggregators), where you can track down the show in your genre by subject matter. From there you can often find a link to the host’s website where you can either secure an email or submit via online form. You may also see podcasts your colleagues are appearing on when the promotional posts show up in your email box or on social media. Follow up with those.
Virtual summits are one of the most successful ways to build your opt-in list, get new clients, drive people into a specific program and develop joint venture partnerships. These events, of course, are video summits presented online, usually produced by a host who assembles a group of experts on a related subject matter so enticing that people will immediately submit their name and email to gain access to the interviews. Every guest presenter involved co-promotes to his or her list and social media.
To get on the “summit circuit,” you need to find aligned summit hosts for whom your topic resonates; you will often need a great free online lead-generation offer; you must be willing to co-promote. And, of course, you can talk about your book, too, but you’ll want to use the free offer to get them into your community—whether they buy or not!
Summits are not easy to locate BEFORE they are booked solid with guest presenters, but watch for the ones that show up in your email box, as many of these hosts do one or more events each year. This will give you a head start on reaching out for the next one. Also put the word out to your friends, colleagues and mastermind partners that you are looking to get on summits. They may get invited and connect you with the host as well.
Commit the time to build your audience through these three types of opportunities and you will see your success soar!
Jackie Lapin the founder of SpeakerTunity® The Speaker & Leader Resource Company. Jackie is a leader in helping leaders, authors, coaches, and speakers GET BOOKED. She provides direct leads through her SpeakerTunity® programs, tip sheets and regional directories that get changemakers booked on stages, radio shows, podcasts, virtual summits, TEDx events and virtual networking across North America. SpeakerTunity® also offers a speaker-one sheet graphic design service, booking systems and training to fill up your speaking calendar. SpeakerTunity® is The Ultimate Speaker’s Tool Box. For a one-month free trial of three SpeakerTunity® subscriptions, visit www.SpeakerTunity.com/free-trials.
Do you enjoy listening to audiobooks and podcasts? Check out our recordings for authors to learn about writing, publishing, and promoting nonfiction books.