Leveraging Your ContactsWhen developing your book promotion strategy, utilizing the people around you—your contacts—is key.

Most of us have a built-in network of contacts that we don’t even realize can be useful in our book-promoting efforts. A network can include

  • friends and family
  • social networking contacts
  • members of associations, groups, or clubs you belong to
  • clients
  • business partners
  • bloggers
  • business owners

The thing about your contacts is that you can’t expect them to know how to promote your book for you. If you want their help, you need to ask them to take action, and provide some direction for them to follow. It doesn’t have to be invasive or painful. In fact, many will be glad to help—but they can’t do that until you let them know what you need.

Here are some ways your contacts can participate in book promotion:

  • Send an announcement to their networks (be sure to send short, medium, and long versions of sales copy      so they can easily copy and paste)
  • Recommend you as a speaker at their trade association or company
  • Announce your book via social media (send a document with pre-written tweets and messages)
  • Send a recommendation to specific individuals (this is different than sending an announcement to the masses—ask your contacts if they know anyone who would benefit from your book and invite them to forward along some details)
  • Review your book on Amazon
  • Review your book on a blog/website/radio show/publication
  • Write about your book in a blog post
  • List your book for sale on a website
  • Purchase your books to give away to clients or employees
  • Recommend your book to an organization that could benefit from purchasing copies
  • Introduce you to a key contact or media source

This is just a partial list to get you started. Realize that different contacts can offer different benefits. I recommend making a spreadsheet that lists all of your key contacts and how each may be able to help you. Have this ready before your book launch campaign so that you know exactly who you will contact and how you will ask them to assist. Remember, if you wait for them to help, they may not know what to do or may forget to take action. Simply ask for what you need, and don’t be afraid to politely follow up if they at first agree to help you but don’t follow through.