Part 5 in a Series of Book Marketing and Publicity Tips from Smith Publicity
Here are 5 tips to building local awareness:
1. Contact your local library: If you are an author, chances are they already know you. Tell them about your book (circulation manager or acquisitions manager are titles to ask for). Brainstorm on ideas to get your book available in their library and send friends to check it out at the library to build demand. Ask about doing and event or reading.
2. 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. Offer to email them author photo and book cover. 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.
Let them know about any book events!
3. 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!
4. Pitch to local television and radio programs: Does your book or message tie in with a particular event? Holiday? Community affair? Local history or settings? If so, tell 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 any 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!
5. Set up a local 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.