An international book publicity and public relations firm for authors, publishers, books, experts, speakers, thought leaders and organizations. Read the latest on author marketing tips, book promoting tricks, and news about book publicity in the modern age.
Aside from media outreach and coverage, there are many, many other ways you can market your book. Expanding all of the tools
in your book marketing arsenal can expand your audience and compliment traditional publicity. Be sure to check out our 110 book marketing ideas and be creative, relentless and a motivated, book-selling author!
Today, writers have a plethora of online resources to help further them in their journey to a successful writing career. Because there are so many websites out there, it can be challenging trying to figure out the best ones. The following are a list of some popular ones that writers use every day.
The Book Bub blog is a great place to get a sense of what’s popular, trending, and what the fiction world is paying attention to: It’s a great way to put your name out there and gain followers. https://www.bookbub.com/blog
AWP is a place for writers to connect and learn from one another. It provides a great sense of community advocacy, and support to nearly 50,000 writers. There is also an abundance of resources to take advantage of. https://www.bookbub.com/blog
No matter how savvy a writer you may be, there are times where the ideas come to a halt. This is where plot generator comes into play. It is a fun idea to get the juices flowing and combat writer’s block: https://www.plot-generator.org.uk/
Pub Rants is hosted by the Nelson Literary agency and it’s a place where a real live book editor answers questions and talks about common mistakes and pitfalls: This website is a tool that every writer needs to utilize to improve their writing skills. https://nelsonagency.com/pub-rants/
750 Words is an author accountability tool to help you get into the habit of writing every day. It runs on a point system where if you write your 750 words, you get 2 points. It also displays via charts your feelings, themes, and mindsets when writing. https://750words.com/auth/signup
We all know that grammar is a deal breaker when it comes to writing. No one wants to read anything that has poor grammar. For fantastic grammar information and tips, grammar girl is a lighthearted and fun resource to use. https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl
Electric Literature is a great resource for staying abreast of trends. You also get to read work from some great writers that are not mainstream. https://electricliterature.com/
With a podcast, a book club, and a blog, the Nervous Breakdown is a great resource to get a sense of what’s going on in the hip literary in-crowd. http://thenervousbreakdown.com/
Not really a website, but Twitter is also an amazing place to find large communities of other fiction writers. #amwriting and #NaNoWriMo are good places to start. https://twitter.com/
Social Media Tips and Tricks from Publisher’s Weekly Webinar for Social Media Marketing and Content Strategy for Books
Smith Publicity explains new social media tricks for new authors
By Lindsey Brodowski
If social media apps were Senior Superlatives, Facebook would win most popular, Twitter would win Class Clown, and Instagram would win Most Artistic. None of these are bad titles to claim, but all are significantly different from another, and content that works for one platform might not necessarily work for another.
Recently, I was able to attend a Publisher’s Weekly webinar about content creation hosted by Rachel Krupitsky, Director of Social Media Strategy at Penguin Random House, and Helen Todd, Founder of Sociality Squared. Rachel and Helen were able to provide a refresher of some of the biggest takeaways from each social media app, but also new ways people are utilizing the app to promote their books. Below are some of the best ways to interact, engage, and create a fan base for your book on each of these platforms:
Although it still reigns King as the most used social media app, Facebook is the most difficult app to build followers from scratch. Facebook also wants its users to interact most with other posts on Facebook, so if you are posting a link from an outside source, its algorithm will de-prioritize your post, and move it down on a homepage.
However, Facebook’s also opening a door for a new way to interact with people interested in your content with Facebook groups. These aren’t the groups you liked back in 2009 that just featured quotes from your favorite movies or highlights from your favorite sports team moments: their hubs for people to discuss tips and interests that they all share in common. It can be a gold mine for finding your target audience! For instance, if you have a parenting book, join some mommy blogger groups. Have a fantasy book? Join fantasy group forums and post about its release.
Twitter users often say that they can’t believe the social media site is free, because of all of the funny, relevant content people share. Tap into this, and share posts that you think your followers will not only relate to, but will share among their followers. After all, it only takes one tweet to go viral!
Most Twitter users also use the app for the most up-to-date news. Instead of waiting for the morning paper, they scroll through the moments and headlines. This is why some many businesses capitalize on breaking news to create content that can tie back to their brand or product for Twitter. Using the most popular hashtags or trends for the day that you can build a tweet off of. For instance, if you have a self-help book, include #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth in your tweets during May, when Mental Health Awareness Month is observed.
Teens and young adults today are steering away from Facebook to make room for the colorful world of Instagram. Instagram’s user base has grown faster than any other app in the past year, and is the most popular among teens.
Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift have a recognizable profile just based on the “aesthetic” of their pages—a brand identifiable by using certain colors and filters unique to their page. It’s a tactic many (Bookstagram “book Instagram”) pages use, as well. Because of this, you want to attempt to create a “brand” on your author page as well. Whether it’s graphics or patterns of posts, people will associate a photo with your page, and it will build engagement.
It’s also important to utilize Instagram stories. With stories—a post that appears and lasts for only 24 hours—users want to see live, behind the scenes content. For authors: take a video of yourself unloaded a fresh stack of your books, or a boomerang of you autographing copies. Followers want to take a walk in your shoes—so let them!
For all of these apps, you want to make sure your promoting a social-first, visual content strategy that will attract, appeal to, and reel in followers that can help engage with not only your content, but your book. Look at social media as a free marketing tool that can help you become a leader in your field—all available to you at the touch of your fingers!
Smith Publicity explains 3 key tips for non-fiction books.
By Mike Onorato
Vice President, Publicity at Smith Publicity
Distinguishing your book from the thousands of other titles available in the marketplace can be the biggest challenge for an author. More competition, more media outlets and a news cycle that seems to change by the second makes the publicity weapons in your arsenal even more important! So what can you do? We present three tips you can start doing today that can help your book stand out from the pack…and get some attention.
Be active – Whether it’s social media posts, blogging on your own site or any others you may write for or writing byline articles, you need to be active. The more content you put out there about your area of expertise or your subject matter, the better. Producers do their homework when it comes to booking authors/guests or deciding which books to feature. They will Google you and the more activity they see, the better. And they want to see you are part of a conversation – that you have an opinion and aren’t afraid to share it.
The pen is mightier than the sword – You’re going to need to write original content related to the book and your message. Having the ability to write exclusive 600-800 word articles for publication is crucial. In the areas of business, health and wellness and current events, offering up exclusive, written-on-demand articles are integral to getting attention for your book. Your publicist will work with you to identify key targets and subject matter for the pieces. They won’t ask you to write 3 articles a week. But they may keep you busy. In our experience, we have also seen this can lead to a recurring writing gig. Some media outlets will ask you to become a contributor where you have the ability to post many articles at your discretion!
Help your publicist – You know your book better than anyone. You know the angles you can speak to – pro or con. The biggest key to a successful promotional book campaign is a true partnership with your publicist. As you monitor the news and see hooks and tie-ins, alert your publicist in the form of 3-5 bullet points they can fold into a pitch. Timing is crucial here. With the breakneck speed of the news cycle, you will need to react quickly. While your publicist may not use every angle you send them, it will be a tremendous help – and partnership – to feed them current angles. Your publicist has the creativity and the contacts. You have the knowledge and expertise and, together, you can both make things happen!
There will always be a need for a good story – and a good author to tell it. It can sometimes take time to find the right angle and hook and the old saying is true: When it comes to publicity, it’s a marathon…not a sprint. But, by employing these three tips, you will help yourself. And help get your book out there.
Smith Publicity explains the latest news on YA book Promotion.
By Mike Onorato
Vice President, Publicity at Smith Publicity
Young Adult publishing has been trying to find its footing – and a home - recently. A 2015 Nielsen study found that 80% of YA readers are adults purchasing the books for themselves. This has led to a change in the subject matter, with more mature themes, more and more “dark” topics and more sophisticated and complex characters. And agents, authors, publishers and bloggers are the divided on whether or not that’s a good thing. So where does that leave YA titles in terms of shelving and category?
One of our experienced publicists in this genre thinks we’ll see an uptick in the amount of titles coming out that fit in the slot between middle grade and YA. “I predict a rash of books in the space between middle grade and YA to serve the younger part of the YA audience that’s not really ready for the adult issues,” said Emma Boyer, publicist at Smith. Indeed, publishers, librarians, booksellers and – of course – authors are struggling to find this balance and create the stories and books that will find a home…and an audience.
The rise of the #ownvoices movement has increased diversity in the YA world and has led to an increase in the amount of diverse lit written by more diverse authors with more representation of mental illness, race and gender. This movement is not without its controversies and some authors and potential authors have been tripped up by it. But the #ownvoices movement got its start as a product of the time we live in: where thoughts, expression and beliefs are out in the open. For discussion, warts and all. For more information on YA Book Promotion please visit our website, www.smithpublicity.com
So where does YA go from here and what are agents and publishers to do? A recent piece in Publishers Weekly mentioned how agents are on the lookout for more well-written romantic comedies in the YA space. Feel-good stories with (somewhat) happy endings. Authors like Jenny Han are the driving force behind this rise and indeed, rom-coms are a popular genre on services like Netflix. But the need for well-written stories with interesting, relatable characters that endure, overcome and thrive remains a staple in the YA space. So keep writing. Keep creating and keep inspiring. There WILL be a home for it and an audience that will keep turning the pages!
Strategies, tactics, pitches, outreach methods ... there are many differences between how Smith Publicity markets fiction and non-fiction books. Here's a helpful infographic that summarizes the primary differences.
Veteran business book publicist Kristi Hughes shares insights, tips, and strategies for marketing business books, and explains how to leverage media coverage to build your brand, attract clients and secure speaking engagements.
Essential book publicity and book marketing advice for any business book author!
Smith Publicity recently wrapped up a book marketing campaign for Kerri Rawson’s book, A Serial Killer’s Daughter: My Story of Faith, Love and Overcoming. Rawson’s intriguing book details her experience, and recovery, of being raised by the infamous BTK serial killer.
Media coverage for Rawson and her book included interviews on television programs including:
Rawson was also featured on the front cover of People magazine, with a multi-page feature story.
A description A Serial Killer’s Daughter: My Story of Faith, Love and Overcomingfrom Amazon.com:
“In 2005, Kerri Rawson heard a knock on the door of her apartment. When she opened it, an FBI agent informed her that her father had been arrested for murdering ten people, including two children. It was then that she learned her father was the notorious serial killer known as BTK, a name he’d given himself that described the horrific way he committed his crimes: bind, torture, kill. As news of his capture spread, Wichita celebrated the end of a thirty-one-year nightmare.”
The Smith Publicity team that implemented the campaign included Sarah Miniaci, Michela DellaMonica and Mike Onorato.
“This was a ‘perfect storm’ situation – a terrific book combined with a talented, veteran book publicity team,” says CEO Dan Smith. “It was so rewarding for the team to get Kerri’s incredible story out there.”
About Smith Publicity
Founded in 1997 by Dan Smith as one person-one client operation, Smith Publicity has grown every year and promoted over 3,500 authors. An “equal opportunity book marketing firm,” the agency works with authors ranging from self-published, first-time authors to New York Times bestsellers released by major publishers. www.SmithPublicity.com
Do names like Marie Kondo or Jen Sincero ring any bells? It’s no secret that the self-help & wellness industry is thriving. In the US alone, the personal development industry takes in just under $10 billion annually. Keeping this astronomical number in mind, it can be a bit daunting for self-help authors as they begin to ponder the question this naturally leads us to: When you get to the marketing/promotion stage, how do you make your self-help book stand out in such a crowded space?
Here are the top 5 beginning Do’s when publishing a self-help book:
Hone in on your message and highlight what makes it (or you!) different from the rest:
Are you Noteworthy: Do you have noteworthy credentials? What vertical markets can your concepts or strategies be applied in? What topics can you discuss that are trending right now? What new perspective can you offer on an age-old topic? The first step we take as publicists is to identify a unique or even controversial angle an author has that separates them from others.
Be prepared to write articles: Offering byline or how-to articles to outlets that don’t provide traditional book coverage is a great way to begin establishing yourself as a go-to thought leader in your field, increase your online discoverability, and plug your book in the byline. Articles like this also serve as the perfect content for your website (more on that below!
Develop a well-rounded digital platform: It’s crucial for self-help & wellness authors to have an established author website and active social media presence. Aside from the credibility this offers, a well-rounded digital platform is needed to support amplification of marketing and publicity results. When you get an article published or another interview under your belt, posting these on your author website and across social media showcases your credibility and increases your overall visibility online.
Avoid these common mistakes: “As I say in my book…” While it may seem counterproductive to not mention your book whilst promoting your book, trust us. There is an important balance to strike here. During an interview or throughout an article, avoid phrases such as “as I say in my book.” This can come across too “sales-y” and can be a big turn-off for your audience. Let this happen organically or, towards the very end, throw in something like “for more information on x topic, you can check out my book.
Being long-winded This is especially true for TV! The average on-air time for national TV/morning shows is just THREE MINUTES. Try to be as succinct and hard-hitting as possible when discussing your key points during any interview. And not to worry—producers typically sit down with you beforehand to do a “practice run” for you to see what the interview flow and timeframe will be like.