In my opinion, public relations (PR) has to be one of the most difficult tasks for any blossoming business. You can offer the most incredible, revolutionary product, service, or book, but if no one knows about it your efforts can be in vain. Trying to get the word out about your business can be extremely daunting when you’re stuck in the trenches of actually working. Many start-ups follow the route of seeking professional PR agencies to promote their brand. PR agencies, like Nancy Behrman, offer customized plans to take your brand to consumers and have established connections to help you flourish.
As we’ve discussed before, self-publishing becomes a business in itself. Each book needs a precise marketing plan in order to thrive. Many authors don’t have the time, ability, or connections to display their book where they’d like it to be seen. There are a plethora of PR agencies that can help authors with everything from press releases, to radio and television appearances, but authors can expect to pay $3,000-5,000 for their full range of services.
Many authors have paid for publicity and lamented it, not making back the money they invested, and others have been launched into larger exposure and the success they dreamed of. So what’s the difference between the two? It largely depends on the author and book. I connected with various PR agencies after writing Re:Birth. I needed a way to get the message out and sell books, but ultimately, I decided my project catered to such a small niche that I’d likely be disappointed by the campaign results.
So, what’s an author in a small niche or tight budget to do?
Well, start by making meaningful connections with the people who would be interested in your work… and don’t try to get them to buy your book. If you do that, you’ve already lost the “meaning connections” part. For me, this meant connecting with moms-to-be and cheering them on through social media or one-on-one time.
Next, offer free advice and encouragement from your book. When people can sample something good, they’re likely to be interested in buying more. Many authors offer free chapter download on their websites to peek reader’s interest.
Reviews and personal testimonies from people who have been inspired by your book help tremendously too. In our media-centered world, people are overloaded with information. To avoid your book becoming another image that’s scrolled past on a Facebook news feed, make sure your potential readers see the value in your work based on others positive feedback.
Then, you’ll either have new friends and customer- or simply have a friend who might be interested in purchasing your book in the future. It’s not a quick and easy process and it won’t make you a fortune overnight. But it will build bridges and influence that lasts.
If you find that your book caters to much larger audiences (for example, topics like parenting, marriage, singleness) by addressing areas that millions of people can connect with- consider reaching out to a PR agency to learn more about how they can assist you in reaching your audience.
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is a writer & tired homeschooling mom of five.