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· Hiring your own publicist to focus on your title can only help the exposure of your book.
· Even though the publisher will provide some publicity support for your book, keep in mind that the publicist assigned by the publisher will also have other titles they are responsible for which cuts into the amount of time they can actually focus on your title.
· There are a number of advantages for hiring your own publicist:
o Since you are contracting with an outside publicist, you will have the ability to have a greater amount of attention focused exclusively on your book.
o You can straightforwardly dictate the direction you wish the publicist to go in.
o The publicist will be held accountable to the terms and outcome that you both have agreed upon in your contract for your book’s publicity.
o The PR firm may have contacts that the publisher doesn’t have.
o You can determine the length of time you wish the publicist to devote attention to your book; as long as you’re willing to pay, they will keep pitching, provided it makes sense.
o As a contractual agreement, the author can insist upon seeing a list of media who the publicist has pitched and the results.
o The author can demand that the publicist continue to research new media outlets and to pitch them.
If you are an extravert or can fake it, speaking in front of a live audience pitching your book and selling copies to the attendees can catapult your book to bestseller lists. There are plethoras of speaking venues where an author can talk on the topic of their book to audiences who will be willing to listen and to buy a copy of their book.
Consider presenting yourself and book topic to conference organizers that are a good fit for your genre. A Human Resource Conference (SHRM www.shrm.org ) is a perfect place to pitch a book on employee development, challenges, retention, etc. If you’ve written a novel, a number of bookstores may be interested in offering you a spot on their monthly author appearance calendars.
With very little research on the Internet, (thank goodness) you will have a long list of possible places that would be delighted to have you. Why? Because bringing in an author to speak at a conference, a bookstore or any number of possible venues is a benefit for their customer base. It boosts their own image by association with the right author.
Let's say you've been asked to speak in front of a group of 100+ and your book is not yet available. What should you do? Turn down the speaking engagement or go ahead?
Ideally, appearances should take place at the time of the books' release (the pub window); however, sometimes things don’t work out that way. To make the best of the situation, have your publisher create postcards, bookmarks or fliers that you can make available to events' attendees. At least this will plant the seed and act as a reminder to your audience that you have a book coming out and provide them with the information necessary to order your book. The publisher can also provide you with bookplates (adhesive backed signature cards) that you can pre-sign and distribute to the attendees if they pre-purchase a book through their local bookstore.
Approach the local bookstore and invite them to take advantage of promoting your book to these attendees by providing a percentage off coupon. Bookstores are always looking for ways to increase book sales and their customer base.
Ask the hosting venue to maintain a link on their website to your website where their client or membership base will be reminded to purchase your book. Some venues may be able to pass along the list of attendees from your lecture enabling you to directly communicate with them about the release and purchase of your book.