Are you missing out on valuable opportunities because you can’t afford a fancy public relations (PR) firm? Authors can benefit from public relations, and there are many techniques that you can use on your own.
In fact, you probably engage in PR as you go about your customer service and other daily tasks. Becoming more intentional could make you more successful in communicating strategically, building a positive reputation, and increasing your sales.
While PR requires time and effort, the payoff is big because it’s usually less expensive than paid advertising and regarded more favorably. See what it can do for your business.
General Principles for Public Relations for Authors
PR is how you shape your image and build relationships between your brand and the public. That includes your customers and investors, as well as other audiences that matter to you.
Keep these relationship-building strategies in mind:
Tell your story. Put a friendly human face on your brand. Demonstrate what makes you special and unique. This is especially important for non-fiction writers. Forge an emotional connection by being sincere and authentic. Ask your loyal customers what they love about you. Your message will sound even more persuasive coming from them.
Stay informed. Keep up with what’s going on in your genre. Network with others, attend conferences, and read industry publications and local news.
Be helpful. PR is more successful when you concentrate on what you can do for others. Try to give customers and reporters what they need instead of thinking only about promoting your books.
Do your homework. Influencers receive mountains of pitches and requests. Show them that you respect their time. Research will help you to identify their needs and customize your approach.
Follow through. Lasting relationships depend on trust. Be prepared to deliver what you
promise to your readers. Non-fiction writer must ensure your data supports the claims you make. For all writers, if you give away books, set a release date or anything else of that nature, make sure you refrain from having to make changes. Constantly pushing back your release date tells your potential audience that you don’t have it together.
Spot trends. You can learn from PR experts even if you don’t have the budget to hire them. Pay attention to what other authors are doing and adapt some of their initiatives to reach your own goals.
Specific Strategies for Public Relations for Authors
You have plenty of options, so find the mix that works for your brand. You may get your greatest return from traditional media, digital platforms, or live interactions.
Try these techniques:
Take advantage of media coverage. Greater visibility is one of the rewards of PR, especially if you receive favorable treatment from respected sources. Pitch your book and do interviews. If you’re skillful and persistent, reporters may start calling you.
Share your expertise. If you’re an experience author, put your knowledge and experience to work. In addition to providing content for blogs, you can publish your own materials, book speaking engagements, and participate in online forums. Providing knowledge and experience in Facebook groups is idea to helping new authors grow their brand. There’s room for everyone at the top.
Monitor your mentions. Keep track of what others are saying about you and/or your books. Sign up for Google Alerts or other notification services. Respond promptly to criticism but don’t attack the reviewer. Be pleasant and respectful. Not everyone will like your work. Thank others for their feedback.
Give back. Support your local community and worthy causes. Donate money and books to your community. Sponsor a fun run or clean up a beach for Earth Day.
Create resources. Develop an accessible archive of high-quality content and establish your knowledge in the literary field. That way, you’ll be prepared to make a positive impression when potential customers are searching for information or a good read while you’re on vacation.
Consider outsourcing. While there are many things you can handle yourself, you may want to explore professional PR services too. The investment could be worthwhile if you’re trying to manage a crisis or launch a new book campaign.
You can communicate effectively and build mutually supportive relationships with a DIY approach to public relations. Strategic outreach will help your brand stand out and succeed.