I miss my full-time publicist. We broke up last fall, when all of a sudden, she moved north for a better job. I proposed a long-distance relationship, and she said she didn’t have time to make it work.
Sigh. I would have to do my own PR work or hire someone else.
Looking around was pointless. Publicists were out of my price range, or WAY out of my price range. I found a student intern to handle the grunt work, but basically, I’m on my own here.
It’s not a bad thing. Really. “Mia,” a bestselling author who mentors me, says that most authors don’t work with publicists, and the ones that do are jockeying for attention.
So, if you don’t have a publicist, how do you get your name out there? There are a couple of ways, outside of getting reviewed by industry publications, like BookPage, Independent Publisher, etc. Those are tough nuts to crack. In case you left your nutcracker at home, here are three helpful tips:
- Non-fiction authors have a natural public/motivational speaking platform. Fiction authors like me have a harder time establishing that, but if you have a passion, speak from that viewpoint. Mine is teaching others what I do and how to avoid mistakes. It does not result into direct book sales, until I pen a non-fiction book on the subject, which I’m currently doing 🙂
- Next, conquer your immediate area. OK, so I have a defunct Borders in my area. Before you go speaking across the country and signing at big chains, start locally with independents and small businesses. Build buzz there, and as you develop an audience, it will follow you.
- Finally, get yourself in the news by any (reasonable) means necessary. I donated a portion of my book proceeds from The Lost Testament to cancer research. At the time, my father had just been diagnosed and my grandmother, his mother, is a survivor. The high school in the area was raising money for cancer research at the same time. By donating money I was already going to give to their chapter of Relay for Life, it became a newsworthy event and I landed press for it.