Authors, are you ready – Media Ready?
Are you ready to answer questions?
From fellow writers. Friends. Bloggers. Book reviewers. Radio interviewers. TV hosts.
‘Who are you?’
‘What’s your book about?’
‘Why should I fork out twenty bucks to read your work?’
These are tough yet realistic questions every author must answer, and answer well, if they want to succeed, especially if new and unknown.
It’s not enough just to write a book and automatically expect a publisher to market it and for copies to fly off shelves. Those days are over.
Now, whether traditionally or self published, an author will inevitably shoulder the bulk of publicity efforts.
If you can afford a publicist that’s great, but even then it’s up to you, the writer, to lay your own groundwork.
As an author you must also be able to shine in an interview. This is no time to be bashful or modest. You have to sell yourself, and at the same time connect with your audience.
In addition, if not already famous, your goal is to make a name for yourself.
The way to attract more readers is to gain as much exposure as possible.
To do this every author needs media attention, through television and radio interviews; print and online articles, features and book reviews. There are also countless other ways to become well known, especially through the internet. All avenues should be explored.
And to get attention you must be prepared.
Preparation is key to success. Even before typing ‘The End’ you should be planning your marketing strategy, and already promoting yourself as a professional writer, and/or as an expert in your particular area, field or genre.
Building a platform, in the real and virtual world, is a priority in this tough market. This way, by the time it’s published, readers and media professionals can easily locate information about your book, as well as you, the author. Fans love to learn about an author and their background. This is a great opportunity to gain followers and communicate and interact with them.
Another element of preparation is knowing what to say and how to say it. With so many distractions in daily life, you have to convince potential readers your book is not only worthy of attention, but essential reading. What’s unique about your book? What message or story do you have that could influence others? Identify your expertise, special message, groundbreaking story or information, then flaunt it. Be assertive without appearing boastful and conceited. Love and embrace your own work and this enthusiasm will infect others.
You must also know your book well. Yes, it does sound redundant, but believe me, ‘what’s your book about?’ is one of the toughest questions an author will encounter. It can stump even the most seasoned professional.
You must learn how to easily summarize your book in spoken and written form. Think elevator pitch, think movie trailer. Draw people in, make them take notice.
Then you’ll be a media darling.
Good luck out there!
We’ve chosen 5 writers from this list, using folded slips of paper in a bowl, and they will be getting their copy in the mail in early January 2012.
These are just a few marketing guidelines for writers. For more detailed information and media readiness training, check out the new workbook for authors: Media Ready, Media Savvy.
See Alison’s 10 Publishing Tips on Listosaur.