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Pointers on Publishing - How to promote your book through events

Published:Sunday | May 18, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Corine La Font, Contributor

Self-published authors must learn how to promote their own work. You can have a fabulous self-published book, but without promotion, no copies will sell and no one will even know it exists to even read it. So how can you promote your own book?

With special events, of course! And with May being such a gorgeous month, it is a perfect time to do it. As an example below, I have shared a few ideas about how a most recent event, Mother's Day, can be used to promote your book.

One of our favourite holidays in May is Mother's Day. Believe it or not, you can capitalise on Mother's Day with a themed approach or special book events. Perhaps you can sponsor a free meal or tea for the child and mother who bought your book within a special offer, or you can hold your very own celebration of mothers on Mother's Day by offering a reading, music, food, and more. This is an especially great promotion if your book has a strong mother character, is a biography, or has any element of family in which a mother plays a large role.

Is your book historical in nature? Is there a certain theme that already runs throughout it? Invite all your buyers to join you at a party at a local host home (or community gathering spot). Ask participants to dress in one of the historical periods or character in the book. If you are promoting an art book, have art activities there for attendees to participate in. Do the same for craft books. For a cookbook, cook a meal together. For a novel, you may want to think about having a play or just a reading. Poetry also works great in such scenarios.

HOOK UP WITH SUMMER PROGRAMMES

Chances are, there are quite a few summer programmes in your community. These may include summer programmes for children aimed at literacy (normally at the public library), classes for adults, or events aimed at seniors. Make contact with these groups. You may be able to attend one of their classes or events and present on and read from your book. This means you can have a literary event that already has a built-in audience.

Many hotels, spas, restaurants, and beauty salons pamper mothers on Mother's Day. In advance, you would have to make contact to request that you come in as a form of entertainment to do a reading or to offer special prizes; run as a contest for mothers. Like the approach above, you will have a ready audience that you can leverage.

Remember, don't just promote the bare book as is, be creative and add a bit of extra value, like a gift certificate to offer 'X' number of hours for coming in to help with the kids or to allow mom to have a date night or even to clean the house. Think of things that you know all moms need a relief from. This may even lead to other business for you. The gift certificate can also be blank to allow moms to fill in that one thing they need help with. Of course, you will have to indicate a limit on the choices or else you will end up with a long list.

Mediums

Any one of the approaches used can also be complemented by using social media, radio, newspaper, fliers, postcards, and phone calls, but keep in mind your budget. You are in it to make some money but, most of all, to get your name and book in the hands of your audience, and to get raving reviews.

Books that fit the theme for Mother's Day would be those written on parenting, balancing work and family life, effective communication, beauty and wellness, fashion, budgeting, inspirational and spiritual and biographies of women that epitomise strength of character and wisdom. I am sure you can think of more.

There are endless ways to promote your work using a themed approach; warm up by starting with one of the above suggestions!

Remember, Authors Summer School is in progress until August 2014! You can still register at http://bit.ly/1nlQYYp.

Corine La Font is a self-publishing, online marketing and virtual events specialist and consultant. She is also an award-winning publishing resource in the 2013 Small Business Book Awards. Get a copy of her book at http://amzn.to/TFHQka and tune in to her radio programme at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/helpdeskja. She can be reached at corine@helpdeskja.com.