It’s common for me to get questions from authors. And it’s interesting to see how the nature of the questions have changed over the years. It used to be that hopeful authors asked, “How do I find a publisher?” “Do I need an agent?” “What publisher/agent would you recommend?” “How do you write a query letter?”
There was a period when I got a lot of questions related to writing a book proposal, identifying genre, copyright and so forth.
Lately, I seem to be getting questions about marketing. “How do I prepare a marketing plan?” “What’s the best way to promote a book?” “How do I promote my ebook?” And today, I got a question from a Toastmaster about how to start going out and speaking about your book.
Of course, I told this author about my latest freebie—“50 Ways To Sell Books Through Your Personality.” http://www.patriciafry.com
And I told him about my latest book—Talk Up Your Book, How to Sell Books Through Public Speaking, Interviews, Signings, Festivals, Conferences and More. This book is available at amazon.com and most other online and downtown bookstores. It is in print, on Kindle and audio.
Talk Up Your Book offers up step-by-step assistance for anyone who is eager to start selling books by personally addressing his/her audience as well as those who are terrified of public speaking or anything that resembles it. The book covers stage fright, noodle knees and the whole lack of confidence scenario for reluctant speakers whether you are the author of a nonfiction book, a novel or a children’s book. And it is a no-nonsense guide for those who know that public speaking is an excellent mode of book promotion.
My best advice for a new author who wants to get out in public and promote his or her book, but who isn’t accustomed to it or who is reluctant is this:
1: Begin stepping out into the limelight. Take it slow, if you want. Volunteer to head a committee at work, your club or church so that you get the opportunity to speak before a group. Join a Toastmasters club near you and participate. Join a storytelling or even drama group. Take a speaking course at a local college. Practice, practice, practice.
2: Talk about your book everywhere you go. Come up with a short spiel describing your book and share it often with people you meet at work, socially and in passing. Listen to their questions—these are the things your future audiences will want to know about your book. Make note to weave this information into your speeches when you start writing them.
3: Create a presentation that you would be comfortable presenting to a small group. It should involve an aspect of your book that you know well, are excited about and can convey to others fairly effortlessly. Use some of the notes you’ve collected reflecting some of the questions people have asked about your story, the writing of it or the information in your nonfiction book, for example.
4: Go in search of your ideal audience whether it is children during story time at a local library, civic group members during their monthly lunch meeting, your church auxiliary members, history buffs convening at the museum for docent training, a meeting of businessmen or women or a book club, for example. Contact the program chair and set up a date to speak.
Fill in the blanks—how to write a speech, how to prepare for a presentation, how to create rapport with your audience, radio interviews, getting people to attend your signing, ideas for unusual venues, great introductions to your speeches, how to rehearse your speech, tips for talking about your novel and so much more by reading Talk Up Your Book.