Book Promotion: A Chat with Anna Scheller and Jim Fuhs

This week on #USABizParty, we discussed how to promote your book to reach your ideal audience.

Leverage Book Awards

There are a variety of book contests and award programs for nonfiction authors. Some provide specific feedback that may be helpful to make your book even better.

Once your book has received an award, use that in your book marketing. Here are some ways to leverage your book award.

  • Add “award-winning” to your book cover, bios, Amazon book description
  • Create and send out a press release to local media
  • Contact local book stores to see if you can do a book signing
  • If an in-person event doesn’t make sense, host a virtual event to celebrate
  • Announce your book award to your email list and on social media
  • Host a giveaway to celebrate!

Winning a book award can lead to a traditional publisher (if that’s what you want), speaking engagements, and more book sales. For more information read our post about some quality award programs.

Book Awards for Nonfiction Authors

You are more likely to sell more books if it’s won an award. There are many book awards programs so do your due diligence before you submit. Some charge a fee to cover administrative costs. I’ve seen some charge as little as $19 and others $300. The cost alone should not be the determining factor in whether you submit your book or not. I know one award program that charges more than others, but the feedback and quality of the judging is excellent.

Do your research and see what the requirements are to submit. It doesn’t make any sense to submit your book to an awards program that is just for tech books if your book is a self-help book.

Here are a few book awards programs I’m familiar with. Some of my clients have submitted to these, and even won awards.

3 Quick Book Marketing Tips

  1. Do your research. Find out if there is a market for your book. Define the target audience. When you start your book marketing, it will be much easier to create the right messaging when you have a clearly defined audience.
  2. Build your tribe. Your tribe of fans will follow you to see what’s next and refer their friends. Make it easy for people to join your tribe. Include a sign-up for your mailing list on your website in a prominent place. Add a note at the end of your book asking your readers to join your tribe – whether that’s signing up for your mailing list or following you on social media.
  3. Say yes to every media opportunity. Every opportunity is a step leading to bigger opportunities. Write articles, send out review copies, agree to podcast interviews.

Book Launch Party (Virtual)

Note: This was originally written for in-person book launch parties. Things have changed and I’ve updated with information in italics for a virtual book launch party.

Time to celebrate the launch of your book! It’s fun and exciting to host a party and invite your friends. This is a big accomplishment. Here are some things to consider to make this a successful book launch party.

Venue

Where will the party be? If you can arrange to have it somewhere that is likely to attract more readers, that would be ideal. Consider your local library or local bookstores.

Updated for virtual event: plan a Zoom or Facebook Live party and invite your friends, email list, and share it on social media.

Who is Invited?

The more the merrier! Of course you’re going to invite your family and friends. Don’t forget your business associates. If you’re having the party at a library or bookstore, prepare fliers to be posted at these locations at least a week in advance so the general public can attend. Then post it on social media so a larger audience is aware and invited to come.

Updated for virtual event: now you can invite everyone online!

Refreshments

Refreshments don’t need to be elaborate. But a few treats and drinks will keep people around longer which may mean they are more likely to purchase your book – or additional copies for friends.

Updated for virtual event: invite your attendees to a virtual refreshment. Perhaps post a photo of your favorite drink and invite them to do the same. You could have some fun engagement this way. 

Books and Book Signing

Remember to bring enough books. It’s better to have too many than to run out. How will you sign the book? Decide that in advance. And if you’re going to write the buyer’s name, be sure to ask how to spell it.

Updated for virtual event: having physical books and signing them is not an option here. However, you might have some postcards or bookmarks made up, sign them, and run a contest. Winners get a signed postcard or bookmark sent to them.

Tell a story

Keep it brief. You might share a short story about the process of writing your book or about who you dedicated the book to. Remember to thank those who came to the party. Talk to your guests individually. If possible, try to speak to each person who attended to thank them for coming. They will appreciate your personal interest.

Updated for virtual event: here’s one thing that doesn’t change much. You’ll now be doing it on camera instead of in person.

Thank You

Remember to send thank you notes to anyone who helped with the book launch party and to the venue if you held it at a library or bookstore. Focus on building relationships, rather than selling books, for the most successful book launch. Those relationships may lead to future book sales.

Updated for virtual event: thank everyone during the event who joins you for your virtual book party.

Get more support for your book launch and download our checklist.