The goal of advertising is to get our name and book in front of readers. But advertising is expensive; it is a quick way to lose money if we advertise in the wrong place. However, when we find the right place to advertise—one where our audience hangs out and that provides a good return on our investment—we can do even more to maximize our paid coverage by following these eight tips.
In addition to running ads in carefully targeted publications and websites, we can take these additional steps to enhance the value of our advertising dollar:
- Press Releases: Submit press releases about our new books or any significant news about our brand or ourselves. Consider book signings, speaking gigs, website overhauls, updated covers, language translations, entering foreign markets, and so forth. Places, where we run paid ads are prime candidates for our news and announcements. When an ad and a press release are in the same issue, we receive double exposure and re-enforce our message. If you are not sure how to submit a press release, look on their website or just ask.
- Articles: If the publication accepts articles, find out what they are looking for and submit content. Although this is not the place to promote our book or ourselves, we can generally include a brief mention in our bio. If we come across as credible or interesting, prospects will seek out our book.
- Whitepapers: If the publication posts white papers, be sure to submit one. We should write about what we know to present ourselves as a thought leader in our field. Though this applies mainly to nonfiction authors, with some creativity, fiction authors may find an angle that works.
- Promote Coverage: When we receive coverage of any kind, promote it; ask for reprints of significant coverage (there may be a charge). Link to these press releases, articles, and papers. Ask them to link back.
- Follow Blogs: Read the publication’s blogs. Make insightful comments and ask thoughtful questions.
- Events: If they print or post events, we need to submit ours. Do so as soon as possible as there is a long lead-time for print, often months.
- Videos and Photos: If they post videos or photos, find out how to submit them.
- Support Them: We need to do what we can to promote the publications in which we advertise. We have a mutually beneficial relationship with them, so we need to be supportive.
While not all of these options are available with every publication, look for these opportunities and pursue them whenever possible. Doing so will amplify our advertising investment and increase book sales.
Although these tips work best when we advertise in the publication or on their website, we can consider them even when we don’t.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.