10 Ways To Get Publicity

No way am I a media guru but I have found a few things that have worked to develop my author platform.  Today as the snow flutters outside my window and my neighbor heads out in it, I’m happy to share a few things I’ve found.  There are thousands of ways to get publicity but, unlike some, I don’t believe any publicity is good.  You won’t be seeing me scantily clad at a football game or posting naughty movies on You-Tube.  This is positive media attention we’re looking for, folks!

10 Ways to Get Publicity

1.  Start a blog about your experiences in your area of expertise.  I have two.  One is more personal, where I put trip photos and family anecdotes when I get around to it.  The second is my writing blog where you are reading this post.  I publish Tuesdays and Fridays and am pretty faithful to that schedule.  Quite a lot of people automatically get an email with a link every time I post.  I love those people!  And a lot of them comment, too.  Double bonus.

2.  Get on Twitter and tweet about your posts, your conferences, your writing friends or anything else that relates to your purpose.  Don’t overdo the automatic tweets.  I’ve deleted some people who clog up my timeline with hundreds of tweets a day where they try to sell me something.  Rather, offer people help in your area.  Retweet great posts you find or offer a how-to booklet you’ve assembled, digitally or the old way.  Give something to get something.

3.  Talk about your writing and make as many connections as you can in the field.  People see you are working hard at your writing; therefore, they think of you for interviews, etc.  This happened to me last week and I joyfully accepted an offer to be interviewed about my writing journey as it pertains to the London Writers Society.  Thank you, Pat!  You can find the article here.

4.  Business cards are so convenient to give people your email, your website, and your book titles.  You can do your own easily and print them out as you need them.  This means you can update them and don’t have to throw out 450 of a 500 order because your website has changed.  Be sure to get the great quality ones which snap apart after you print them and leave no telltale nubbies.

5.  Offer to do talks for groups on topics which relate to your books.  Church groups, seniors groups, school classes, all depending on the nature of your book and the audience you’re aiming for.  Of course, take copies for purchase and hand out business cards or bookmarks.

6.  Make donations to events like the local music festival and make sure your name and ‘author of the greatest book in the world’ appear.  You will be listed in the program and in any coverage of the event.  As well, your name will be read out when the award is presented; in fact, you may even get to present it. The recipient will probably send you a thank you and, for sure, you can tweet the winner, etc.

7.  Write a column online or in your local paper.  Or even create a Fiction Friday news bulletin that you leave in specific approved places for people to pick up.  Restaurants or medical waiting rooms have people waiting and looking for something to help them fill the time.  Let them read your blurb where you advertise book readings you’re doing, signings, writing courses you’re teaching, along with other more general material with a wider interest.

8.  Offer to do a monthly video show on your local cable station where you interview people in the writing business, do readings from your own writing, either stand-alone pieces or sequels.

9.  Take your laptop to a coffee shop on a regular basis and write there.  People will be intrigued so have a supply of business cards in plain sight on the table.  Find a place where you are comfortable and the owners are happy to host a writer.  It gives their place class!  Remember J.K. Rowling writing the Harry Potter books in a coffee shop?  This could be you.

10.  Do a regular podcast where you might serialize your book.  Terry Fallis did this and it led to loads of followers, the Leacock medal, a number of interested publishers finally, and now his third book coming out in September of this year.

Make sure your marketing forays are creative, upbeat, innovative and welcomed.  People are not inclined to think positively when you have annoyed or worse, bored them.

What is the best type of publicity you’ve found to get your name out there and to sell books?  What marketing ploys do you detest?  Come on, now.  I know you love telemarketers!

21 thoughts on “10 Ways To Get Publicity

  1. I haven’t used them that way but I think you could make the reverse side like a normal postcard – I used Vistaprint where you can design and order them inexpensively. I’m going to do the same for my tween novel (out in March) when I get the cover art.


  2. Hi Elaine,

    I have a restaurant where I meet another writer and write a few mornings a week. They are happy to host us, we come in after the morning crowd has thinned. My reward for a good week is that I’m allowed to order breakfast the following Monday.

    So far, the only curiosity we’ve garnered is from the wait staff!


    • Awesome! Both that you do this regularly and that you earn breakfasts with your good writing habits. I’m curious that people don’t talk to you. I would if I saw you there regularly, but then I’m a bit of a chatter, I guess.


  3. Great post Elaine, although I don’t know how you have time for TWO blogs. I spent all day Friday just catching up on blog links and the few writing sites I’m part of.

    Being a writer is exhausting.. 😉


    • I hear you, Dale! Sometimes I wonder what I’m doing with all this SM stuff, but the people who respond make it all worthwhile, don’t they? Same with conferences. That’s where I met you and so many others.
      I tell myself I can only do what I can do and that helps alleviate the stress. Then I can enjoy the whole writing gig.
      Thanks for visiting!


  4. Hello Elaine!
    I am very pleased to have found your blog. I find it most encouraging to a budding writer like myself. I found you through the London Writer’s Society site. I would like to attend a meeting soon so I was reading about the writers. I am recently retired from teaching and have picked up on my long lost love of writing. My son set me up on a blog last winter and it got me going again. At present I am writing and receiving feedback from a talented coach in London. I will continue to follow your blog!


    • I see myself in your comments. Let me tell you, so much of your story is my own. This is the life I’ve chosen since I left teaching and it’s alternately challenging, tiring, rewarding, amazing and who I am now. Not for me the teas and cleaning my house, only. I need things to occupy my mind and my energies. Let me know if you’re coming out to a LWS meeting. I’d love to meet you.


  5. I love these ideas! You are always thinking Elaine. I especially like the idea of hanging out in coffee shops and people asking, who is that writer and could she be JK Rowling! (Just kidding!) Thinking out of the box like this is difficult for me, it would never occur to me to do some of these. Now I need to add them to my list of ideas for promotion. Great work, as usual!


    • Are you kidding me, Jessica? You post about five times a week, a pace I can only marvel at, certainly not match. I love that I’ve inspired you in some small way because you certainly do the same for me.


  6. These sound like great ways to promote your writing without being a jerk (always a fine line when it comes to publicity). I try to write in coffee shops whenever I can; apart from the possibility of striking up conversations, I find that being among other people gives me ideas and inspiration that improves the writing itself. Where do you tend to write here in London?


    • What a great comment! I hate when people are openly marketing to me via social media, or just about anywhere else. I ditched a contact on Twitter because I was just tired of her ceaseless self-promotion and nothing else. As far as the coffee shops, I haven’t done much of that myself and I don’t live in London. I have written in the Red Lobster on Wellington when I’ve had to eat a meal out alone. I love my iPad2 for that. Thanks so much for commenting, Mike. BTW do you belong to London Writers Society? I do.


      • Yeah, the iPad is great for writing in the go. I have a little keyboard/case combo that’s perfect for it. If only there was an iOS version of Scrivener. 🙂

        I’m not part of the London Writers Society, no, but I should look into it. Thanks!


  7. I’m ALWAYS looking for any tips I can find because I hate self promotion and these are just great! I think a big one that people overlook is Twitter…it has really helped me get my site out there and gain a lot of awesome connections. Thanks for posting this Elaine! 😀


    • You are so right! Twitter has amazing information on there if you get past the people talking about their latest cutting of toenails and concentrate on finding folks with similar interests. Thanks so much for your positive comments!


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