By Terry C. Misfeldt
Finding promotional outlets enables you to market your novel or other writing to specific markets at little to no cost. What is required is taking the time to think things through. What organizations do you belong to, or have a relationship with?
Clubs such as Rotary, Kiwanis, Zonta, Lions, and others are often looking for speakers. If you get invited, have a copy of your book as a door prize and bring more copies along to sell after the meeting and your presentation. It is a promotional outlet requiring some of your time in return for potential sales and for visibility with potential buyers.
One member of the Guild, H.G. Watts, wrote about a character related to another religious figure. She was interviewed about the story on WFRV-TV in Green Bay and recently appeared in a feature article about the book in The Compass which is a publication of the DIocese of Green Bay.
Alumni associations–either high school or college–offer publications which may afford a promotional outlet to tout your work. Craft a media release (so it looks official) and forward it to the editor for consideration. Fraternities and sororities offer another avenue for free publicity. If you have books at a book store or cafe, offer them a book signing to help bring customers in and promote sales of your book…and others.
Also, think about your favorite magazines and read about what news they consider. Again, the media release is an excellent way to make your plea look professional. Every chance to gain promotional credibility also builds your reputation as an author.
On Media Releases
Think teaser when you put together a media release. It contains enough information to tell the editor that your submission is news worthy…and teases them to want more details. At the least, it can be printed verbatim in the newspaper, magazine, newsletter, or journal.
Create a catchy headline, centered near the top of the page and in bold. Releases should be one page. At top left goes date, when it can be released, and contact information (name and phone number).
The first paragraph gives the who, what, where, why, and when with a variant being a teaser comment from a respected individual or someone who has read your book and gave you a good quote (perhaps one you wrote for them). Get the rest of the information out there in double-spaced format and end with -30- at the bottom.
These tips make your media release look professional, and gain credibility.