How to be your own best publicist – Emily Liebert
By Emily Liebert
Let it be said that I hate asking for help. And I’m certain a career in sales is not for me. However, when it comes to my own books, reticence is not an option. Now that I’ve released my fifth “baby” into the world, with a sixth in the works, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to get my name and my title out there. Here are a few tips from my arsenal… ♥
Friends & Family Plan
Every time I launch a new book, I send a succinct “email blast” to all of my friends and family letting them know that today is the day that my book hits shelves. I encourage them to take to social media on my behalf by including ready-to-post tweets (hashtags included) and Facebook status updates to make it as easy as possible for them to support me.
You can’t rely solely on your friends, so leading up to the release of my books, I spend a lot of time on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads developing and broadening my network and sharing information with my extended web of connections. That said, I am careful not to inundate people or to constantly post the same thing (Buy my book!). I try to devise new and interesting ways to capture people’s attention, like running a unique contest or hosting a fun giveaway. Sometimes, I’ll post the first chapter of my novel to whet readers’ appetites. Visuals are a plus, so I always include a photo of my book cover or a recent article that I’ve written or one that’s been written about me.
Unfortunately, these days, unless you’re a celebrity or a widely recognized bestselling author, book signings are no longer the most effective means of publicizing yourself. In my experience, it’s best to do no more than five signings and they should either be in areas where you can pull in most of the crowd or in an area that has an organic connection to your book. Through trial and error, I’ve come to realize that spreading myself too thin can result in a crowd of ten people.
Bring on A Brand
Developing brand partnerships has been something I’ve done with each of my novels. And it has helped me tremendously in the way of PR and marketing. With my first novel You Knew Me When, I joined forces with a nail polish company, who created a set of three polishes named for my book and the three main characters. Since the story featured a woman who was married to her career as a cosmetic industry executive, the partnership made sense. This creative collaboration allowed me to secure an exceptional amount of publicity in beauty and fashion magazines and on lifestyle websites and blogs that may not otherwise have written about my book. With Some Women, I’m partnered with Gerard Cosmetics. They created the Some Women Collection of exclusive lip glosses, each on of which goes with my leading ladies. Not only do these affiliations generate buzz; they’re also great to use for those online giveaways!
Just Do It
I’ll leave you with one final thought. Jump at every opportunity that comes your way. No matter how small you may think it is. The more you give, the more you get. Offer to write blog posts. Accommodate last-minute schedules of editors and producers. Oh, and smile like you mean it through every bit of it. If you’re a pleasure to work with, people will want to work with you again and again.
Emily Liebert is the award-winning author of When We Fall, You Knew Me When, and the nonfiction book Facebook Fairytales. She’s been featured on Today, The Rachael Ray Show, and Anderson Cooper 360°, and in InStyle, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Chicago Tribune, among other national media outlets. Her latest book, Some Women, is out today.