PRontheGO: Literary agents and PR experts in book promotion provide their best tips

We asked literary agents and PR experts in book promotion to provide their success stories and advice on generating publicity for upcoming authors.

PRontheGO: Literary agents and PR experts in book promotion provide their best tips.

Lyda Mclallen is the founder of Talk+Tell, a book marketing, and publicity consulting company. She has over 8 years experience in the publishing world and has promoted over 80 books which have all achieve bestseller status. This is her tip to new authors:

My number one tip for generating publicity for an upcoming book launch is working to get a large collection of testimonials prior to launch date. You should start 6 months to a year before your book launch collecting testimonials and building relationships with influencers.
Your future readers are not buying your book based on cost, they are buying it based on time. Readers are a unique market as they spend their time instead of money when they purchase a new book. And time is precious. Credible testimonials build trust with your readership and prompt them to spend their time reading your book.
Plus, by networking with and getting testimonials from influencers who your target reader already loves will help you grow your readership faster.

Tina Koenig, Literary Consultant and Publicist, provides the following insights:

As the number of bookstores declines due to the power of online shopping, authors need to find alternative venues for book signings and appearances.
If you’re a writer for the children’s market you’re in luck. Major retailer Barnes & Noble has a Storytime scheduled each week. Two of my clients have been able to book in every store in three surrounding counties. Client, Debra Holtzman has written a non-fiction book about baby and child safety. When I called B&N to book she was a natural fit to follow the local Storytime on Saturday. Better yet, she had a captive audience of parents and kids who needed to know the information contained in her book. When you call a B&N to book as a local children’s book author, try to follow a Storytime. Better yet, volunteer to lead one and have an activity for the children. TIP: Your book must be in a national system that accepts returns.
I’ve also found great author appearance ideas using MeetUp. My client Joseph Cook has written a series of children’s books called The Secret Club. I paired him with a local Mommy MeetUp group that has two meetings a month at a local kids playroom location. Unless you’re a nationally known author, or a local author with a big social media following it’s tough to get booked — even in your local B&N. Look for groups on MeetUp and ask if the author can guest host or speak at a meeting. Wave any fees but retain the option to sell books.

Alex Petrucelli, PR Manager at The EGC Group, advices on how to leverage a book tour:

When preparing to release a book, I recommend that authors/literary agents liaise with media outlets in the areas of the author’s book tour/public appearances. Local newspapers, magazines, television and radio programs receive less pitches than their national media counterparts, so it is a lot easier to secure press coverage. In addition, the outlets themselves are more inclined to profile the author or have the author as an in-studio guest if there is a local, timely event to consider as well.

Applying these and other strategies, Shel Horowitz launched one self-published book as an Amazon bestseller, and kept a non-self-published book on the list for most of a year:

• Get/publicize great endorsements. I’ve literally watched my endorsement from Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Jack Canfield sell books.
• Publicize a local launch event.
• Give away extra content on an online launch.

Thank you!

………….. — The Creative Entrepreneur’s source for PR hacks.