Once you set up your online media presence and have planned your book launch, it’s time to spread the word. Leveraging your online presence is a good way to do it, but that’s just a slice of good, old PR.
Five years from now, public relations will be 100 years old but it will continue to work. Edward Bernays, Sigmund Freud’s nephew, invented this discipline in 1921 in a very creative way. Back then, only men smoked. But Marlboro’s board of directors wanted to gain the market that selling to women would provide market. Therefore, they hired him to pull it off. Bernays organised what is called in the industry a PR stunt. He paid a couple of women to appear in public smoking during a massive outdoor event. He labeled the cigarettes torches of freedom. The media jumped on it. These torches were all over the news. Marlboro got what they wanted. More and more women started to smoke as an expression of their freedom.
There are three lessons to be learned from this story.
The first lesson is to never underestimate the power of the media. Depending on your target audience, traditional media plays an important part in building your author brand. The author brand isn’t only the tangibles – your books, your official photos, your website, your social media presence, but also the intangibles. Things such as how visible you are and the readers’ perception of you. Being on TV (should I mention Ellen or Oprah?) and radio, or interviewed in a newspaper or magazine proves that you are someone who has something important to say. That’s where public relations step in. You can use PR to book TV and radio appearances in local media outlets. This will help, especially if your books are available in local bookstores. You will also be able to list these appearances on your website, or create interesting content for your social media channels.
The second lesson is that you don’t need a huge budget for creating long-lasting results. Sometimes, an idea is more precious than all the money in a bank vault. Don’t avoid using PR just because you believe that you can’t afford it.
The third lesson is that thinking outside the box makes a difference. There is plenty of advice on self-publishing. It is fine to look at it and use what suits you, but don’t let it choke your creativity. People want interesting, engaging stories. They are looking for the unusual, the unexpected, the unique.They want emotion and passion. Be that author who gives them what they want. Think of a PR stunt, same as Bernays did, that would associate you with what you stand for as an author.
If you are looking for help for building your author brand, we are here for you. We will gladly put at your disposal our 10- year experience in PR consulting for international brands. A well-built and clear author brand will make you stand out and enhance your marketing efforts. Please, check our author branding services for more details about what we can do for you.