How to Market An Unpublished Book: Part One

Step One: Establishing a Presence for Your Book on the Web

The first thing you need to do to get attention for any new book project is to set up a page on the web where people can go to learn about what you’re planning to do, and where they can sign up to an email list so they can be notified when you do eventually publish the book.

Step Two: Getting Attention

A lot of people (not just authors!) don’t like to use the word “marketing” for pretty understandable reasons: it sounds like something marketers do, not something authors do, and its generic nature abstracts away from the particular nature of any product, so that basically the only meaning left in the word is about money.

The First Stage of Getting Attention: Use Your Current Profiles and Apps to Point People to Your Book Landing Page

Once you’ve got the web page for your book set up, you can start pointing people to it. This is good news!

The Second Stage of Getting Attention: Do Something Every Day

Getting attention is a never-ending process, so it’s important to make a part of your everyday routine.

  • Only contact a journalist if you’ve just read a piece they’ve recently published, and which you will mention in the first sentence of your message
  • Only contact a journalist with get-to-the-point messages that contain an opinion or some information you genuinely think they will find interesting
  • It’s ok to go on a bit, but only if you know exactly what point you’re trying to make in each paragraph
  • Treat the message like any other serious piece of writing: work on a few drafts, and write it like you would if you knew it were going to be published
  • When you contact a journalist, keep in mind that what you’re trying to do is provide them with information that is actually useful to them, and something you genuinely want them to write about, whether or not they quote you or mention you, or even reply to you
  • Do not use a template or send the same message to more than one journalist; each message should be unique to the journalist you’re writing to, and specific to the issue at hand

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