For the last few weeks, my inbox and Facebook messages have been inundated with requests for tips to anyone looking to promote their book and get good publicity and just plain how the heck did it all happen. In my, So What, mentality, I thought I would do comment about my experience here.
In case you didn't know, my name is Betsy Schow and I have a little book called Finished being Fat. It came out on Jan. 8, and two weeks later it was mentioned in both the Wall St. Journal and on the Today Show. In fact, within a week of my TV appearance, my book was sold out of its print run. My little book was suddenly not so little anymore. So how exactly did a first time author get such rockin' publicity so fast? Nepotism? No. Lightning struck and I happened to have a bottle nearby.
You can't really predict or force lightning, not unless you have a lot of Tesla coils, but you can start preparing to be in the right spot with your bottle. First off, you are your book's best friend. Nobody else has the blood, sweat, tears and printer ink on their hands like you do. So if you expect someone else to be able to pitch this book as passionately as you can, think again. So write a killer pitch letter sharing your passion on the page. Get the marketing team, sales team, and everyone else at CFI as excited about your story as you are. The enthusiasm will spread.
Next, take every and I mean, EVERY opportunity to talk about your book. Even if you think it has nothing to do with it. That's actually how the Wall St. Journal story came about. The reporter was looking for a source to talk about stress that weight causes in a marriage My book is not about that, but I still had plenty of experience on the subject, so I gave her a buzz. I answered her questions, but I also told my personal story. I didn't pitch my book and tell her how awesome it was and how your life will change by reading it. I related my experiences and engaged her in my life. So what started out as a one line quote turned into an entire article focused on my experiences and struggles. Best advice I can give on this subject is to practice talking about your project to everyone and it gets easier. Don't sell, just share. It's sneakier that way.
Keep working it and putting your name out there. Blog, get followers, get anybody anywhere talking about your book. Then they tell their friends and so on until all the monkeys in the jungle are talking about you. You never know who you are going to meet or who might be touched by your story that has a little bit of pull. It's like catching fire. the producers at the WSJ loved my story and wanted to do an on air segment. The producer of the Today show saw the segment and thought we were good on tape so thirty minutes after they saw the interview, they phoned CFI to book me.
Does that mean I can sit back and chill now? Nope, still gotta keep working it. I've given another 3 interviews to print and done 2 radio shows since I've been back and still looking for opportunities for more. It can be overwhelming and seem like a lot to do and take in. But just take it one task at a time and soon or later your project will catch fire. It might be a slow burn or a bonfire, but as long as you keep sharing and putting yourself out there, your story will light up.