Find web-based authorities in your niche and get them to promote you for FREE!
One of the most overlooked ways to get promoted for free is by going to your local newspaper or magazine to get your name out there. It’s no wonder people overlook this technique. That’s a rookie mistake. There are plenty of good journalists out there with ties to publications that are looking for good human interest stories, and an author who has self-published an eBook can definitely make a great community piece of the story is pitched and written correctly.
According to the Huffington Post and Forbes Magazine, traditional newspapers are still holding strong with some circulations citing as many as 2.4 million subscribers. Now, these larger papers probably won’t look at you and your eBook story, but there are smaller papers that will. Take the Minden Press Herald, in Minden, Louisiana. It has a circulation of 2,000 people and the reporters there are always looking for a good community story. Pitch your eBook to them and tell the editor or reporter that you’ll be coming to Minden to sign copies of your eBook. While it may seem know it’s really out of the way for you to visit if you live in NYC, you can still get 2,000 people to read about you. And if a quarter of them (500 people) buy your eBook, it’s worth it because you now have 500 more readers than you did before you contacted a small-town newspaper in Louisiana.
Blogs and online media
Bloggers and online media think they are trained journalists, and some are. And some are just looking for one good story to get their name attached to so they can start being taken seriously. Search the Internet for these types of writers, as well as writers that are seasoned. You’ll want both of them to interview and promote you and your eBook for different reasons.
Obviously going with a writer who has made a name for themselves will be the preferred way to go. Maybe you know one from college, or maybe you are a friend of their mother; either way, you should use what you can to get your foot in the door with them. If you don’t have any connection, make your pitch to them a good one. If they are used to attaching their name to quality work, they will not sacrifice their credentials just to help you out.
There are times when you won’t get a seasoned writer to work with you because you are unknown. This is where you ignore them and focus all of your attention on the new writers. New writers will promote you zealously because they want a good story. Many of them will do it for free, even. You’re helping them out as they help you out, and it’s a win-win situation for both parties. The only issue with this is that new writers tend to be too new, at times, and don’t know how to properly write a story or they don’t have the reach that seasoned writers will have. If you can get a new writer to write your story for you, though, you can help promote it on your sites, which will also help them get their name out to the masses, too.
Pitching yourself through email
You can also contact freelance writers and other editors in your area that may have some pull. Create a mailing list of the most popular blogs in your niche writing market and email each and every single editor with a personal message specifically tailored to that editor and propose a free copy of your book. Yes, this is time-consuming, and no, you won’t make money by giving away copies of your book, but you will gain free advertisement. There are times when you will encounter “lazy” editors, or even those that are just sick and tired of people asking for free promotion through stories. In that case, propose a pre-written ORIGINAL summary of your book they can put up. Do not recopy the summary for every editor. Write on they will like specifically. Keep the writing DESCRIPTIVE and don’t flaunt yourself as “great”. That’s asking for a rejection letter, and asking to be thoroughly criticized by the editor.
Do’s and Don’ts of interviews
One of the worst things writers can do when asking for the free promotion is blow any interviews you get. There are proper ways to do an interview, and things you should never do in an interview. First, you should always remain humble when conducting an interview. Never seem pompous or arrogant, and always answer the questions directly. Do not have a “publicity” agent do the story for you. Most reporters will ignore such an interview.
Always share a little about yourself and why you wanted to self-publish your eBook. If you have any lessons to share, or colorful stories about your journey to self-publishing your eBook, make sure you get that out there. The less like a promotional story your interview sounds, the more likely people are to buy your eBook. Do not go into the interview to just promote your eBook; you need to promote yourself. People want to read about you, not your book. Knowing about you will make them want to buy your book.
Most people discount traditional media because they think it cannot get them the exposure they want to promote their eBook. This couldn’t be farther from the truth, though. Traditional media was supposed to take a hit when the Internet began to take over, and in some aspects it did, but there are still people that have not made the transition to online readerships for print periodicals. Additionally, Publisher’s Weekly reports that over the past few years, readerships for major publications and books including sales and subscriptions have stopped dropping. These people will want to know about you, so don’t forget them. Pitch yourself to them, do not pitch your eBook to them. People will want to read your book once they get to know what you’re about. When you do pitch your eBook, also list every place it can be found so that people have options when looking for your work.