When it comes to promoting a new project, I like to use a lot of the new techniques available today, including Web-based press releases, blogging and online video. But I also use traditional methods like press releases, newspaper interviews, book signings and sending information out via “snail mail.” That’s particularly true for my latest project, World War II Heroes of Southern Delaware,” because the older segment of my target audience doesn’t necessarily use computers on a daily basis. As such, I felt it was necessary to reach out to them in specific ways.
I had good success with a simple postcard about the book that featured a discounted rate if orders were placed prior to its official release date. I sent these out to contacts in my local area who were already a part of my mailing list, as well as to people throughout the country who showed up on several Google searches I conducted. For this project, I searched for World War II groups, historians and veteran’s organizations – basically, any group I felt would be interested in a unique book about World War II.
In addition to the postcard, I also beefed up my Web site by creating a video trailer for my book. I worked with a very talented local videographer to develop the piece. Developing the video even morphed into a new project we’re working on together, a documentary about World War II from the perspective of men who were actually there. I posted my video on YouTube and on my Web site and sent out a press release about it. It really helped a lot in terms of exposing the project to a wider audience.
I’ve also taken greater advantage of the Internet by embarking on a six-week virtual book tour. This is a new concept to me, but one that I see a lot of potential in. I’m anxious to see what the long-term results are from this tour.
While utilizing all of these new elements, I’m also staying true to the time-tested methods of promotion. I’m a partner in a Delaware-based public relations and marketing company, and I know that traditional marketing methods can still produce good numbers if done correctly. Through content marketing, I’m working on establishing myself as a local and regional expert on World War II and am also making as many appearances in the area as possible. One day, I could be speaking to members of a historical society; the next, I could be holding a book signing at a community event. The more you get out there and talk about your book, the better off you’ll be.
That’s really what it all comes down to. You could write the greatest book in the world – if no one knows about it, it won’t matter one tiny bit. You have to get out there and speak about your project with passion and with zest.
Believe in yourself and in what you’ve been able to put together. After all, if you don’t, who will?
Thanks again for allowing me this time to talk about the many opportunities available in regards to book promotion. I wish you all the very best.
About the author
James Diehl is an award-winning journalist who has covered Sussex County, Delaware for various media outlets since 1998. Since 2007, he has owned and operated a freelance writing company based in Seaford, Delaware and is also a partner in a Lewes, Delaware-based public relations and marketing firm. He is the author of one other work of non-fiction – Remembering Sussex County, from Zwaanendael to King Chicken, published in 2009 by The History Press.0