Are you blushing?
Have you read the book “50 Shades of Grey” by E. L. James? It’s okay to admit it. You’re not alone.
The erotic romance has grabbed the attention of housewives, young adult women (20-somethings), women in their 30s and 40s, and celebrities.
I found out about the book last week. How? My mom watches ABC’s “The View” and the book and E. L. James were mentioned during the promos. The name of the book sounded familiar to my mom; she thought my sister ordered it from the library. Yes, my sister ordered the book from the library.
I was curious about the book and decided to order it from the library. I was 1,231 out of 1,231 holds. Luckily, my sister finished the book and lent it to me. Out of curiosity, I checked the number of holds the book had since I requested it. It now has over 1,300 holds.
Do you see the power of the media? Do you see the power of word-of-word mouth advertising?
Authors, it’s time for you to take advantage of the media and spread the word about your book.
Authors Use the 50 Shades of Grey Way to Grab Media Attention
1. Write something controversial. Strike a nerve! Some libraries want to ban “50 Shades of Grey” because of the sexual content. To be fair, the book is labeled as an Erotic Romance.
If you’re passionate about a topic, research and write a book about it.
2. Believe in your book. If you don’t believe in your work, who will?
3. Embrace your authentic self. Without giving too much of the book away, Mr. Christian Grey makes no apologies for his, um, tastes. Make no apologies for the book you write.
4. Tell your family and friends about your book. Word-of-mouth advertising still works. Tell your family and friends to spread the word about your book.
5. Blog about your book. You could start a blog based on your book. This may work better for non-fiction, but fiction writers could provide blog posts about their characters, scenery, etc.
6. Be bold and daring. Take a risk. Try self-publishing versus traditional publishing. You may like being in control instead of submitting to a traditional publishers policies.
7. Go after what you want. On the flips side, if you want to be published through a particular book publisher, go after what you want. Don’t be shy about it. But make sure you don’t come across as a stalker.
8. Try something new. If you mostly use social media to spread the word about your writing, contact your local bookstore and ask if you can speak about your latest project.
9. Spend money to make money. Sometimes you need to spend money to make money. Instead of editing your book, hire a freelance editor to do it.
10. Create an intriguing book cover. Nothing grabs the media’s attention like a well designed book cover. Hire a graphic designer to create a book cover that stands out.
11. Attention grabbing title. Your book needs an eye-catching title. Brainstorm until you find the perfect title.
12. Keep your pulse on what readers want. Find out what readers want. What are they hungry for? What do they need? Know your target audience inside and out and the media will get to know you.
13. Timing is everything. Meet your deadlines; otherwise your book won’t be published.
14. Keep your eye on the prize. Don’t give up. Focus on your goal which is to publish your book.
15. Understand different marketing techniques. Online marketing is different from print marketing. Study both of them and use which one works for you or use both.
16. Know which media outlet to target. Which media outlet is interested in your book genre? Find out and target them.
17. Respond to the naysayers with grace. You don’t have to sling mud at those who disagree with your material. Handle the critics with dignity and grace.
18. Photo opp. If you get the chance to have your picture taken, go for it. The publicity will do you good.
19. Hold a contest. Give your book away through a contest. Tweet it, post it on Facebook, and Stumble it.
20. Build relationships with readers. Be yourself when you speak to readers. Answer their questions and thank them for reading your book.
21. Follow media outlets on Twitter. It’s a powerful social media tool, and it’s easy to use. Follow editors, publishers, TV stations, radio stations, etc.
22. Join groups on LinkedIn. There are many groups on LinkedIn. Join writers groups, but also join media and publishing groups.
23. Pin it. If you’re on Pinterest, use it to pin your front and back book cover and other images.
24. Be vulnerable. You may be scared to do this, but it’s a good way to show your human side. Authors are human too.
25. Get a makeover. Hey, if you’re going to be in the spotlight, you need to look good. Get a new wardrobe and hairstyle. Ladies purchase new makeup. Hire a stylist or style consultant if you have to.
26. Be assertive. Own your power; don’t allow others to walk all over you. Stand up for your writing.
27. Be confident. If you’re not confident or confident your writing will sell, you need a confidence booster, fast.
28. Be a guest blogger. Guest blogging is a great way to market you and your writing.
29. Write a press release. You’re a writer/author. Write and submit a press release about your book.
30. Be interviewed for websites. Don’t be shy about sharing your knowledge about being an author. Share your best tips and tricks. You can always be interviewed about your book too. Subscribe to Reporter Connection, HARO, and other sites like these.
31. Create a podcast. Sound is still important. Use your ‘voice’ to sell your book by reading short snippets from your chapters. This can entice people to buy your book and grab the attention of the media.
32. Build your email list. Don’t panic if you don’t have an author blog. It maybe to your advantage to create a “Coming Soon” (don’t call it this) page for your author blog and or book blog. Offer the first chapter as a ‘gift’ to those who sign up for your newsletter.
33. Volunteer at your local bookstore. This is a great way to build a relationship with the bookstore and meet your favorite authors and their publicists. Ask questions, be sincere.
34. Become an expert. The media and literary agents love ‘experts.’ Build your platform and you’ll have literary agents salivating and tripping over themselves to sign you. The media will want to know ‘who’ you are.
35. Speak at an industry event. This may be easier for non-fiction writers than fiction writers. However, if you’re offered the opportunity to speak, take advantage of it because the exposure can help you.
36. Hire people to help you. Remember the point about spending money to make money. You may have to hire or recruit family and friends to help you get the message out about your book.
37. Start a Facebook Group about your book. This is doable for both fiction and non-fiction books. Fiction readers will enjoy discussing the characters, plot, scenes, etc.
Non-fiction writers will enjoy connecting with like-minded people who’ve been through what they’ve been or discussing a book’s topic in depth.
38. Use visuals. Ask the graphic designer who designed your book cover to create images for your book. Fiction writers can have images of characters and scenes from the book (not too risqué). Non-fiction writers who write personal development/self-help can have heartfelt images with inspirational words on them. You get the picture.
39. Headlines. Write attention getting headline for your blog posts and calls-to-actions.
40. Be open to more. Open your mind to the possibilities. If you have the opportunity to plug your book on a radio or talk show that’s out-of-state, book a seat on your favorite air carrier and enjoy the ride.
41. Be enthusiastic. Don’t be shy about showing how excited you are about your book. Enthusiasm is contagious.
42. Smile. “Smile and the whole world smiles with you.” Remember that saying? Your smile is a great accessory — you can show it off anytime you want.
43. Diversify your writing. This is where a pen name could work for you. If you’re known as a memoir writer, but want to write a graphic novel, choose a pen name that will fit the genre, the market.
44. Network. Get to know people in the media. Get to know people in your genre or who compliment your genre. Build a ‘business’ relationship with people. Who knows? You could develop new friendships too.
45. Comment on blogs. Start commenting on blogs and or articles. Write comments that make readers and website owners raise an eyebrow at your comments.
46. Welcome media attention. Accept media attention with open arms. Don’t try to push it away.
47. Go on vacation. You need and deserve a break. A vacation can rejuvenate you and you can meet different people, some of which could be in the media.
48. Get sleep. You won’t be ready for your close up if you have bags underneath your eyes.
49. Set up Google Alerts. Set up Google Alerts that coincide with your book. For example, let’s say you wrote a book for day care centers and schools on safety plans to prevent bullying and school shootings. Create a Google Alerts for “bullying,” school bullying,” etc. — keywords/phrases for your book’s topic. When an alert shows up, contact newspapers, radio, and television stations in the city where bullying or a school shooting has occurred and offer to comment on what happened. Share your expertise!
50. Turn heads. Write a fiction book that’s a page turner and leave readers wanting more. Write a non-fiction book that reaches people around the world, perhaps it changes their lives. Do this, and you’ll grab media attention.
Photo credit: Stock Exchange. Keith Syvinski.