Avoiding Mixed Messages When Promoting Your Book

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Susan Violante Managing Editor

When promoting your book, keep in mind its main message in order to imprint the title to possible readers interested in a specific message. Now message and topic are two different things, as a book on a specific topic could have different messages when it comes to marketing. For example, a book about growing up in Italy during WWII could have a message for women if we focus on what mothers went through raising their kids. But also could be a message for YA if we focus on being a young adult during that time. It could also have a message for Italians in general; or military as a war book. Below are some tips on conveying a clear message when promoting your book to different targets:

  • When strategizing for a promotional event. Take time to research who will be most likely to attend, and then make that your theme. For example, if I am going to speak to veterans, I would make sure my event focuses on a message veterans can find and relate to in my book, “Innocent War.” But if I am speaking to a women’s book club, then I would make sure my talk is focused on how my grandmother kept her children safe and honest during WWII…which is also found in my book.
  • Dress the part. When appearing in public…whether face-to-face or online video, put some thought into how you will dress. Why promote a fashion brand on your event when you can promote your book with your outfit? If your book is a Fantasy, why not dress like you came out of that world? I found it very helpful to wear black pants and a T-shirt featuring my book’s front cover. Sometimes I would wear also my father’s Italian uniform hat. Think about it, what will sell your cookbook better…a suit or a chef’s outfit?
  • When making an interview appearance, make sure you research the interviewer’s programming and find messages from your book that you can use to get their audience to relate to your book. Make sure when giving interviews that you are presenting a clear message. You can’t control what the interviewer may ask, but you can steer the interviewer in the right direction.

In the end, you want your message to hit home with your readers, and then have them convey that message to their friends—your future readers.

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