Talking Up Sales

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This is a guest post by Lorraine Mace. If you want to write for Daily Writing Tips check the guidelines here.

Anyone with a book to promote is constantly on the lookout for new ways to get the message across to the widest possible audience. So what do you do when you’ve sent review copies to everyone you can think of, attended book fairs, set up author signings and promotions anywhere some kind soul would give you an inch of space, joined websites, commented on the blogs of others and generally covered every aspect of self-promotion?

Do you relax, pat yourself on the back and raise a glass to a job well done? No, because there is another avenue you might have overlooked. In the words of an old song: “Say it really loud, say it really clear, on the radio.”

Many an author who has appeared on national radio and/or television began their media trail on local radio. So how do you get your voice (and details of your book) heard?

Local radio is precisely what it says – the radio for and about local newsworthy people. Before making contact with the station, sit down with a sheet of paper and list all the reasons your story (not necessarily your book) would be of interest to their listeners. That’s what they need to know. They won’t care about you as an author, they won’t care too much about your book either, but if you are able to tell them something their listeners would find fascinating, the chances are high that they will invite you onto the show.

Take a reminder sheet of the things you want to say when you are on the air. This is essential because the time will pass so quickly that you may find the interview is over before you’ve done more than mention your book’s title.

• Talk about your current book
• Say why it’s unique
• Say where it is available
• Say where you will be conducting book signings
• Plug your blog and/or website
• Mention any other books you have written or are currently writing

Once you know you are going to be interviewed, do the rounds of all the book outlets covered by the station and arrange signings, preferably for a day shortly after the interview. You’ll be amazed at how accommodating book stores will be if they know the event will receive media coverage.

The next step is to contact your local newspaper, or newspapers if you live in an area where there is more than one. Write out a news item detailing who you are, when you will be on the radio as well as when and where you will be signing books. Make the piece interesting, not just a plug for your book. Editors aren’t likely to print something that is purely self-promotional, but if you jazz it up so that their readers would find it fascinating, they are more likely to use it.

And if you’ve done all of that successfully, is it then time to sit back and raise that glass? Sorry, no. There is still one other radio avenue to explore and that is online radio.

I was interviewed for Blogtalk Radio by Maggie Ball of the Compulsive Reader. Maggie lives in Australia, I live in France, we communicated through Skype and the interview promoting The Greatest Moving Abroad Tips in the World went live around the world on the Internet. How successful was it? Let’s just say a month after the event my website is still receiving visitors from places as diverse as Uruguay, India and South Africa. English speaking writers in overseas countries bought the book through Amazon. They would never have heard of it without that interview.

Lorraine Mace is a columnist with Writing Magazine (UK) and has had her work published in five countries. Winner of the Petra Kenney International Poetry Award (comic verse category), she writes fiction for the women’s magazine market and is a writing competition judge. Lorraine, a tutor for Writers Bureau, is the author of The Greatest Moving Abroad Tips in the World (Oct 2008) and co-author, with Maureen Vincent-Northam, of The Writer’s ABC Checklist (Accent Press, Jan 2010).

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2 thoughts on “Talking Up Sales”

  1. This post was a great find this morning. I have actually purshased books from radio interviews. Yet I think writers often overlook the opportunity or don’t even realize its use and availability.

    Thanks for the words of wisdom.

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