Media Events for Book Promotion

"How do I set up a media event?" -- As a publisher, that's a good question to have an answer for.

Media events and public appearances can fall into any number of categories and include any number of venues (book stores, radio interviews, television interviews, writing group speeches, presentations, chat room interviews, online book tours, public forums, and more).

A good place to identify possible media event locations is through local bookstore. Most bookstores carry event calendars or maintain a list of contact people who hold that information.

Browse the calendar listings and see if a certain book promotion fits with their plans. Sometimes it might be necessary to tailor a planned event for a particular occasion or holiday. If there is contact information available, make a note of it so you can pitch the appropriate person about your event.

Follow-up with prospective contacts who have not confirmed dates. Selling yourself and your book is a numbers game, and as any salesperson will tell you, the amount of contact is directly proportional to the amount of sales.

Be persistent without being annoying. If, after three or four attempts with a particular media contact, you are still unsuccessful move on to another prospect.

Once you secure an event, prepare it thoroughly in advance. People who attend or listen to your events are participating because the advertisement or announcement struck a chord with them, so be sure to deliver what they came to see or hear. Don't be shy about letting them know how to order your book. After all, that's the reason you're involved in the event in the first place.

Promote your media event aggressively. Invite your friends and family, and if it's within the scope of your marketing budget, advertise in the local paper. Neighborhood papers may even promote your event for free within their "Events" pages. You may even be able to tie it into a book review.

The store is sponsoring the event to attract more customers; the station is sponsoring the event to attract more listeners or viewers. Whatever the venue, it is your responsibility to attract the crowd. The venue is just that -- a venue.

Brent Sampson is the President & CEO of Outskirts Press Publishing at and author of Publishing Gems: Insider Information for the Self-Publishing Writer. Information at

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