Preparing an author to be an interesting guest is a critical element and one that should be worked on prior to the promotion of a book. I sometimes recommend that my clients sit down with a coach to help go over some of the basics of public speaking and interviews. For example, when Dallas-based author James Halperin hired me to publicize his science-fiction novel "The Truth Machine", I recommended that he contact a staff member of the Southern Methodist University drama department to engage him in videotaped mock interviews. As a result, Jim became a very effective interviewee. What made James Halperin such a fabulous client was his willingness to do anything it took to be successful. Halperin was willing to avail himself for interviews regardless of the hour of the broadcast as he realized that the only way that people would buy "The Truth Machine" would be through his being able to talk about it and make people aware of his book. Through my campaign for Halperin, over 200,000 copies of "The Truth Machine" were sold.
During the interview it is important for the author to mention the title of your book so that the audience can order it from their bookstores or online. It is also important for the self published author to make sure that his or her novel is readily available to the public and currently listed with Amazon as well as other major online distributors such as Barnes & Noble.com. Your listing on Amazon is crucial and as an author you should take advantage of all the free publicity that you can secure. A helpful tool for convincing prospective buyers on the internet to purchase your book is to have people who have read your book send in positive reviews to the major online distributors such as Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, etc. These positive reviews are very effective and can be the difference between a prospective book buyer deciding to order their book or not.
Another essential is to have your own website where potential buyers can learn more about the book and the author. A website is also a good way for readers to purchase your book and gives you yet another opportunity to promote yourself to your audience.
While book signings are certainly not going to produce giant revenues, I think that doing local signings in which you do not incur any travel expenses are worthwhile. It gives you the opportunity to refine your skills as a speaker and also to meet with the public and get a feel for what they are looking for in the way of science fiction books. However, I do not recommend that you spend your own money orchestrating an expensive book tour to various parts of the country, as the costs of hotels, plane fares; car wear and tear, etc. can run into high numbers very quickly. The reality of book signings is that unless you are a famous author you are not going to generate a tremendous number of book sales.
Staying abreast of the publishing world and networking are incredibly important elements that no author should ignore. It is essential to be apprised of what is going on in the publishing industry at all times. I am surprised at how many authors do not subscribe to Publisher's Weekly, nor read other publications that devote a great deal of important information about the publishing industry such as the Book Review sections that appear in the Sunday editions of The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, etc. It is not necessary to buy a subscription to these publications as much of this information is available on the internet. Another very helpful way of getting a better feel for the publishing industry is to watch C-SPAN and C-SPAN 2. These cable networks are devoted to the publishing industry and feature extremely interesting authors who have a great deal to say about their books. Watching these authors in action can help you become more successful in communicating with the media and the public.
It is also vital that the author creates a great title and cover for their book, along with receiving a strong quote or endorsement from a celebrity.
Milton Kahn, President and CEO of Milton Kahn Associates, which is based in Santa Barbara CA is considered to be one of the premiere book publicists in America. Among the honors that Kahn has received number Publicist of the Year by the Book Publicists of Southern California.
Be sure to visit Milton Kahn's website for more information.