How to Locally Promote a Book: 7 Promotional Tips for Authors

As a hardworking author who has put a lot of time and effort into your book, you would be forgiven for hoping to rest easy once it’s finally published. In reality, however, there’s still a lot to accomplish before your book gets into the hands of your beloved readers.

One of your most important objectives? Letting the public know that you’ve actually published a book. This means strategically promoting your work to ensure that people realize your book exists — and that it’s worth reading.

 

Little girl standing next to picture book character standee.

 

From book signings to social media marketing and everything in between, a variety of promotional opportunities allow you to show your book in its best light as you expand your audience:

 

1) Promote on Local Radio Shows

Your local public radio station is almost certainly on a constant hunt for indie authors to chat about a variety of topics. You could also find promotional opportunities with regional talk radio shows or even on your community’s hottest podcast.

Think of this as a chance not only to let people know about your new book, but more importantly, to position yourself as a credible author. An in-depth radio or podcast interview allows you to show off your expertise as you provide an enticing example of the type of content prospective readers might find in your book.

 

2) Promote Your Book Launch on the Local News

Local stations on the hunt for upbeat news love to cover book launches involving regional authors. Be sure to play up the local angle as you pitch your story to broadcasters. Beyond this, you may need an additional connection to make your book launch feel relevant.

For example: If your area has a growing locavore movement, your book on backyard gardening can be highlighted in a news segment about sustainable eating. Keep in mind that, as with radio or podcast interviews, your main objective is to showcase your credibility as an author.

 

3) Do Book Signings at Local Bookstores

Bookstores provide a wealth of opportunities for authors looking to expand their audience. Many stores make an active effort to line up book signing events with local authors. After all, these events are mutually beneficial: the author gets attention from potential readers who might otherwise not be aware of new books, while the store gains the credibility of attracting published authors. Readers, meanwhile, feel that their new books are more special if they’ve been signed.

To make the most of book signings, both the store and the author should promote heavily online. For the store, this could mean creating Facebook events, posting previews on Instagram stories, and mentioning book signing events in the monthly email newsletter.

 

4) Do Promotional Giveaways

Book giveaways can be extremely valuable for new authors, many of whom lack the advantages of name awareness. This approach to book marketing builds goodwill among enthusiastic new readers by drawing on their inherent love of free products. Who can resist a free book?

Perhaps just as importantly, giveaways amplify other efforts to promote a book. For example, giveaways can be announced on social media or even with radio or TV coverage. Goodreads is also an invaluable resource. No matter where they are promoted, these events should be targeted to ensure that readers from the book’s core audience receive — and have the opportunity to review — free books.

 

5) Partner With Local Retailers

Don’t hesitate to build relationships with local business owners and let them know how you can work together to get new readers and new customers at the same time.

While bookstores may seem like a natural fit, they are by no means the only type of business that can help you sell more books. Many other types of businesses cater to book lovers and will be happy to support your efforts.

Coffee shops, for example, are often highly supportive of local authors. You may also find luck with businesses that relate to your book’s topic. For example: a local gym may be eager to get the word out about a fitness-oriented title, while a nearby daycare or toy store may be helpful for promoting a children’s book.

 

Children's book standees in a book store.

 

6) Attend Local Book Fairs

Book fairs are absolutely essential for promoting a new book. The appeal should be clear: as with book stores, most of the people you interact with will be readers who are clearly motivated to buy.

To begin, rent a stall or booth — and invest in professional signs or banners that lure book fair attendees to your space. Creative decorations such as cardboard cutouts should also help your booth stand out. Don’t forget to bring plenty of copies of your book so you can show off the cover design, and helpfully, sell several copies onsite.

Book fairs also regularly offer speaking opportunities. If you can arrange to give a presentation at the event, prepare a talk that will be of interest to the event’s targeted attendees. Your presentation should be interesting and empowering — and it should let attendees know that they can expect more of the same if they purchase your book.

 

7) Find Potential Readers at Local Events

Event marketing represents a huge area of untapped potential for many authors. While book fairs and signings can be great opportunities, these are only the beginning. Beyond this, there’s a lot to be gained from special events hosted by Meetup groups or other activity-based organizations. From book club gatherings to craft fairs and festivals, a world of potential awaits. Think creatively as you find new ways to get involved in community events.

Displayed children's book standee.

 

Creative Book Promotions With Cardboard Cutouts

Regardless of your preferred methods for book marketing, you can benefit from integrating cardboard standouts into your events or appearances. These could represent the book itself, or you, the author. Standouts may also convey key characters or concepts from your book. These will instantly bring your promotion to life.

 

A Zat? What's That? standee along children's picture book.

 

At Cardboard Cutout Standees, we are eager to help you expand your readership and build a loyal following. Contact us to learn more about our life-sized cardboard cutouts — or to get started with our straightforward customization process.