Recently, we’ve taken on the exciting project of working alongside Katie Redfern, founder of Meaningful Recruitment, to PR her new book ‘Working Meaningfully – Your fast-track guide to a career that lights you up.‘ We’ve secured a wide range of coverage from Sage Advice and Brands Journal to South East Business. We’ve been creative in our approach and seen some great results. Now we’d like to share our top tips and takeaways with you.
Publicising a business book is very different from traditional book publicity and it’s important to know how you can approach the challenge to achieve the best results. Here are some things to consider…
Traditionally published or otherwise?
If you’re published by a traditional publishing house, the publicity surrounding your book is very likely to be dealt with in-house. For that reason I’m going to focus on those who are self-published or published by an Indie Publisher of some kind.
It’s worth bearing in mind that if you are not traditionally published, are a debut author or an author of more niche titles, big national titles are very unlikely to cover your book. It’s unfortunate, but it is the reality of the industry.
However, that doesn’t mean your book can’t get featured in the press!
Think about format
Is your book an eBook or is it in print? It may not seem like a big distinction, but this will be incredibly important when it comes to a number of PR factors. It will impact how much you charge for the book itself. It will impact how you go about and how long it will take to start securing reviews. It will impact who will feature your book. It will impact which publication titles will be key. The list goes on and on. Don’t assume print books and eBooks are publicised in the same way.
Get those reviews in early
Reviews are everything. In the book world, ARCs, or Advanced Reader Copies, are used to gain early reviews before the book is published. You should be sending out ARCs, and this applies whether you’ve written an eBook or a print book (though obviously sending physical copies is a lot more involved than emailing over a digital one).
Getting reviews is really important for SEO purposes and for creating buzz around your book. Get as many as you can and make sure they are shared in the appropriate places (e.g. Amazon, GoodReads etc). This will help the algorithm recognise that your book is getting attention and in turn it will list the book more favourably.
There’s no shame in asking readers to kindly leave a review. You should be sure to direct them to the places you’d like them to post and make it as easy as possible for them to engage with your book online.
There is a whole community of book reviewers and journalists who write blogs and offer reviews on social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram and Youtube, and so be sure to reach out to them too.
Note: reviews should be genuine. You cannot guarantee a good review and when you send out an ARC or review copy of your book you should never do so with the expectation that you can shape the review in any way. Book reviewers, journalists and bloggers should treat the review with professionalism and it’s understood within the community that they are not there to slate a book or an author. However, each reviewer has the right to their opinion expressed in a professional manner whether that be positive or otherwise. Trust that you’ve written a good book and let the words on the page do the work.
Be open to local press
Your book news may not be national news, but it could actually be fitting for your local press. Your local press wants to share good local stories and they have a reason to support you as a local business and author. Local press is valuable and is often dismissed in favour of big national publications, but the reality is every publication has its value and its place in a wider PR strategy. Remember, an online story is accessible to most, not just those in your local area.
Think about thought leadership
Though your book may not be a strong enough hook alone (even if it’s a great book – that’s not always a suitable angle for a publication), another great way of getting coverage is through thought leadership on topics and themes explored in your book.
You can create shorter, repurposed snippets of content based on the larger piece of work. You can be featured as the author which will raise the profile of the book. Think of it as taking two bites of the cherry. You can minimise your hard work and make it work for you in different ways. Think of it sort of like giving people a little sneak peek or taster of what the book offers. The same applies with comments featured in a wider journalist piece.
Here are some examples of how we made that work in Katie’s case:
Business Age – Katie provides a sneak peek of a chapter in her book.
Sage Advice – Katie offers her thoughts on the future of work as we kick off 2022.
Focus on your area of expertise
If you’re writing a business, self-help or educational book, try to remember to focus on your area of expertise. Writing a book and the world of publishing may be new to you, but you likely have a lot of experience in the business world for example. Focus on publications that are interested in what you write about, rather than the fact you have written a book, if that makes sense. Play to your strengths and focus on which audience will be interested by what you have to say. If you wrote a book, you likely had a reader in mind. Think about where that readers is online. What magazines and newspapers are they reading?
So there you have it, our top tips for publicising a business book.
You can see more examples of Carnsight Communication PR tips and tricks in practice by checking out our case studies.