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April 2009 Publicity Tip

Monthly Tips Index Ask Tom a Question

Cultivating the right sources will help book sales grow
Tom Ciesielka from TC Public Relations

April showers are upon us, and though nobody likes getting caught outside without an umbrella, the sight of budding flowers and lush, green grass makes all the water worthwhile. Yes, water is the key to making things grow.

Similarly, your book sales can grow with a public relations strategy. Public relations is the water for business. Here are a few general public relations tips to get your book sales growing (And none of them involve getting wet.).

Choose good soil, and solidify your PR foundation. Most plants cannot thrive in rocky soil. Neither can a public relations plan survive on an unstable foundation. Part of solidifying this foundation is making sure you know who you want to target and what your objectives are.

These are two things that every public relations agency will ask you in order to determine the appropriate strategies. It is also important that your public relations plan coincides with your business plan as well as your mission and vision statement.

See the light - get online

Plants will die without sunlight. Your book sales will die without the Internet. Establishing a presence online is no longer an option for businesses – it is a requirement.

Lots of people know about blogs, but that is only one of the many, many ways to connect on the Internet. Create forums to spur reader discussion about pertinent topics. Set up a Twitter account to share exciting news with current and potential readers. Create a monthly "podcast newsletter" to post online. And most important, be active! The online world is your playground.

Grow tall and wide - be aware of the world

Caves don't bode well for plants. Your book wouldn't get very far in a cave either, unless you write about health care for bears. Make sure you are aware of all things that affect your book: how similar readers are doing, how clients view your field and what external factors could influence the genre. Set up a Google Alert to follow news on your area and personally check in with your cohorts to ask for feedback. This will help you stay on top of latest news stories and in touch with your most valuable readers.

Bottom line: Complacency is the enemy of books sales. So is a cave.

Hopefully you now see that preparing a public relations plan will be a valuable investment in your book's future – maybe even more valuable than buying an umbrella. Maybe

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