Getting out and doing a speaking engagement is one of the most effective and rewarding ways to promote your book. Readers love hearing directly from the author, and it is most likely that someone who hears you speak about your topic will not only walk away eager to read your work but will tell others about the experience and your book. It is also a fantastic way to add credibility to and spark discussion around your personal brand.
All these things working together are likely to not only increase book sales but will steer you in the direction of new opportunities, new readers, and ultimately – new speaking engagement. As you can see, landing a speaking engagement or two could end up being the gift that just keeps on giving. If that all sounds like good stuff to you, here are a few pointers to help get you started.
Get in touch with your local bookstore
Hopefully, you still have an independent bookstore in your area, and if so – chances are they will open to any and all ideas about cross-promotion and collaboration. A book signing is a wonderful way to get the word out about your book and to establish your voice as a writer in the community.
Reaching out to your local bookstore and inquiring as to whether they might be willing to sponsor a reading by you might seem bold if you’re just starting out, but you’ll likely be surprised by the warmth of the response.
Look for organizations that are involved in the subject matter of your book
You might already be familiar with these organizations thanks to the research you did for your book, or it might require you to think outside the box a bit depending on your work and the topics it covers.
Regardless of what those are though, it is almost certain there is a relevant group in your area. From support groups to business groups, to church reading circles or general literacy advocacy groups, just find a way to connect your book to their mission and pitch the idea of doing a presentation. Hopefully, at some point in the future, you’ll have an agent to suss out these opportunities for you, but in the meantime – be creative and confident in finding groups to approach.
Lead a writing workshop
This is an especially great idea for authors ultimately looking to incorporate teaching into their career path. Before getting too carried away though, know that fancy learning centers and institutes get a lot of pitches from experts looks to host a workshop, so it best to start with a small local organization if you don’t have much experience.
In the beginning, you should be open to trying new things and shouldn’t be expecting to pull in big fees. Keep in mind that you’re trying to get some experience under your belt before you scale things up a notch.
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