Free PR Any Author Can Capitalize On
I previously worked on the marketing team for a pharmaceutical company where I had the opportunity to frequently meet with the public relations team. The company was very big on philanthropy and giving back to the community, especially to struggling neighborhoods. Sometimes they would host free check-ups or screenings at struggling schools or in poor neighborhoods. Other times, they would offer to re-stock the supplies of a free clinic that was struggling to keep its doors open. This shined a positive light on the company and helped spread their name.
Everyone likes a company that gives back to their community to make it a better place. As an author, you can also give back to the community to help promote yourself and your books. For example, let’s say that you live near a lower income neighborhood and notice that the local library is struggling to keep their shelves full due to budget cuts. This is the perfect opportunity for you to donate a few copies of your books. Even if you only offer your book online, you can give an electronic version to the library so members can read it. When you give the copies of the book, electronic or physical, to the library, you can offer to read it and sign copies afterwards.
Along with looking for libraries to donate a copy of your book to, you should also turn to schools. Depending on the type of book you wrote, there are plenty of struggling schools at all grade levels that are in need of supplies. Offering to donate a copy of your book to the school’s library signals to parents and neighbors that you care about their children improving their reading skills. You can also offer to read the book to a classroom when you donate it. For example, if you have a book that is relevant to middle school children, read it to the class in a struggling community. It will be a great time for you and the community.
When you offer to read your book to the public, it’s likely that the school or library will invite the local newspaper or news station to cover the story. The reporter will want to interview you after you are done reading the book which will get your name and title of your book to the public. It is also a great opportunity to offer a preview of your book and leave a cliff hanger that will entice others to go out and buy a copy or download it for themselves.
When the local community sees the story on the news or in the newspaper, they will feel obligated to purchase your book. Parents and local community members support companies, or authors, that dedicate their time and product to make their community a better place for them and their children. Donating your book to a struggling library that may not afford it and donating your time to read it to a group shows that you truly care about the local community. The community members will then share the title with their friends and family who didn’t catch the story. The people you helped will be your biggest advocates! Generating positive PR can be difficult, but donating products and time is a great way to give back to the community while promoting your book in a positive light!
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