How to Promote through Public Speaking

May 2002
by Marisa D’Vari

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“It’s my dream to have my books in bookstores!” enthuses a first-time author. Though I smile and stay silent, my mind is screaming, “Wrong! You should be strategizing how to get your books out of bookstores!” Returns are a serious problem in bookselling today, and unless authors are proactive, it can only get worse.


Publicity and word of mouth are the traditional “fixes” that grow your books legs, allowing them to march out of the stores. A third element can enrich the mix–public speaking.


Many authors speak about their books at bookstores in the course of doing launches and tours. Why stop there?


Whether your books are fiction or nonfiction, individuals and groups can benefit from your knowledge, and they will even pay to hear what you can tell them. In fact, public speaking can create a strong subsidiary market for your knowledge in various forms. For the purposes of this article, I will focus on speaking as a mechanism to increase media attention and word of mouth for books.


Finding Eager Audiences

A popular myth asserts that the bookstore is the most appropriate venue for speaking about your book. In actuality, nothing could be further from the truth. Consider the typical bookstore talk audience. If they are not part of your family and friends network, their only common denominator is that they like to read and value the opportunity…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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