According to Bowker, the official ISBN issuing agency in the United States, self-published books were up 40% in 2018 over 2017, with an estimated 1.68 million self-published print and ebooks published. Through the boom of self-publishing, long before 2017, book promotion dramatically changed. Publicity campaigns that were once focused solely around a book greatly expanded to make room for the personality behind the content. An established author platform, in many ways, has become more of a necessity than the book itself as it drives much of the reader, reviewer and media engagement. Most authors know you can’t just release a book into the wild to wait for something to happen, and that promotion—whether at the hand of a professional or the author herself—is necessary. There are, however, critical steps to prepare your author platform before diving headfirst into publicizing your book. Taking these early steps, amongst others, will ultimately provide you with channels you’ll later need to leverage your publicity results.
Just like you can’t write a book for “everyone,” you can’t expect all media to be a fit for you and your book. Sure, a plug on Good Morning America or a review in the New York Times would be a major accomplishment for any author; however, if your readers aren’t watching that program or reading that newspaper, you’re not likely to see any spike in visibility that could lead to sales. So how do you know what book publicity is the right fit for you and your book?