Use These Free Publicity Sites for Book Marketing
If you’re a self published author who has tried the traditional routes for promoting your book (reviews, blog tours, social media) but you’re still not seeing your book get the kind of attention it deserves, it’s probably time to get creative. There are loads of websites that aren’t designed specifically for book marketing but can be powerful tools in an author’s marketing arsenal, if you know how to use them correctly. Below are some websites, all free, that you can use to generate buzz for you and your book.
If you’re a regular watcher of television news, you’ve probably seen their features on medical issues or trending events that feature ordinary people who somehow tie into the story. Is there a heatwave in Cincinnati? The local news will be sure to have a clip about a local woman who was hospitalized for heat stroke last year, and another clip of a doctor giving tips on how to say safe in the warm weather. Have you ever wondered where the television station finds these people? No, they’re not friends or family. The news outlets use services like HARO.
HARO, which stands for “Help a Reporter Out,” is a site for connecting the media with experts in a variety of fields. It is also used by reporters and news outlets for finding ordinary people with experiences that fit into a particular news or feature story. Reporters and news outlets pay a fee to sign up and can submit queries, looking for people to interview.
How it Works: It is free to register as an expert. After creating a log-in, you choose which types of queries you would like to receive. We recommend signing up for the general list, which lets you see all queries. You will then receive an email from HARO about 3 times a day, with queries from reporters, blogs, newspapers and websites, explaining the story and who they would like to interview. Major outlets like Gannett Newspapers, ABC, and AP use HARO. So do smaller publications and blogs. Many of the queries sent out each day will not pertain to you, but some will, and replying (quickly) may get you interviewed or quoted and cited as “Author of…”
Readers+Writers Journal receives HARO queries. A recent sampling included:
- Looking for Expert on Books for Tweens
- Crafts and Activities to Teach Kids to Read
- Looking for Freelancer to Give Tips
- Maintaining Work/Life Balance for Those with Non 9 to 5 Jobs
- Looking for People with Careers That Involve Creativity
Click Here to sign up for free with HARO
Pitchrate is very similar to HARO, except that it asks you to choose your areas of expertise, write a brief bio, and specify keywords that describe you and your expertise. It then matches you to queries from journalists, but you can also use the search function to search yourself. When choosing keywords, make sure to use the word Review, because Pitchrate often features requests from bloggers looking for items or books to review.
Pitchrate has paid features that they will, well, pitch you. Media press kits and the ability to become a verified expert. But you can be a free member and still access their large database of queries from news outlets.
To sign up at Pitchrate, Click Here
3. Free Press Release
Originally designed for small businesses to gain more visibility in search results, this site lets you create and submit press releases for nothing. The basic service provides free distribution to Google News and other popular search engines. You must register, and the site will try to sell you more expensive services, but even the free service allows you create and then monitor press releases. It also provides videos and tutorials for creating effective releases. Authors with a new book or even a book with a particularly positive review or upcoming blog tour should consider using press releases. If you have an author website (and you really should) using press release sites like this one can help your website be more easily found in search results.
To sign up for FreePressRelease.com, Click Here
This article is part of a series on Free Book Promotion Resources for Authors. If you would like to be notified of new articles on how to market books and book promotion ideas, plus get exclusive content, sign up for our free newsletter.