Promote your Book by Giving a Speech

Christopher Witt —  December 9, 2016

speak to sell your bookIf you’ve published a book, you already know the sad truth: it’s entirely up to you to promote it.

Whether you’ve published your book yourself or had a mainstream publishing company put it out, you—and you alone—are responsible for marketing and promoting it.

There are ways to make people aware of your book, to make them want it, refer it to others, and buy it. Here are a few of the most effective strategies:

  • Create a website for your book
  • Write a blog and post material from you book on it
  • Be a guest columnist on other people’s blogs
  • Participate in online communities
  • Use social networking tools—Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
  • Send out an email newsletter
  • Create and share podcasts and videos
  • Get articles (with a byline that mentions your book) published in print or online
  • Host webinars and teleseminars
  • Give speeches and presentations

The best strategy is, of course, to use as many different strategies as possible.

I’m a big fan of giving speeches to promote a book.

Why Give a Speech to Promote a Book?

How does giving a speech or presentation, either in front of a live audience or by teleconferences and webinars, sell books? And is it worth the effort?

Let’s face it. Giving a speech or presentation—in front of a live audience or virtually—is a lot of work. And, for most people, it’s anxiety-provoking. So why bother? For three reasons.

First, giving a speech to promote your book is relatively inexpensive.

In many cases, it’s free. Sometimes, you’ll even get paid for doing it. Yes, you have to invest the time and energy into preparing your speech. And you’ll want to do some of your own promotion. But that’s about it.

Most of the time, you’ll be speaking at events sponsored by other people or organizations.  And there are no costs involved.  If you do it right, you can reuse, recycle, or repurpose your speech so your initial investment pays off all the more.

Giving a webinar or a teleconference is a great way to speak “in front of” people. You can be a guest on someone else’s program. Which means you don’t have to pay anything.

Or you can produce your own virtual event. Producing a virtual presentation, unlike putting on a real (non-virtual?) one costs next to nothing.

Second, speaking to market your book is effective.

Speaking gives you a chance—anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour—to interest people in your book.

You won’t be giving an infomercial about it, mind you, because that would only turn people off. But you’ll be able to talk about issues your book addresses. And since you’ll do so in such an interesting way, people will want to know more.

And how will they learn more? By buying your book, of course.

Finally, giving a speech about your book is fun.

I have little patience for people who say they’d rather die than give a speech.

If public speaking scares you so much, you’re doing something wrong. You’ve probably had a bad experience—based on the lack of experience—that’s haunting you. Or you’ve received bad advice.

With a little bit of help you can become an effective speaker. And you can enjoy giving a speech.

What’s not to like about being given the opportunity to talk about something that is so dear to your heart (i.e. your book)?

The question, of course, is how? How do you give the type of speech that will promote your book. That’s a matter for future posts.

In the meantime, do you have any suggestions.

Photo courtesy of gratisography-free-can.jpg


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Christopher Witt

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Chris Witt was born in Los Angeles, California. He currently lives in San Diego. He works as a speech and presentations consultant, an executive speech coach, and an orals coach.

2 responses to Promote your Book by Giving a Speech

  1. You are so right Christopher and it’s not as hard as any other speech you might have to make since you just wrote a whole book about it. I think the biggest challenge is determining who your audience will be and what perspective on the books subject they are likely to have. If you can do that you can address that perspective specifically. They’ll realize you’re brilliant and rush to buy! Or at least they’ll understand a little more about what you were addressing and how that fits with their interests and concerns. Thanks for the great information.

    • Steve, thanks for your comments. And you’re right: the main work to do, since you’ve already researched the topic, is to identify the specific audience you want to address and to focus on benefiting them in such a way that they want to know more. Thanks for commenting.