When it Comes to Book Publicity and Marketing, What is your Secret Sauce?

I don’t have to say it is an incredibly noisy, crowded marketplace out there. We all know that.

In fact, the more I think about it, the more I think that the endless noise of social media, texting, email, as well as the constant 24/7 news cycle, is teaching us how to build more and more sophisticated filters so as to block it all out! Survival!

Which means, if you have a book and important work that you want people to pay attention to, it has never been more critical and necessary to figure out how you are unique. We’ve talked about this before, but it’s one of those fundamental truths that is never going to go away, and is therefore important to discuss. You need to be succinct, unique, and memorable.

The question is, “How?”

I’m not saying this is easy. It’s easier to identify the positive points and qualities of another’s message rather than our own, I suspect because we are aware of our own limitations and struggles, yet it is essential for authors, entrepreneurs, small business owners, coaches, consultants and speakers to be able to do this.

Since launching my publicity business in the summer of 1996, I have worked with hundreds of experts who have books on business, leadership, workplace, careers, management, HR, sales and marketing, health, mindfulness, and spirituality among other genres. How can there be so many books on each of these topics? How can every book find its market and be successful?

Well, the short answer is they don’t always find their audience.

You don’t want to fall into that group.

Key Point: If you want major media coverage, or significant regional or local media, you need to be able to articulate how you’re different, why people should care about you and your book, and you must do it quickly.

Think of the New Year. What comes out every January no matter what? Diet and fitness books! It makes sense. Many have indulged over the holidays and so January is the time for a “New Year, New You.” How is it possible that all those diet and fitness books can find a market? Some don’t, as we’ve said, but many do, and the reason is that they came up with a unique angle and positioned themselves to own it. They came up with a unique hook for positioning their book in a way that stands out from all the others.

Let’s look at what’s happening right now? I don’t mean politically (because that’s an entirely new discussion), but within our culture. It is “back to school” time. Can you tie into that, and if so, how?

We are headed into the fall (Good bye sweet summer!). If you have a message to tie into the holidays, now is the time to be putting that together. Don’t wait until November when it’s too late. Remember, it takes time to be compelling, short, and succinct. It doesn’t just magically happen.

I’m working with therapist right now who has a Ph.D. and a thriving practice. She helps parents to be able to talk to their teens, and actually has an amazing formula for doing so. Imagine being a parent with teenagers who actually talk to them…Who are not constantly face down in their phones, and who seem happy and well adjusted. Every parent’s dream, and this client has a fantastic formula for making this happen. Her book isn’t ready to launch yet, but when it does, I’m confident we’re going to get some great response. You see, rather than focusing on theory and studies, this mom and therapist has a relationship with her daughter and her daughter’s friends that is enviable. She works her own formula and is ready to share it with others. She is absolutely unique and has her own secret sauce — which isn’t going to be so secret anymore.

It works.

So here are a few questions to ask yourself to get the ball rolling:

• How are you different from every other expert in your arena?
• How is your book different?
• What is it about you that is unique from any of your other niche mates (a nice term for competitors, or other experts who share your space.)?
• What is special about you and your message?

Jot down your answers and keep asking the questions. You may be surprised how many answers come to you.

Next: Here are some of my forward action steps if you’re the kind of person who likes to get things done:

1. Study the competition. Who else has a book out there like yours? Go see what they’re doing. What is their unique positioning? How is each of them different. Write it down.

2. Then, figure out what is different about you. What do you talk about that no one else is emphasizing? What is your background story? Why did you write the book? What motivates you? Dig in and really think about this. Write it down.

3. Get feedback. We need others to look over what we’re doing with fresh, new eyes. I do caution you, however, as to who you ask to give you feedback. Remember, friends and family love you and want to support you. They don’t necessarily want to tell you the book title is wrong, or your book doesn’t make sense to them. In other words, they don’t want to hurt your feelings, so make sure you seek feedback from those who have experience and can really give you valuable input.

Thousands of business books are published every year. You don’t want your book to be seen as, “Just another business book.” (Yawn) You want to give your book its very best chance of success, and that means, among other things, being very clear on who your audience is and how what you have to offer is special and perfect for them.

Remember, many professionals are publishing books as a way to market their business. You can too.

Just what is your secret sauce?

Happy book promoting!

To your success!


P.S. Are we connected on social media yet? Let’s!

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