How to Connect with Influencers to Market Your Book
Just like knowing the right people in business can help you reach your professional goals, having the right people support your book is invaluable to building awareness and credibility. But how do you get influencers to share your book with their followers, peers, and other potential readers? Here are a few tips for connecting with influencers to help publicize your book.
Find the “right” people.
There are tons of people whose support would offer value to your book launch. With limited time and resources, it’s important to narrow this list to a group of the “right” kind of influencers. This list will depend on the book’s genre, target audience, and your own goals for the book.
You should also keep it realistic: the chance of a celebrity supporting your book without a personal connection is low. These influencers should be well connected but attainable. Consider a few of the following types of influencers:
- Social media influencers and/or bloggers.
- Traditional press and media.
- Notable experts in your field.
- Your own professional network.
- Similar authors.
Introduce yourself, flatter, and make a clear ask.
When reaching out to someone cold, it’s important to do three things in your initial outreach, whether via email or a physical mailing:
- Briefly introduce yourself and describe your book.
- Flatter the recipient. Provide a clear connection to their own expertise/success and what your book is about.
- Include a clear ask for their support of the book. Include hashtags, social media handles, key copy points for them to use in blog or social media posts, etc.
Know your audience.
Depending on the influencer, the way they are willing and able to show support may be different. Be sure to provide them with ways they specifically can help. Some examples include:
- Sharing a message of support with a link to buy the book on their social media channels, and if applicable include the campaign hashtag.
- Hiring you as a speaker.
- Reviewing the book on their blog or in their publication.
- Ordering the book for an educational institution or assigning the book as required reading for a course.
- Gifting the book to others in the recipient’s community who may enjoy it.
- Reading and leaving a review on Amazon.
Reach them on their own turf.
There are different ways to reach out to possible influencers. Ideally, you want to get a physical copy of the book into their hands along with your initial ask. If that’s not possible, be sure to send an electronic version of the manuscript for them to read. Tips for the different scenarios include:
- Create an influencer package. Include a copy of the book, your ask letter, business cards, and any other tools and swag you may have, such as bookmarks or a speaker press kit. To make a larger impression, use packaging that is on-brand, such as a colored box mailer or fun wrapping.
- Reach out via email. In this case, include an electronic version of the manuscript and any other information you can share. This may include a press release, speaker press kit, links to your website, videos of you speaking, or any other materials that may help the influencer connect with you.
When following up, keep it limited and brief. While you don’t want to annoy people who are not responding to your outreach, it’s a good idea to follow-up once or twice just in case a response slipped their mind. Wait a week or two after initial contact, and then send an email making sure they received the information and offering to answer any questions they have.
If an influencer comes through for you, remember to return the favor! Ask what you can do to help with their next project and pay attention to pitches you may be receiving. It’s always good to pay it forward!