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By Marika Flatt
2020 has been a long, tumultuous year. More important than ever, people need to seize the ample opportunities they must begin to strategize and plan ahead for a fresh start in 2021. Do you have a publicity plan for 2021? Here are a few key steps that will jump start your promotion and pitching skills in 2021.
Reevaluate Your Website
Working from home opens many opportunities to tackle projects that you’ve been neglecting. Making or updating your website is one of those projects! Especially these days, the way authors are engaging digitally is important since people are continuing to quarantine and work from home. Your website is one of the primary ways you will be able to engage with your audience and media outlets who may be interested in promoting your book. Taking time to flesh out the goals and the objectives you want to achieve with your website will give you an excellent promotion tool moving into the new year.
January brings on an onslaught of new year/ new you, and other self-help content that inundates media outlets. This creates an even more competitive environment for authors to get promotional opportunities, which makes it imperative to lock into media opportunities now by pitching 2-3 months in advance. Take time to craft a compelling pitch. Building those relationships now, rather than waiting, pays off in the long-term.
Refine Your Branding
In addition to your website, what are you working on that engages your audience in a compelling way? Refining your brand is a great way to better articulate your expertise and credibility in the publishing industry. Having a strong voice through Social media engagement is the best way to build a cohesive and effective brand image.
Taking these few key steps now, will allow you to be in an excellent position moving into the new year. There will always be opportunities to improve your promotion strategy, you just need to be proactive and start thinking about promotion in the long-term. Be ready and prepare for the new year with a fresh perspective and reinvigorated mindset.
A DIY Opportunity
Marika Flatt was hired as a “baby book publicist” in 1997 upon graduating cum laude from Texas A&M University with a degree in Communications. After taking over the management of that boutique literary firm in just a few short years, she & her husband, Doug, launched PR by the Book in 2002, capitalizing on her love of media & books. She is a “connector” by nature, is a past-president of Women Communicators of Austin, serves as an Expert for Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), is listed on Twitter’s Women in Publishing (#womeninpublishing) and has served on the selection committee for the Texas Book Festival. Marika also serves on the advisory board for the San Diego Writers Festival and on the committee for the Women’s Storybook Project, based in Austin.
Marika has been a regular speaker in the book industry since the late ’90s for organizations such as: Digital Book World, IBPA’s Publishing University, Book Expo America, and Writers League of Texas, among others. In her spare time, Marika has been a travel writer for nearly two decades and serves as the Travel Editor for Texas Lifestyle Magazine. Marika can be heard on the statewide NPR show “Texas Standard”, giving her Weekend Trip Tips, and is a regular travel contributor on several TV stations around Texas. Marika is the proud parent of three teens (none of which love reading as much as she does).