Book Marketing, Author Publicity, Branding

Friday, August 20, 2010

Guest Post: What Do I Deserve As An Author? by Tony Eldridge

Note from Terry:  From time to time I like to feature guest posts from authors and other book marketing professionals so my readers can get some perspective on the publishing industry from someone other than myself.  Today, our guest post comes courtesy of Tony Eldridge.

Tony Eldridge is the author of the award winning action/adventure novel, The Samson Effect, which Clive Cussler calls a "first rate thriller brimming with intrigue and adventure." He is also the creator of Marketing Tips for Authors, a site that publishes free tips and videos to help authors learn marketing techniques for their books. You can read the serial release of The Samson Effect at

So, you have written a book. Congratulations! No matter how you did it, that is truly a feat worthy of praise. You have beaten the odds and did what few others have done. You now have a piece of your legacy that will always set you apart from others.

I'm not going to tell you that now the hard work begins. By now, I am sure you have done your homework and you realize that you have a responsibility to market your book. Unless you are among the elite best-selling authors, your publisher will probably not have much of a marketing plan for you. If you rely on that, your three months to make a splash will come and go before your publisher moves to the next book.

The question I do want to consider is one that may make you feel a little uncomfortable, but it's one we really need to ask if we want to move past the hurdle that many authors never get past. The question is:

What Do I Deserve As An Author?

  1. You don't deserve book sales- Just because you've written a book doesn't man that people have to buy it. Ultimately, books are written for readers, not the authors. It is up to the reader to decide whether it's worthy of purchase. If they vote "no", then that's the way it is.

  2. You don't deserve stellar reviews- While reviewers often give opinions that you may disagree with, they are not a service to help you promote your book. Once in their hands, they are ethically bound to give their honest appraisal of your book. That's all that you deserve to expect from them. And on matters of opinion, the benefit of the doubt rests with them.

  3. You don't deserve a hot word-of-mouth network- Of course you want to enlists everyone you know to help you spread the word of your book, but few authors experience a 100% mobilization of their personal network. I hate to break it to you, but you will have family and close friends that will never tell anyone about your book, even though they make promises that they fully intend to keep. Success or failure of your book does not rest with them, but with you.

  4. You don't deserve freebies- As an author, you don't deserve to have people offer free advertising or marketing for your book. People have businesses to run, and if that business involves marketing and advertising, you are another client just like every other client. If you want their business, you need to be willing to pay (or barter) for it. Freebies are a gift that we need to be thankful for, not ones that we need to expect, or deserve.
So, what do you deserve as an author? In my humble opinion, you deserve something far more valuable that the things mentioned above. You deserve:
  • Self Respect- This is huge. No matter what is going on in your life, you did what few others have done. That is something to be proud of and something no one can take away. Like earning a diploma, it's something you will always have.

  • Proof that you can overcome great obstacles- If you can write a book, then you deserve to know that you can overcome any obstacles set in your path. The skill of overcoming obstacles is one that's worth gold when you have tangible evidence you can do it.

  • A legacy to leave to your descendants- 100 years after people leave this earth, there is little left as a legacy. A book is a way to live eternally to those who come after us. What a wonderful thought that your great-great grandchildren will read your words with pride.

To me, it all boils down to this: As an author, you deserve to be proud of your great accomplishment. You don't deserve anything from anyone else. What others may choose to give you is a gift to be grateful for, but nothing to expect.

So, get out there and do your best to persuade people to read your book and to help share it with others. If they don't, that's okay. Just move on to someone else. The passion and knowledge you have about your book will help find those people just waiting to discover your book and the joy you have created between the covers.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Barnes & Noble For Sale: What Authors Can Learn

I have debated whether to post anything about Barnes & Noble, the largest book retailer in the United States, putting itself up for sale.  After all, this is a blog designed to help authors promote and sell books; it's not a blog about the publishing industry in general.  Besides, I like B&N.  They have been good to many of my authors.  However, I think there are some important lessons that authors can learn from the problems currently being faced by B&N.

Even stock analysts disagree about why B&N is actually putting itself up for sale.  B&N says its stock is undervalued.  Stock analysts say it's actually overvalued.  An article in the Wall Street Journal blames B&N's "too little, too late" approach to selling books online and offering an e-book reader for sale to its customers, and Amazon's dominance in that market.  Whatever the cause, there are some important lessons authors can take away from the situation at B&N.

1.  Stocking thousands of titles on a shelf doesn't mean they will sell.  Many authors are under the impression that "if only my book was on the shelf at the bookstore, it would sell."  If that were true, books would be flying off the shelf at the major chain bookstores, and they aren't.  They wouldn't need the "discount" table at the front of the store, either.  Those are books that aren't selling.

2.  Authors need to target many different venues with their books, not just bookstores.  Just this morning an author emailed me in a panic because the distributor is currently out of stock with their title and a clerk at a bookstore (yes, it was B&N) told them they were "losing sales."  I checked Amazon, and the title was in stock.  In this instance, B&N may be losing sales, but readers can get this title elsewhere.  If B&N's web site took backorders for books, like Amazon does when it is temporarily out-of-stock, they would lose fewer sales.  Lesson learned:  if authors are depending on only one venue to sell their books, they are losing out. 

3.  Authors need to keep up with current trends.  When it comes to marketing and selling books, the industry is constantly changing.  Who heard of the Kindle, Twitter or Facebook five years ago?  Today, they are common household terms.  Five years from now there will be new technology and other ways of selling and promoting books.  Authors need to keep up with those changing trends if they hope to compete in a marketplace which saw one million books released last year.   Some experts think B&N learned that lesson too late.  Don't get caught in the same predicament.  Do your homework and find out where fans of books like yours are getting their book recommendations.

4.  Authors need to target their niche.   Sometimes, bookstores aren't the best venue for selling books.  Authors of military-themed books may find gun shows work best for book sales.  Authors of Sci-Fi and Fantasy books might target comic-book stores.  Authors with devotionals might see the most success at gift shops.  Bookstores tend to appeal to a very general, broad audience.  If your book appeals to a very narrow, specific audience, will you find most of those readers in a major big-box bookstore?

When the dust settles, I'm sure B&N will be just fine, although under different management.  The B&N of five years from now may look much different than it does today, and that could mean other opportunities for authors that haven't even been thought of yet.  Perhaps the independent bookstores will rebound, offering additional venues for authors.  Perhaps there will be a new way of authors to plug their books online.  We may even see a different type of retailer that sells books that isn't technically a bookstore.  Whatever happens, authors need to roll with the changes.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How to Make Your Book a Bestseller!

Every single day, I receive an email from someone who promises me that they can teach me how to make any book a bestseller.  All I have to do is give them some money, which varies from $49 to a few hundred dollars, and they will send me an ebook, register me for a teleseminar or present a one or two-day class I can attend which will show me how to make any book a bestselling book.

Sorry, but I'm not buying.

It's not that the information these folks present is bad.  Much of it is the same information I provide here on this blog for free.  The problem is that there is no guarantee that anyone can help you make your book a bestselling book.  The classes or teleseminars might show you how someone else became a bestselling author, but that doesn't necessarily mean you will become one even if you do the exact same things they did.  There are a lot of variables to a book becoming a bestseller, such as publicity, demand for the title, the niche market the title serves and last but not least, sales.

Consider this:  last year, more than one million different titles were released in the United States.  How many of them became bestsellers?  Ten percent?  One percent?  The most recent statistic I could find was one from Publisher's Weekly in 2006.  That year, only 200,000 titles were released in the U.S., and fewer than one percent became what would be considered "bestsellers."  That is 2,000 titles, out of the hundreds of thousands of books released in the U.S.

There is also the matter of what is considered a "bestseller."  There is no industry standard to using the label.  There is no set number of books that must be sold before it is considered a bestseller.  Also, there are several different "bestseller" lists in existence, but perhaps the most well-known one is the New York Times Bestseller List, but even that list is divided between hardcovers and paperback, fiction and non-fiction, adult and children's books, etc.  If an author's book hits the number one sales ranking on Amazon and stays there for one day before plummeting to a rank of 150,000, does that mean it was a bestseller?  Some authors and publishers say "yes" without considering the total number of books sold.

The vast majority of books do not become bestsellers, but that doesn't mean they aren't or can't be profitable.  There are many titles which provide an income to their publishers and authors and never achieve "bestseller" status.  Does that mean they were failures?  Heck no!

I would rather see the folks running these "bestseller" classes send out emails that say something the lines of "Learn How to Sell More Books," than "Learn How to Make Your Book a Bestseller!".  The first topic would be more realistic.  The second topic is wishful thinking.  How many authors take these "bestseller" classes or seminars and actually become bestsellers?  I'm willing to bet the number is very, very low.  If it was as simple as taking a class, publishers would send their marketing representatives (like me) to these classes every year so they can learn the tricks of the bestseller trade.  But, they don't.

When I was in the Navy looking to kill time on my ship, I spent many hours reading "The Executioner" series of books...definitely a guilty pleasure.  Those books were cranked out every month like clockwork.  In fact, at one time you could even subscribe to "The Executioner" series because the books came out so often.  Those books were never considered literary masterpieces or NY Times bestsellers, but the 600 novels serialized under "The Executioner" name have sold more than 200 million copies.

The bottom line is don't get hung up on the "bestseller" label.  Sure, you want to sell books, and if you sell a lot of them your book may be considered a "bestseller."  More than likely, it won't happen as a result of a class, e-book or seminar.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Guest Post: Top Tips on How to Set Up, Organize, and Promote a Virtual Blog Tour for a New Book or Author

By Lynn Serafinn

When I organise a book launch campaign for my author clients, I always include a Virtual Blog Tour. Every time I start a new campaign I am invariably asked, both by my clients and by their Joint Venture Partners (JVPs), "What exactly is a Virtual Blog Tour?" I thought it would be a good idea to write an article explaining what it is, and why it is a great promotional tool when properly organised.
What is a VBT?
A Virtual Blog Tour (VBT) is an online "event" wherein an author "visits" a different blog each day during a specified period of time, generally 2-4 weeks in duration. For instance, if your VBT were 2 weeks long, there would be 14 blogs, and each blogger would be assigned a specific day on the tour. In selecting blogs on which to appear, the author would seek out bloggers who have good traffic aimed at specific target audience(s) congruent with the topic of the book.
Technically, the author doesn't "visit" these blogs. Rather, on the assigned tour day, the blogger would post a blog about the author's book. Some blog platforms (such as WordPress) allow you to schedule a post in advance, making it more convenient for the blogger by automating the process.
The content of the blog could be an article about the author, a book review or an interview. When I organise a VBT, I generally prefer to use interviews, which are organised in advance between the blogger and author.
Organising a VBT
The way I organise the interview is to provide a good selection (10-20) of sample topics or story angles on which the author could answer questions. Then, each blogger provides (well in advance) 3 original questions he/she would like to ask the author, aimed at their particular reading audience.
Recently I designed a VBT for a book on the topic of OCD. Here are some of the sample topics I provided my bloggers:

  1. What OCD is and what it is not
  2. What doctors know or don't know about OCD
  3. What parents need to know about OCD
  4. What teachers need to know about OCD
  5. Being a parent with OCD
  6. OCD in personal relationships
  7. Having OCD in a work environment
  8. OCD and health issues...
And so on.
When I send the sample topics to the VBT bloggers, I ask them to formulate 3 questions based upon a topic (or topics) they feel would be of greatest interest to their readers. The questions are sent to the author several weeks in advance of the tour. The author provides written answers to the bloggers' questions, and together we assemble the "virtual interview" into a structured format, so the bloggers can more or less copy and paste it into their blogs (of course, they can edit it as they choose).
The format we provide the bloggers goes something like this:

"Today I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 4 of the Virtual Blog Tour for The Super Duper Book by author Mary Jones. Yesterday, Mary visited John Smith's blog at [link to John's blog]. Below is the great interview I did with Mary about how to be super-duper.
I hope you enjoyed this interview with Mary Jones and that you'll check out The Super Duper Book by Mary Jones coming to Amazon on [date]. You can receive a collection of great gifts when you buy her book on the day of her launch, including one from me: [name of blogger's gift]. To find out how to buy Mary's book and receive these gifts, go to [link to author's sales page].
Be sure to follow Mary tomorrow when the next stop on her Virtual Blog Tour is Charlie Brown's blog at [link to Charlie's blog]."
Promoting a VBT
When I organise a VBT, I create a "Tweet" for every stop on the tour, and give them to all bloggers and JVPs well in advance, asking them to post at least one update per blogger. That means, on their designated day on the tour, dozens of people would be sending out updates with a link to Mary's blog post to potentially hundreds of thousands of people on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. (depending upon the size of your campaign team).
Additionally, the author would post the tour calendar, with all the links, on his/her own blog.
Being a blogger on a VBT has many benefits:

  1. It provides bloggers with easy, original content for their readers.
  2. Because an organised team of networkers is sending out updates for each stop on the tour, it has the potential to drive 1000s of new readers to each blog.
  3. It helps increase search engine rankings for the blogs, as the blog is linked to, both forwards and backwards, the other blogs on the tour.
  4. Bloggers on the tour get to connect with new bloggers who share common interests and speak to similar audiences.
Of course, for authors, a VBT is wonderful because:

  1. There is a diversity of content going out about their book during a concentrated period of time.
  2. The content is easy to create.
  3. It expands their network.
  4. They get their book promoted to 1000s of people every day for the duration of the tour.
  5. The content you have created could be reused for other purposes.
And don't forget, if a blog post is particularly interesting, both the author and the blogger can "reTweet" about it every now and then after the tour is over.
I hope you found this information useful. Please do feel free to leave your questions or comments below, or to contact me directly for information about setting up or participating in a Virtual Blog Tour.
Lynn Serafinn is a transformation coach, book promotion coach, radio host and bestselling author of the book The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self. She also works as a campaign manager for mind-body-spirit authors and has produced several #1-selling book campaigns. She is the founder/creator of Spirit Authors, a virtual learning environment and community that offers training, coaching, business-building and inspiration for mind-body-spirit authors, whether established or aspiring. Subscribe to her Spirit Authors blog at so you can receive more useful tips and news about upcoming online events. While you are there, do check out the excellent and affordable online courses for authors available at Spirit Authors. If you are an author seeking 1-to-1 support or campaign management for your upcoming book launch, or would like to set up or participate in a Virtual Blog Tour, contact Lynn via the contact form at

Article Source:,-Organise-and-Promote-a-Virtual-Blog-Tour-For-a-New-Book-Or-Author&id=4765570

Thursday, August 5, 2010

How Stieg Larsson's Millenium Series Became Bestsellers

You have no doubt heard of Stieg Larsson's Millenium Series:  The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.  All three books have become bestselling novels.  All three books have been turned into movies in Larsson's native Sweden, with American remakes in the works.  Only one author in the entire world sold more books than Larsson in 2009, and he was the first author to sell more than one million e-books on Amazon. 

Not bad for a guy who died of a massive heart attack in 2004, before the books were published. 

Larsson wrote the books for his own enjoyment, after he came home from work every night.  He didn't even try to get them published until just before his death.  So how did a dead man become a bestselling writer and celebrated mystery novelist? 

Book signings were out, as were media appearance, obviously.  The publishers, both in Europe and in the United States, had quite a challenge.  How does a publisher market books released posthumously?  The answer:  niche marketing.

In Great Britain, the books were published by a small, unknown publisher.  They didn't take off or gain momentum for several years.  The publisher resorted to giving away the books.  In fact, they gave away more books than they sold.  They left copies in the back seats of taxi cabs, on trains, in public parks...any place where people might pick up a copy and start reading it.  The publisher was losing money on the book, and it was a big risk, but ultimately it was one which paid off.

The American publisher resorted to online marketing.  They reached out to bloggers who specialized in reviewing mystery novels, they gave away review copies to bloggers and members of online book discussion groups, they reached out to libraries...anything to generate word-of-mouth about the book.  It worked.  Before the book was even released in the U.S. it was generating considerable buzz.

These efforts could have failed if the books were average, but Larsson's characters and ability to ratchet up the tension in each novel have thrilled critics and readers alike.  There is a great lesson to be learned from these marketing efforts.  There is perhaps no book more difficult to market than one released posthumously by a relatively unknown author.  It didn't happen overnight, but targeted niche marketing made all the difference.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What Do Bookstores Expect of Authors?

There are a lot of misconceptions about book signing events.  Many people have visions of throngs of people lined up outside of a bookstore behind a red velvet rope, eagerly clutching a copy of an author's book and anticipating an autograph.  Movies, TV shows and news coverage of mega-bestselling authors probably has much to do with this misconception. As we have mentioned many times before, the crowd behind the velvet rope doesn't just happen.  Authors have to work to get more than a handful of people to come to the store, let alone the red velvet rope crowd.

The average book signing event usually results in about 6 books being sold.  I say the "average" signing, because there are far too many authors that just expect the crowds will somehow materialize, or that the bookstores will run full-page ads in their city newspaper to promote their book signing events.

However, the reality is the bookstores expect the authors to bring those crowds to their businesses.  They don't agree to host book signing events to promote the newest local author.  They hold book signing events to attract new customers and make money, and they expect the authors to bring in those customers. 

Recently, one of my authors sent me a checklist that she was given by a bookstore.  The bookstore manager expected the author to do certain things leading up to the event to help ensure it would be a success.  I won't mention which bookstore it was, other than to say it is one of the major bookstore chains.  These were the store's expectations:

*  The author needs to start promoting the event at least six weeks in advance.
*  The author and their book should present timely topics of interest to the store's customers.
*  The author must have the ability to attract 25 or more customers.
*  The author must contact and work with the local media for coverage and promotion.
*  The author should post their event dates on websites and social networking sites.
*  The author should send out mailings, email blasts, and other communication to friends, family, businesses, community groups, etc.
*   Last (but not least), the store's checklist mentions that having an event at the store "does not guarantee we will permanently carry your product in the store." 

As you can see, the store has quite a few expectations of the author.  What does the store promise to provide?  In this case, the store told the author they would:

* List the event on their web site.
* Display a sign announcing the event in their store.
* List the event in the store's newsletter (maybe, but not guaranteed).

And that was it.  Again, this was one of the major chain bookstores, which sells a lot of books and hosts a lot of author events.  They are basically providing a venue for the author's event.  Getting customers in the door...well, a lot of that is left up to the author.  An author may get some assistance from their publisher, but not all publishers do so.  Most expect their authors to be promotion machines. 

With plenty of planning and preparation, book signing events can be great sales and promotional opportunities, and they give an author a chance to meet face-to-face with their readers (and potential readers). 

Monday, August 2, 2010

How to Get the Media to Notice You

You've written a great book, you have signings lined up and you're already selling some books.  You're set, right?  Well, almost.  You have sent out press release after press release (or your publisher has) and the media act like you have forwarded them an email from a Nigerian prince whose money is locked up tight in a U.S. bank account.  What does it take to get the media to notice you (and your book)?

Reporters are busy people these days.  The news cycle is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Media outlets receive dozens, if not hundreds, of press releases every single day.  Add to that the fact that many media outlets have very strict, fast (even unreasonable) deadlines, and you start to see why a press release about the release of a book may not grab their attention.  After all, books are released every single day (more than one million in total last year alone).

With so much vying for the attention of the media, how can you possibly grab their attention?  As a former reporter myself with more than 20 years of experience in the news business, I have a few suggestions on how you can break through the clutter and grab some headlines:

1.  Your story has to be interesting.  This is a given, right?  Not necessarily.  Something about you or your book has to be newsworthy.  We've already mentioned that the act of releasing a book isn't necessarily newsworthy (unless you live in a really small town where there isn't much news).  Releasing a book about how to live on one income in a bad economy, on the other hand, is newsworthy.  Find the "story" behind your story, and you have something to pitch to the media.  Is there anything about you or your book that you can tie to a current event?  If so, you've got a great "in" with the media.  Newspapers and magazines are always looking for great feature stories, but again, there has to be a "story behind the story." 

2.  Be an expert.  Did you do a ton of research to write your book?  If so, consider yourself an expert.  Offer yourself up to the media as a local source they can turn to for local reaction to regional or national stories.  One author I work with has several years of experience in law enforcement, and I refer media contacts to him when they need a comment about anything that has to do with crime statistics or personal safety.  Of course, they mention he's the author of a book when they quote him. 

3.  Contact the right people.  If you have written a Christian book, try to talk to the Religion reporter for the local newspaper, not the editor of the paper.  If you have a sports related book, you want to talk to the Sports Editor, not the features reporter.  Make sure you talk to the people that would be most interested in what you have to offer.

4.  Don't be a stalker.  Go ahead and contact those reporters, but within reason.  Sending them a press release and following up by phone once or twice is fine.  Emailing or calling them on a weekly basis to wear them down into submission is not.  Want to ensure you'll never get news coverage?  Spam a reporter's email inbox repeatedly and stalk them by phone to the point that you're on a first-name basis.  If the reporter is interested, they will call you.  If they aren't, they won't. 

5.  Keep in mind what sells.  The media is in business for one reason:  money.  They want to attract the most readers, the most viewers and the most listeners so they can continue to sell advertising and turn a profit.  To do that, they want to offer their audience one of the following:

The unusual.
The topical.
The sensational.
The controversial
The emotional.

If you can tie yourself and your book into a topic or a story that touches upon one of these attributes (or all five), you'll get some media attention. 

6.  Don't forget the alternative media.  Striving for coverage from newspapers, TV and radio is fine, but don't forget that there is a whole world of alternative media available.  There are literally thousands and thousands of blogs, Internet radio shows, local cable access TV programs, alternative weekly newspapers, podcasts, video blogs, newsletters and other outlets where authors can get exposure for their books.  Exposure from these alternative sources can often lead to broader exposure on national TV and radio if your story goes "viral."  Too many authors try to get on the national news right out of the gate.  Don't overlook your local media sources, and don't be afraid of the online media.  They are the cutting edge of the media industry. 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

How to Schedule Speaking Engagements

One of the most effective ways for authors to directly reach out to readers (and sell books to them) is through speaking engagements.  For some authors, this is their main means of moving significant quantities of their books.  For others, it is a way of not only generating book sales, but it is also a means of generating additional income through speaking fees.  Whether you are looking for speaking engagements as a way of promoting your book and selling books through back-of-the-room sales afterward, or you are striving to become a paid-for-play speaker, one of the most difficult questions for the beginning speaker is:  how do I get started?

For folks like Sarah Palin and Bill Clinton, it's easy.  They are already household names, and they demand (and get) hundreds of thousands of dollars for their speaking events.  For those who are not famous, at least not yet, they have to start somewhere.  That usually means speaking to local civic groups like Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, Chambers of Commerce, VFW, American Legion, book clubs, writing groups, etc. 

To start with, you might consider forgoing a speaking fee and making a book signing after the speaking engagement part of your agreement.  Once you become more well-known and you are in demand, then you can start charging for your speaking engagements, AND holding a book signing during back-of-the-room sales at the end of the event.  Here are a few tips to get you started on the path to public speaking events:

1.  Work your contacts.  Are you a member of any groups or organizations?  Does your college have an alumni association?  Start working your own contacts.  These are the people who already know you.  Even if they don't have an immediate need for a speaker, they may be able to give you some leads.

2.  Work the phones.  Call your local Chamber of Commerce.  Call your local convention and visitors bureau.  Call your local Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions clubs.  They are almost always looking for guest speakers.  Even if you have a publicist, make these calls yourself.  The decision-makers who schedule guest speakers want to hear directly from the author, not a go-between.  Nobody can speak more passionately about your book or your speech topics than you. 

3.  Work on your flyer.  Try designing a decent one-sheet flyer that you can mail out to any organization that might have a need for a guest speaker.  Include a good author photo, a picture of your book cover, and a bullet-point list of your topics and why you would make a good guest speaker.  Don't make it read like a resume.  Concentrate on how you can help the organizations, not your past experiences (although you should have a very brief author bio).  Include some testimonials from anyone who has booked you as a speaker in the past.  You can see some examples of one-sheets here.

4.  Ask for referrals.  When you do a speaking engagement, always make sure you mention at the end of your talk that you are available for other speaking engagements.  You never know who is sitting in the audience.  Make some one-sheets available at your book signing table.  One speaking engagement could lead to others. 

5.  Create your own speaking event.  Book a room at a local community center or local public library and schedule your own speaking event/book signing.  It will give you a chance to practice and showcase your speaking skills, and could lead to other events.  An event of this type will require a lot of pre-promotion to get people in the door, so make sure you have something to offer that would attract people to your event.  If the first event is successful, you may be able to branch out to other venues around the area.  Before you know it, people have heard of you and they will seek out out as a guest speaker (always have business cards and contact info available at your speaking engagements).

6.  Join a Speakers Bureau.  You may have a local speakers bureau at the convention and visitors bureau or chamber.  Try to get listed on them, and you'll have prospects come to you.  This is most effective after you have already developed a reputation as a speaker.  Speakers bureaus usually take a percentage of your speaking fee for sending speaking engagements your way.  There are also online speakers bureaus (such as Speaker Leads, which is FREE for Tate Publishing authors) where you can be listed.

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