The Best Way to Promote Your Book

Typewriter with Chapter I Typed
Speaking is one of the best ways to market your book, develop a following, and expand your audience.

November is National Nonfiction Writing Month. After you’ve written a nonfiction book, you face the challenge of marketing it. My recommendation? Speak to sell your book. Speaking is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to market your book, develop a following, and expand your audience. Polish your speaking skills and start speaking on your subject in advance of publication. You can ask your audience to opt-in to your list to let them know when your book is released.

Where do start? Just as your nonfiction book has a central idea, so will your presentation. Let this be at the core of your presentation, then build your talking points and stories to support it. For example, imagine that you have written an 18-chapter book on leadership, with each chapter covering a different strategy. You might begin with one compelling story from your book and then follow this with a transition into your premise – how your 18 leadership techniques can transform an organization.

“Thank you for the opportunity to share my work on powerful leadership strategies with you. From my 18 chapter book, (name of meeting organizer) suggested four chapters/strategies that you might interest you most.” Follow this with your main talking points, each one corresponding with the chapters/strategies you are covering. Key concepts or terms, should be followed with a story, anecdote, or interesting explanation of their meaning or significance.

Provide a captivating overview and a few memorable or useful takeaways. Do not attempt to discuss 18 chapters in 35 minutes. You might share an example from your book and then encourage the audience consider how it might influence how they approach leadership. If you are speaking to a small group, you might ask, “Before I continue, do you have any questions about this chapter/strategy?”

Towards the end of your presentation, you might say, “Would you like to open the floor to a Q&A? Or would you prefer to hear a fifth leadership strategy?” I promise you, 99% of the time, the audience will ask for another strategy, because you are the expert and the audience would rather hear from you than be at the mercy of poorly asked questions. Be prepared to present on one more strategy from your book.

Wrap up your presentation with a review. “Your leadership skills will improve when you’ve embraced (strategies 1, 2, 3, 4).” If you have described specific characters and individual stories, be specific: “If you want to improve your leadership skills as Larry, Brittney, and Sue did, take the steps that they did. I challenge you to (call for action, call for action, call for action).”

It’s appropriate now to encourage some Q&A, because people will likely ask, “Where can I get your book?” If they don’t ask, follow up with, “Now that you’ve heard some of the content from the book, I want to let you know how you can get it. Well, lucky for you, (meeting organizer) asked me to bring a few copies and they are available on the back table.”

Do not, however, conclude with a mini sales presentation. Instead close on a high by bringing it back to the focus or origin of your book, “I’ll never forget the best leader who helped mold my leadership skills…” Then tell a brief but memorable story to ensure you close with impact.

If you started your speech by sharing a story from early in your career when you were not a good leader, after delivering the heart of your speech, you might follow up with, “Once I learned to incorporate the leadership lessons from all of the best bosses I’ve ever had, I felt empowered and confident to lead others.” Then bring on the powerful closing with a story what it’s like now after learning how to be an effective leader.

If you’re already an author and speaker, you’ve probably discovered that speaking is a surefire way to promote your books, and that books can fuel your speaking career. If you consider yourself to be just an author, or feel somewhat wary about speaking to promote your book, I assure you that with training and practice, anyone can learn to speak well with confidence. As an author speaking about your own work, you automatically have the advantage of complete mastery of your presentation’s content – no one is better positioned to let the world know why they want or need to buy and read your book! There is no substitute for speaking when it comes to promoting your book.

About National Nonfiction Month

During the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge, you are personally challenged to start and complete a work of nonfiction in 30 days. This can be an article, an essay, a book, a book proposal, a white paper, or a manifesto. This is not a contest, but a personal challenge and an event held to help you get inspired, set a goal, and achieve it! Learn more:

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Speak to Promote Your Book,” “Speech Structure – Fripp Virtual Training Video,” and “How to Organize Your Speech – Fripp Virtual Training Video” are just a few more of the complimentary resources on to help you develop your presentation.

Executive Speech Coach and Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker Patricia Fripp works with individuals and companies who realize that powerful, persuasive presentation skills give them a competitive edge.