How to Use Webinars to Promote Your Book

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This story originally appeared on PR Newswire's Small Business PR Toolkit

Once you’ve written and published your book you’ll no doubt be looking for the most cost effective ways to promote it. Besides free publicity, if you would like to reach a large targeted audience efficiently then consider conducting a webinar.

What’s a webinar? A webinar is an online interactive meeting where the author is able to educate, demonstrate, entertain, and sell their book to their audience of potential readers. It can be held at any time of the day—live or recorded.

“Doing webinars is a way to reach much larger audiences – often in the thousands – without leaving your home or office and for less than the cost of one night in a hotel,” says Bill Harrison, co-founder of “Many authors do bookstore signings to promote their books, but it can be expensive to travel and unless you’re a celebrity, you’ll be lucky to have 15 or 20 people turn out.”

“JJ Virgin used webcasts to hit the New York Times Best Seller List in one of the most competitive markets of all—health and nutrition,” says Mike Koenigs, #1 Bestselling Author, and Serial Entrepreneur. Koenigs encourages authors to “Write Your Book From A Webcast” as it’s perhaps the most cost effective way to capture one’s knowledge effortlessly.

Author media trainer Jess Todtfeld, President of Success In Media, uses webinars to build a relationship and rapport. “The advantage is that they see and experience who I am and receive something of value at the same time,” says Todtfeld. “I’ve conducted many webinars with authors and they are particularly useful for keeping your network warm and staying on the radar. I’ve then transcribed the recording and created content I can repackage and offer to my audience.”

One book marketing pro I know has been conducting at least two webinars per month for more than four years. Brian Jud, Executive Director of the Association of Publishers for Special Sales, and the author of How to Make Real Money Selling Books, uses webinars for several reasons. “First, it keeps my name in front of a targeted audience on a regular basis. And scheduling speakers for my webinars, many of which are authors, gives me access to people who might not otherwise accept my call. Also, by listening to experts in a wide variety of book-publishing topics I learn something from every webinar. Finally, preparation for webinars in which I am the speaker forces me to update my material and solidify my reputation as a knowledgeable expert in non-bookstore marketing."

Brian conducted a webinar with me a few months ago about how to name a book and from the transcription of the recording I created two articles and found plenty of new material that came out during the interview process. The best part is that I was able to communicate my expertise to his list of contacts. How’s that? Prior to the webinar Brian emailed a note to his list of a few thousand authors and publishers telling them about my upcoming webinar. Some of those people signed up for the webinar and others simply read that email so it served as a form of an advertisement for my book publicity services.

Tapping into someone else’s list of contacts is one of the big benefits of using a webinar. Nobody can know everybody and a webinar offers an endorsement, in effect, from the person conducting the webinar.

“The purpose of your webinar series is not only to promote book sales—although it will do that anyway,” says Gihan Perera, author of There’s an I in Team, and eleven other books. “It’s also to continue positioning yourself as an expert, and to remain in front of your target market’s mind, so that when they’re ready to buy what you’ve got to sell, you’ll be their first choice.”

What’s the next step? 

  1. Research who conducts webinars in the genre of your book or someone who covers your topic if it’s a ‘how to’ or ‘business’ subject. Go to both Twitter and Google and search the term ‘webinar + YOUR TOPIC’ to find them.
  2. Sign up for some webinars as a participant and listen in so you can see how they work. For author related webinars check out the Writers Digest website.
  3. Reach out to those hosts you’d like to talk to and ask if they would like to interview you.
  4.  Then once you’re ready to host your own webinar check out webinar providers such as GoToWebinar, GoToMeeting and WebEx.

The bottom line: Put webinars into your book marketing mix. Using a cost effective webinar is an easy-to-use promotional tactic to reach the most people ‘of like minds’ at the same time. Do it today!

Written by Scott Lorenz, Westwind Communications Book Marketing

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