There's a lot you can do to build your author brand and promote your book – but once you've established your brand, a PR firm might be the key to maximizing your book publicity potential.

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It’s THE question. The one I’m always asked, whether I’m speaking at author conferences or doing webinars. Though phrased a little differently each time, it goes something like this: What are the most important things that go into successful book promotion? My response is always the same – a five-part answer. The first four parts are, quite frankly, pretty predictable. The last one might come as a bit of a surprise.

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Toby Neal and Holly Robinson are professional writers, i.e. authors who earn their primary income from writing. Toby is predominantly self-published and Holly mostly traditional, and both have multiple novels and various writing credits to their names. They’re also friends. Earlier this year, both Toby and Holly launched new novels, and in this interview, we find that their strategies and experiences had many similarities – and notable differences.

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WARNING – This blog post contains math. I promise you it won’t include algebra or those blasted hard story problems from all our middle school nightmares. Let’s start with three numbers. 66. That’s the percentage of readers who prefer print books to digital eBooks. 635 million. That’s how many print books sold in the U.S. in 2014, an increase of over 3% from 2013 sales. 100. As in the number of print books that BookBaby publishing specialists recommend for first time authors. Why 100? You’re going to need them – and probably more.

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As an author, when planning a publicity campaign, you probably think about contacting the press a few months before you launch a new book or embark on a book tour. But there are a lot of other ways to get press and blog coverage for your writing besides the usual book tour and book launch publicity campaign. Here are just a few newsworthy events in your literary life that journalists and bloggers might be interested in covering: 1) When you start writing a new book. 2) When you’re deep into the writing, 3) When you finish writing your book, 4) When you solidify your book title, 5) When you finalize your book cover.

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