Use Speaking to Promote Your Book

by | Jul 3, 2018 | Marketing & Selling, Video, Weekday Wisdom

Weekday Wisdom Episode 93

Did you know that speaking is one of the most powerful ways you can use to promote your book? As well as your business?

How to Use Speaking to Promote Your Book

Last week Monday I gave a mini workshop for the Rough Writers Toastmasters club, my home club, on how to use speaking to promote your book. In this week’s video, I’m going to share with you highlights from that mini workshop, which means this video will be a little bit longer than usual.

I recommend that you have a piece of paper and your favorite writing implement on hand while you watch or listen. (Or you can print this post out.) When I mention something that piques your interest, write that down (or circle or highlight it). Then, after the video’s done, you can go and find out how to implement that particular technique for your business. This episode is an overview of all the myriad ways that speaking can help you promote your book, and I don’t have time to go into detail for each one.

At this point, you might be interested in authoring a book or may have already authored a book. And you have an interest in speaking (or you wouldn’t be paying attention to this episode!) After reading this, you can take these two interests, meld them together and get more sales and even create products that help grow your business related to your book.

Why use speaking to promote your book?

For one, getting in front of people and talking about your book, about your topic, about your expertise, creates a stronger connection with your readers. It also gives you more opportunities for promotion, than just your standard book promotion. And it can establish brand and expertise. If you are a nonfiction or fiction author, branding is really important. You want to be known for something. And speaking can help you establish that brand more deeply.

There are different types of speaking you can use to promote your book.

  • How: Are you speaking in person? Or are you speaking virtually?
  • Purpose: Are you speaking purely to promote? Or are you speaking to educate? Or, perhaps, are you speaking to “edupromote”? (That’s a Carmaism.)

Speaking in person

There are lots of different opportunities you can take to speak in person to promote your book. The obvious ones that most people think about is at bookstores and libraries:

  • Book readings
  • Book signings

Those are very standard ways that authors use speaking to promote their book.

But you can also hold workshops. This may sound counterintuitive to your, but that’s true whether you write nonfiction or fiction. I know a fiction author who has created an entire business about the nonfiction concept that he introduced in his novel. So you can make this work.

You can speak at conventions and trade shows. And you don’t necessarily need to be book conventions and trade shows. For example, my next book is about public speaking. I’m going to be looking at speaking at conventions and trade shows for speakers.

Book Festivals! and even other festivals. Let’s say you wrote a book about crafting. Well a crafting festival would be an ideal place for you to speak about your book and your expertise.

Then, of course, there are meetings. Corporations, clubs like ours, are all looking for speakers to enhance their meetings. Your book might be the perfect fit for a business meeting. And, if you do it right, you can also get bulk sales of your book when you do a business meeting. That is always good.

Bookstores or libraries

I’ve already mentioned book signings and readings. Usually, if you do one, you’re doing the other, as well. It’s pretty much expected if you’re going to be at a bookstore, that you’re going to read a sample from your book. Although you don’t have to. It depends on the arrangement you have with the bookstore manager.

And, of course, you can do workshops based on the content of your book.

When you’re conducting in-person workshops, you want to go beyond the bookstores and libraries, as well. Yes, those are the obvious places to start. They are excellent places for you to get your feet wet and hone what it is that you want to share in your speaking. But then you want to branch out. Even host your own events at other venues.

Once you’ve had enough experience speaking at smaller venues and hosting your own more intimate events, you can start to get on other people’s stages. People are giving conferences and they need speakers.

When you start doing that, there are a couple of ways this is done:

  • There’s the pay to play, which means you pay to be on that stage, and hopefully, you make enough sales to cover that cost.
  • Or, its more of an affiliate thing, where you’re selling a product at the end of your speech, usually at least three hundred dollars or more, and then you share a piece of your sales with the host.

It all depends on how you work that out.

Conventions, trade shows and festivals

There’re different things you can do with these types of events.

  • Keynote speeches. A keynote speech is usually something that’s motivational or inspirational. It’s not promotional. It might be educational. For example, going back to my book on public speaking, I might do a speech on, “Why would you want to learn how to speak?” Or I might talk about skill versus talent, something that gets the people in the room thinking, “Oh yeah! I want to be a speaker!”
  • Workshops.
  • Be on a panel.
  • Give mini workshops.

A lot of these conventions and tradeshows have a selection fo different seminars going on throughout the event. You could be giving one of them. And, sometimes, these events will also let you do a traditional book signing and reading.


There are groups. Toastmasters can sometimes be a group you can speak at. Many Toastmasters Districts provide a training event twice a year (in Los Angeles’ District One, it is called Toastmasters Learning Institute or TLI for short). They almost always have a guest speaker. Why not you?

MeetUp groups are often looking for speakers. Organizations are looking for speakers. And then there are schools: Colleges and primary schools and even adult education courses. You can teach an adult education course. I’ve actually done that. Usually what happens with an adult education course, is you develop a curriculum, pitch it to the school, if they accept it, they offer it in the catalog. If enough people sign up, you get to teach the class and get paid a couple hundred dollars. It’s not a money-maker in itself, but it can get you experieince, and a little bit of a potential, future clients.

As far as colleges and primary schools go, you can be a guest speaker in a classroom. Or, remember those days when they would cart you and your fellow classmates into the auditoriuam so you could listen to somebody give a speech that you didn’t care about? You could be that speaker!

Virtual speaking

There are so many opportunities for virtual speaking these days. And they can be so easy to do. The obvious one is podcasts. Podcasts are growing more popular. You can produce your own podcasts and be the host. Or you can be the guest on other people’s podcasts, which actually gets you more “ear-balls” for your book.

You can get on radio and television — both internet radio and television, as well as, broadcast radio and television. Radio and television may be a little bit harder to get on. You usually how to have something under your belt already to show to producers that you have value for their audiences. But this is something you can easily parlay, once you start doing all the other freebie stuff.

Recorded video. You can do what I’m doing with this post:

  • Give a speech.
  • Record it.
  • Edit it.
  • Slap it on YouTube and/or Facebook.

These are great ways to share your information with the world. And, if you get the keywords right — who knows? You might attract readers or clients from YouTube. Keep in mind, YouTube is one of the top search engines on the Internet today.

Live Video.
Facebook Live is the obvious one. But other social media platforms are also doing live video. I’ll talk a little bit more about that later. And then, of course, there’s webinars.

Podcasts, radios and television

I’ve already talked about this: Internet. Broadcast. You can do interviews where you are interviewing other people. You can be the one who is being interviewed. You can get on talk shows, where you just sit chat for an hour about your expertise.

When you are speaking on these formats — television, radio, podcasts — you always need to be thinking, talk in sound bites. If you yabber on too much, listeners will tune you out, because they can’t see you, and often, they’re driving while they’re listening to you. They’re only going pick up on these crafted sound bites, so you want to really boil down your message into really short and powerful statements. Remember, in many cases, your interview is going to last a minute to a minate and a half. You’re going to need to say everything you need to say within that short period of time.

Recorded video

Again, like I said, there’s YouTube. There’s Facebook. And, depending on how long your video is, you can upload video to Instagram. There are other video platforms, as well, such as Vimeo.

The types of videos that you want to do with the recorded videos are primarily tips. For example, when I was promoting 57 Secrets for Branding Yourself Online, I did a series of what I called “virtual book readings,” where I videotaped myself in a variety of locations. My mom’s backyard. A hotel. A museum. And I read one of the 57 secrets. So, it was both a tips video and a virtual book reading.

Book trailers. If you have a book, you want to have a book trailer. Book trailers are really big these days. And you’re going to want to have three versions of that book trailer.

  • One version for YouTube. This is your main version and points people to buy the book from your website.
  • One version for Amazon. This cannot point people to another website, so it should say, “Available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.”
  • One version for your speaking intro video (unless you’ve got something else). This one doesn’t point people to your book at all. It just fades away … so you can step up onto the stage.

You may want to have several different types of book trailers, as well. I just recently posted a teaser trailer for my next book that informs viewers that it will be available in September. You can have an educational trailer. I recently saw a book trailer where the author uses magic tricks to explain the content in his book. And it is really fun and clever. You learn something while watching it … which makes you want to buy the book to learn more.

You can interview someone, or you can be interviewed by someone. I’ve done a lot of thse. I use Skype to record most of these videos. You can also use Google Hangouts or even Facebook Live. I’ve also brought my video camera to conferences and interviewed people while attending these events.

Of course, if you’re going to be speaking more professionally, you’re going to want a speaker reel. Check out this article about what you need to include in a speaker reel and record every speaking engagement you ever do.

Live video

As of this writing, here are the platforms where you can do live video:

  • Facebook Live is the most commonly used and the pioneer of live video on social media.
  • YouTube now offers live video outside of Google Hangouts. You need to set it up and you’ll need to use Chrome.
  • Twitter does live, but not in selfie mode. So you’ll need to have someone else holding the camera for you.
  • Google Hangouts. This one seems to be on its way out.
  • Instagram, but be aware that these are very short videos, about 35 seconds or so in length.

Webinars and teleseminars

Again, see there are always two options here:

  1. Host your own.
  2. Be a guest on someone else’s.

And there are lots of platforms that you can use to host your own webinars. If you’re just getting started and don’t want to invest money in webinar platform, you can use Google Hangouts, Facebook Live, or Zoom. Be aware that the free version of Zoom limits your webinars to 45 minutes or less.

There are many paid platforms, as well. I use Webinar Ignition, which is a plugin for WordPress and it uses Google Hangouts to host the video. I also like Webinar Jam, which hosts everything for you. These options often create all the registration and webinar pages.

It really depends on what you’re doing with your webinar, how deep you want to go into it financially.


That is my overview of the universe of speaking to promote your book. I hope you found some ideas that you are going to explore further. I hope it was helpful. My purpose here was to spark your creativity. There is an amazing aray of things you can do to promote your book. Speaking is one of them that has a plethora of options all its own. I hope I helped you get some ideas for your next book launch tour.

Please post a comment below
I hope you liked today’s video. If so, why not go over to YouTube and give it a like. Also, please let me know in a comment below what you thought about it. And if you have any ideas for future videos let me know that too. I want you to enjoy the Weekday Wisdom and get value out of it.

And, as always:

Think outside the box.
Spread your wings and fly.
Because you — yes you right there — are capable of more than you know.

Today’s video just illustrated how much richness there is in just one technique to promote your book in a myriad ways.

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