Mom’s Choice Awards is excited to announce another post in our interview series where we chat with the inventors, designers, publishers, and others behind some of our favorite family-friendly products.
Hello, Mom’s Choice readers! Welcome to another segment of our interview series. For this interview, we spoke with two MCA award-winning authors and owners of Foreword Publicity, Alysson Bourque and Lori Orlinsky. Foreword Publicity is the only book publicity firm built by authors, for authors. Created by Gold Mom’s Choice Award winners Alysson Bourque and Lori Orlinsky, Foreword Publicity believes in the importance of creating a customized publicity plan tailored to each author’s individual needs and budget. Their mission is to give clients a custom and highly effective PR campaign that will spark book sales, build author and book branding, and secure media coverage nationwide. Foreword Publicity works with traditional, hybrid, and indie published authors of all genres. Keep reading to catch up with Aly and Lori as they talk about how authors can create a roadmap to success in the coming year.
MCA: Hi Aly and Lori! Thank you for joining us for this interview and congratulations on all your successes with your award-winning books and your publicity firm! Foreward Publicity is so helpful to authors because it’s created by authors who really understand the writer’s needs. Can we start the interview by finding out what are some of your New Year’s tips for authors wanting to promote their books?
Aly and Lori: If you resolved to make your book a priority in 2021, here are our top tips for success:
- Find one new marketing channel each month to promote your book. In one year, you’ll have discovered 12 new ways to market your book!
- Create more bonus content, such as coloring sheets, word searches, and lesson plans. Promote this content on your website and on social media.
- Go through the fun National Day Calendar and celebrate days related to themes in your book. You can also celebrate important dates for authors, such as Read a Book Month (September), National Picture Book Month (December), and your book birthday.
- If you reprint books, consider a new cover design (different image, different background color) to freshen things up.
- Make it a point to collect Amazon reviews. Verified reviews are always better, but anyone who has read your book can leave a review. Start with a small goal of 5 reviews a month and grow from there. Offer incentives to review (e.g. everyone who screenshots a review will be entered in a drawing for a giveaway).
MCA: Those are very useful tips that every author can use! What are your recommendations on how to extend the shelf life of your books?
Aly and Lori: Books generally have a shelf life of three to six months. The more you put your book in front of the right audiences, the better the chance you have of lengthening that shelf life. When strategizing for longevity, relevancy and timing are key to sustainability. For example, an author with a bullying prevention themed book would structure their marketing strategies around October — Bullying Prevention Month. As such, that author is hitting the right audience at the right time. With more exposure in the marketplace, the more likely you are to have sales.
MCA: How can authors adapt to the COVID new normal?
Aly and Lori: The Coronavirus pandemic has definitely challenged authors. With school visits and library and bookstore readings canceled, authors have had to come up with out-of-the-box ways to remain relevant in an ever-changing landscape. Some ways authors can adapt to the new normal include:
- Going on a virtual book tour! Because authors can’t go on tour physically, virtual book tours take your book on tour, visiting heavy-hitting book blogs for a period of several weeks. Every day, an author’s book is front and center on a popular blog with a spotlight, review, or author interview. This tactic is great for SEO purposes, too.
- New apps that make reading an interactive activity have begun to pop up. Do your research and submit your book to be a part of these apps.
- With author readings not possible, look to professional content creators to make Read Aloud videos for you. These creators use special voices and props that make your book more interactive and fun.
- Work with your local library or bookstore to take over their Facebook or Instagram channel to do live readings of your book.
- Familiarize yourself with online video platforms such as Zoom, Google Meets, and BeLive so you can conduct virtual author visits for schools.
MCA: How can authors utilize awards such as the Mom’s Choice Awards in their marketing plan?
Aly and Lori: The world celebrates award-winning authors. Awards like the Mom’s Choice Award can solidify an author’s credibility, increase their visibility, and raise the value of a book. Some of the best ways to showcase awards are to:
- Order physical award stickers – place the physical award seal on your book. Research shows that people are more likely to purchase books with stickers on the cover.
- Utilize digital seals – place the digital award seal on all online listings of your book.
- Insert quotes from judges in your media kit, all online profiles (Amazon Author Central, Goodreads, etc.), and on the back flap of your book.
- Include the award in your author bio, your website, and social media networks.
- Consider a local or regional media relations campaign with the award as a hook to bring the book to life.
MCA: This was all very informative, thank you! We are excited to see what the future of Foreward Publicity holds.
You can learn more about Aly and Lori and their award-winning books by visiting their MCA Shop pages.