15 10 2010

The following guest post is from Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound:

The next time you’re promoting a booksigning, teleseminar, book club, meet-the-author reception, or any other live or virtual event, don’t promote it only on your Facebook fan page and write a few tweets, and then expect crowds to beat down the doors.

Authors and publishers should be using high-traffic sites that accept calendar listings, articles and photos, in addition to much smaller niche sites that can help you target people who are passionate about a particular topic.

Mix in social media sites where news about your event can really go viral, and you have a great chance to draw huge crowds.

Consider using these eight websites the next time you need to promote: – This fee-based site provides a way for members of the media or organizations interested in your area of expertise to find you. But anyone can post free listings to the event calendar. – This is one of the top business event calendars in the world. It covers technology, media, finance, healthcare, legal, biotech, cleantech and other events like conferences, un-conferences, forums, workshops, seminars, Meetups, Tweetups, mixers, parties and more in 40 cities in the U.S. and more than 35 cities internationally.

The audience is a highly targeted mix of influencers and connectors including C-level executives, managers, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, investors, marketing/PR pros, technologists, analysts, bloggers and others.

The Chicago Council on Science and Technology listed a members-only reception, presentation and booksigning with Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Lacks was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells — taken without her knowledge — became one of the most important tools in medicine. – Use this online social networking portal to draw people to a wide variety of offline events such as booksignings, readings, author receptions, book clubs, writing classes, or anything else you’re hosting.

It’s also a great place to find people in niche markets. Let’s say you’ve written a book about Chihuahuas and you want to meet owners of that breed. I used the search box and found three MeetUp groups for Chihuahua owners. If they’re in your city, you can join them. Or start your own Meetup group for people who care passionately about the topic of your book:

TweetUps – Host a Tweetup for your next book signing like hundreds of other authors do. A Tweetup is a chance for Twitter fans to meet offline to share information with each other about a particular hobby, interest or activity. Tweetups don’t even have to be well-organized events. You can host a Tweetup at a local coffee shop, for example, to discuss your book.

Use to promote it. Learn more about how to host Tweetups here:

Craigslist – This high-traffic site has more than 20 billion page views per month. The Community category includes four sub-categories authors might consider: activities, events, classes and politics. It also has more than 100 discussion forums devoted to niche topics. You can post only to the city closest to you, and only to only one category or sub-category.

Craigslist has sparked controversy many times over the last several years. But it’s still one of the best websites where you’ll find millions of people who are looking for something to do in their own cities and neighborhoods. – Flickr makes it easy to share photos or videos. Authors can use this several ways. If you own all the rights to your book’s content, you can upload photos from your book to Flickr and include information about an upcoming event, like a booksigning. You can also share photos or videos of the booksigning afterward. – Yelp is an online urban guide that helps people find cool places to eat, shop, drink, relax and play, based on the informed opinions of a vibrant and active community of locals in the know. It lets you talk about what’s great and not so great in your world. Started in San Francisco, Yelp is now throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and France.

You can search by topic, location, city, zip and neighborhood. Post your event, and encourage people who attend it to review it on Yelp. – This site is for people who love to go out. It’s great for nightlife events and also includes categories for culture, activities, neighborhoods, and networking. Be sure to upload a photo. You can even track and print guest lists, sell tickets, and email your list. There’s a Recession Busters designation for events that are cheap or free.

What other websites do you use as a tool for promoting events or attractions?