Develop a speech
Your talk should be much more than a speech which promotes your book. Talk about becoming an author, about the surprises that you discovered while writing your book, or even a how-to speech about the do's and don'ts of writing, research, and marketing. But do your research and be comfortable with your topic. And remember even Winston Churchill, the great prime minister, practiced his speeches seven times each!
Google the email or street address for every community service organization in your county (Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions, etc.). They are usually struggling to find speakers for their weekly programs. Send a letter to a named individual or to the club secretary, and then wait for your phone to ring. It will.
Look for other speaking opportunities
Approach libraries, museums, bookstores and historical societies, if applicable. Offer your talk at no charge and consider the donation of a signed copy of your book, for the library's collection or for the service club to raffle. Have bookmarks and business cards available for your audience. Circulate signup sheets (emails) for a free prize in a drawing which will occur at a later date. That is a great way to grow your mailing list!
Do a press release before and after each talk
It may or may not get published, but even if a small percentage of your press releases make the newspaper, it’s free advertising for you.
Expand your horizons
After you have exhausted all of the possible speaking venues in your county, move onto the next county. Collect references (names and phone numbers) along the way and use them in your next series of pre-approach letters.
No one will promote your book or your career as an author better than you. Speaking in public is one of the easiest and least expensive ways in which to establish yourself as a credible author.
Mark Barie is the nationally recognized award-winning Sebring author of War Calls, Love Cries, a Civil War love story available on Amazon. Barie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.