Promote your book with a speaking career

An excellent way to promote your book, especially if you write nonfiction, is with a speaking career.

As you’ve authored a book, you’re an expert on the topic you’ve written about. People will want to hear you provide insights on the topic, learn a little about how you wrote the book, and discover some interesting insider info about you as an author. You can sell your books at a table following the speech.

To become a public speaker, begin by selecting a topic you’ll speak about. Make sure it relates to your books. The topic should be focused and narrow; if you wrote a nonfiction about car maintenance, for example, “how to fix your car” is too broad but “6 Hacks to Keep Your Car from Breaking Down” is perfect. The speech should be written to last about 20 minutes, though you may want to have sections marked that can be pulled or added should an event require you speak a shorter/longer period. Usually a double-space typed piece of paper equals two minutes of speaking.

Next, you must promote yourself to land speaking gigs.

Start on your author’s site with a web page that focuses on your speaking services. The text on the page should explain what you speak about in no more than a couple of paragraphs, six sentences total. You may want to use a bulleted list to make it easy to scan. Include a bio of yourself; the bio should be written to answer why you are qualified to talk about your subject. Include testimonials on your page. At least three, but no more than a dozen, are needed. Each testimonial should speak to a different aspect or talent – you’re an engaging speaker, you’re knowledgeable and informative, you’re asked by groups to come back and speak again. At the page’s bottom, include the logos and names of companies or organizations to which you’ve spoken.

If your author’s page doesn’t have a contact page, add one, and include a link to it on your speaking services page. You also may want to list your rates, especially if they undercut your competition; often when someone looking to book a speaker comes to your page, they’re already interested, and the deciding factor is how much you charge.

Be sure to get yourself business cards for your public speaking service. This is a great item to hand out with books you sell and whenever networking.

Speaking of which, you’ll need to do a lot of it to land speaking jobs. Attend conferences, workshops and events related to your book’s topic and let everyone there know you’re available. You also can write an introductory letter to heads of organizations that regularly have guest speakers, though this is like a cold call; you’ll land a few jobs but most letters won’t net a response.

As you give speeches, keep track of the questions asked afterward. The questions can point you in the direction of several new blog entries you might write and even products you might provide; for example, if the you’ve written a book about how to ski, you’ll almost always get the question “What are some great ski trails in this area that you’d recommend?” That sounds like the beginning of a ski trail guidebook.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.