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  • Marketing Tip: Start Months in Advance to Secure Speaking Engagements
This blog was featured on 08/05/2019
Marketing Tip: Start Months in Advance to Secure Speaking Engagements
Written by
Maria Murnane
August 2019
Written by
Maria Murnane
August 2019

Next week I’m speaking at a meeting of a book club that specializes in novels set in New York. The club moderator agreed that Katwalk would be a perfect fit, so it’s all set up!

Guess when I first contacted the club moderator about this? Six months ago. It’s amazing how much advance planning is involved in the smallest of events, so imagine what goes into the bigger ones. Major conferences select their speakers up to a year in advance. 

The lesson is clear: If you want to set up speaking engagements, start early. As for where to speak, there are countless organizations that could be a good fit for what you have to offer. For small book clubs like the one I’m attending, pitching just your book might be enough, but for professional organizations, here are some suggestions to improve your chance of being selected:

  • Create a brief bio about yourself, your book, and the topic(s) on which you would like to speak, e.g. how to get published, the story behind your book, how to stay motivated when writing a book, etc.
  • Get a professional headshot taken -- or something as close to a professional headshot as you can manage.
  • If you’ve spoken before, collect testimonials to use in your pitch.
  • Regularly update your speaking bio with anything impressive about you or your book, e.g. awards, press mentions or other groups to which you have spoken. 

Once you start reaching out to organizations, I guarantee you’ll hear replies along the lines of “We’d love to have you, but we’re all booked up until….” so you’ll quickly learn the importance of starting early. But that’s okay! Better late then never.

By the way, to find book clubs near you, try a search on www.meetup.com.

Good luck!



Maria Murnane writes bestselling novels about life, love and friendship. Have questions? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.

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