Last week, I explained the concept of using a sponsor to help you launch a book so if you missed it, here it is. Today, I’ll explain the details of how to get a sponsor.
Things You’ll Need to Get Started
A proposal letter is essential, because companies need to know the who, and why of your pitch. Most authors are already familiar with query and pitch letters so this shouldn’t be too difficult. You need to convince them that your project is a worthy cause and how they’ll benefit from helping you out. Keep in mind, they NEED to benefit, or no deal!
How to Target a Sponsor
Depending on what kind of book you have, you will want to choose your sponsor carefully. For example, you don’t want a beer company sponsoring you if your book is about alcoholism. Nobody will take you seriously. Make a long list and I do mean long, because you’ll get a lot of No’s before you get one yes.
Following The Money
The internet is an awesome resource for information, back in the day, you would have to shoot a proposal letter through the mail and wait weeks, if not months, for a response. But today, most major corporations have websites with a sponsor’s tab, here’s AT&T’s:
If they don’t have a sponsor’s or advertiser’s page then, check out their media kit, or their contact us link. When contacting them, mention the event or project that you would like them to sponsor, but don’t do a hard sell yet. This proposal is just an introduction, for example:
Dear Major Corp,
The month of May is national literacy month and the literacy rate in our city is 88% which is outrageous for an industrialized nation. On May 2nd, I and several other authors plan to start the first Adult Literacy Book Festival at Louis Patton Mall.
We plan on giving out 500 books to those less fortunate and we also have several short story contests planned for the inner city youth of our area. The winner will win $200 and will be featured on our website.
In attendance will be Sue Jones from Channel 3 six o’clock news and John Doe from the John Doe morning radio show on 106.5 F.M.
If your business would like to participate, and sponsor our authors please check out our website here: OurFakeBookFestivaldotcom
Ask them to check out your blog, or website where you’ll conveniently have a page mentioning the details of your proposal.
But don’t limit your research to the internet, check your local paper and magazines then go the business and employment sections to see which companies are being featured. These companies are doing well and need coverage, that’s why they’re in the paper. You’ll likely get the names of business owners, CEO’s and people in the marketing department. Good, if you want to personalize that proposal letter.
A Word of Advice to Newbies:
If you’re a newbie, try a local event and a local business that is doing well. Trust me, unless you have media training, you will make mistakes. It’s wise to make those mistakes small, in the local realm, rather than a national stage. I’ve done plenty of podcasts where authors are sorely unprepared, and nervous. Sometimes, they don’t have blurbs for their book and stammer their way through the interview even though, we give them a copy of the questions before hand! There are shows where time is running short, or another guest drops out. So it’s nice to have a brief blurb as well as an extended version just in case. You’ll learn this in the little leagues.
This is important, because if this one sponsorship is a success, then you can guarantee you’ll have others in the future with bigger and better sponsors.