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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

10 Guaranteed Ways Authors Get Media Interviews



Listen up.  This is the secret to getting publicity for your book and author brand.  This is based on being in the book publicity and marketing industry since 1989, having helped thousands of authors personally.  Follow this advice and you’ll save time and money seeing a psychotherapist or banging your head against the wall after compiling a Trump Tower’s worth of rejections from the news media.

It’s all about the headline, or in the case of email, the subject line.

What you lead with is what determines if the media will read or listen any further.  I’m going to tell you how to get their attention.

Rule No. 1:  
If you don’t get this reaction, keep trying:  “Wait, he said what?”
  •  Ask a question.
  • ·         Assert a claim.
  • ·         Reveal a secret.
  • ·         Challenge the norm/perceptions.
  • ·         Contradict what’s accepted as truth.
  • ·         Make an outrageous statement.
  • ·         Level a strong accusation.
  • ·         Raise a fear.
  • ·         Offer breaking news.
Rule No. 2:
Don’t worry about grammar – headlines use their own rules.

Rule No. 3:
Whatever you raise in your headline, supply some supportive bullet points in the email or press release – no one wants a bait and switch.

Rule No. 4:
Avoid making the headline only about a new book being out or that an expert in parenting, health, politics, or business is available.

Rule No. 5:
Put a number next to your statement.  If you write “New Book Reveals How to Double Retirement Funds in 5 Years” reword it to say: “New Book Reveals 6 Steps to Doubling Retirement $$ in 5 Years.”

Rule No. 6:
Never, ever lie to the media and don’t say something that sounds like fake news. Be creative and play with your words, but complete bullshit goes into the garbage can.

Rule No. 7:
No need to mention a book in the headline.  The headline often is not book-centric, but rather it’s subject focused.  For instance, the real reason the media will talk to you is that you have something new, interesting, timely and relevant to say.  It’s secondary to them that the information originated from a book.  Instead, play up your credentials, if impressive, along with what you have to say. For instance, if you’re a former general and you write a book that says the U.S. needs to recruit more women into the military, your headline could be:  “Explosive Book By Former General Demands More Women Be Recruited.”  Or you can shorten it to “Ex-General Demands More Women Be Recruited” or lead with a conclusion:  “US Can’t Win Wars Unless Women Recruitment Increases, Says Ex-General.”

Rule No. 8:
Short headlines, action-filled verbs, short headlines and subject lines are a must to editors who skim quickly and depend on brevity to get through the mountain of email and submissions thrust into their in-box.  Switch out long words for shorter ones.  Slash the word count.  Avoid writing complete sentences or using connecting words.  For instance, you don’t have to write out:  “A New Study Reveals The Poor Drinking Habits of Single Mothers.”  Instead, truncate it to this – and reverse the order of emphasis:  “Too Many Moms Drink, Study Says.”

Rule No. 9:
Where possible, name-drop and tie your story angle to someone or something that’s a known entity and in the news.

Rule No 10:
Use humor, sexual references, or touch upon money, politics, religion or health in your headline.  Some button-pushing topics will always get our attention.

Of course it’s easy for me to spit out these tips to you – I believe in them, they really work, and they come from decades of experience – both from success and failure.  But it’s not rocket science.  It’s more of a game.  You need to play around with your ideas and then find the catchy, short phrases that allow you to make a great introduction to the media.

What would help you draft great headlines?

Look at headlines – on all kinds of news web sites – and take note of the ones that make you want to click on the story.  Ask yourself:
  • ·         How long were they?
  • ·         What did they say?
  • ·         What did they emphasize?
  • ·         How many valued asking a question, making a firm declaration, revealing a secret, or tying into the news cycle?

Lastly, you may be struggling to craft an attractive headline simply because you feel you have nothing new, interesting, high-profile, or special to share.  Either that’s true, in which case you shouldn’t bother trying to promote what you think is nothing of value – or you should step back and take a fresh look.  Don’t be so hard on yourself and don’t assume the worst.  See yourself from the eyes of others.  Find something they’d get excited over.

Find a way to make people care by tapping into what they care about.  Ask yourself:
  • ·         Will you help people solve a problem?
  • ·         Do you have advice to make someone richer, sexier, healthier, or smarter?
  • ·         Are you sharing something people really want to know?
  • ·         Do you want to see a policy set or reformed?
  • ·         Is there something in the news that you can comment on in a way no one else has or can?
You only need to uncover one thing to say for your headline or subject line.  Think about it.  Your book could be 180 pages long – maybe double or triple that.  Just find one good statement – about you or your book or something that people value. Take ownership of that headline and run with it. 


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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs 

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