When you are contacting the news media you are not only competing with a large number of new books being published (over 1,000 every single day), you are also competing with all forms of entertainment, non-profits, politicians, corporations, and literally millions of other people and issues and organizations seeking attention. But I believe an author has an edge over most of them, assuming you have something of interest or importance to say.
Your book gives legitimacy to you and though it is a product, it is not overly commercial the way a company’s widget is. There is something about a book that makes it seem fine for people to discuss even though some books are really being used by the author to peddle an agenda such as to support a political cause or candidate, or to be used as a tool to expose the consumer to an author’s additional products and services.
However, to preserve this edge, make sure your book comes across as well-researched, current, accurate, and informative/interesting. Many books, especially self-published ones, need to look a certain way in order to be taken seriously. Professional editing and cover design are a must. The layout and typeface of the interior must be readable. If the packaging looks weak, the media will toss it into the garbage. Your book needs to stand on its own and to present issues and stories in a cogent and competent way. The media, to a degree, will judge a book by its cover.
Authors have an edge against non-authors, but author vs. author gives an edge to the familiar – the best-selling author, the celebrity author, or the book on a hot topic. But no matter who pitches the media, act as if you have an edge. If you believe it, it may just become so.
Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at email@example.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.
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