Friday, December 20, 2013

Why Some Books Receive A Lot Of Media Coverage

We may think we know why a book receives media attention but it may not always be for the reasons we have assumed.

Books get media attention for all kinds of reasons, including:

·         Who wrote the book (credentials)
·         Who published it
·         The subject matter in the book
·         News connections to the book’s content
·         Personal connections between the author or someone connected to the author—and specific members of the media
·         Media begets media
·         Social media numbers of the author are too big to ignore
·         Timing of the book is associated with an event
·         Luck
·         Controversy surrounding the book’s publication

Did you notice I didn’t say the book had to be well-written, interesting, or even good?

The truth is a book’s notoriety is not always in direct correspondence to its quality.  Indeed, mediocre, even bad books, can garner a lot of media attention.  Books that meet the demographics of a publication’s or site’s demographics—or those of the book reviewer or journalist certainly stand a greater chance at getting media coverage.

Writers are driven to write what they know, what they like, what interests them—and that’s fine.  It comes from their heart and imagination.  It’s pure.  But it may not sell or get media coverage.  Authors will need to gear the contents of their books to the needs and desires of the media and marketplace if they hope to increase their odds of success.

So what would appeal to the media?

·         The media loves to write about the media, so include characters or subject matter relating to writers, the news or the arts
·         Books that go where other books have not yet gone.  Is it time for a lesbian terrorist or a baseball-loving Martian?
·         Set your book in a time period or location that hasn’t been given a lot of exposure.
·         Have a character that is deeply likeable or loathsome.  No one cares about the ordinary, the mediocre, the indifferent.
·         Make sure your book covers a dialogue trigger, such as wealth, power, sex, religion, politics, or sports—or life and death, family, love and hate, or tragedy.

Whatever your book is about—and whomever ends up reading it—enjoy the practice of your craft.  Writers write with a message and purpose in mind.  Your story adds to the life experience of others and is a success whether it sells or not.  But wherever possible, position your work to garner as much media exposure as possible.


Here is my 2014 Book Marketing & Publicity Toolkit: Based on 20+ years in publishing --

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

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