Sunday, October 5, 2014

Authors Seeking To Influence The Media

There are many ways to convince the news media to cover your book and give attention to your message. But what influences the news media goes beyond you having a great book, interesting life, unique ideas, or a timely story. Here’s a look at what really moves the media.

1.      Ownership
Those who own the media decide what goes into it. If they their own personal preferences, the merits of your book may get ignored in place of what they like.

2.      Ratings/ Circulation
Some books that offer quality and substance simply get ignored in favor of ratings-busters like books on sex, celebrities and murder. Sensationalism sells newspapers.

3.      Politics/ Values
If the editorial staff hates a political party or doesn’t support a certain cause, you likely will not see much coverage of those things that they disagree with or don’t value.

4.      Advertising
Even though there should be a wall between editorial and advertising, the media will shy away from stories that injure advertisers and will go out of their way, to a degree, to give more editorial coverage to the advertisers that they have. 

5.      Connections
Powerful people can manipulate the media. They can influence what information is shared, how they are treated by the media, and even if a story airs or gets published. 

6.      Favors
People trade with the media all the time. "I’ll give you access to this if you don’t talk about that.” People’s friendships and relationships with the media influence editorial decisions.

7.      Pay For Play
This may be the biggest and largest growing threat to a free, honest, and useful media. There are media outlets that do pay for play – mommy bloggers, local television stations, struggling radio stations, and some book review publications. It is an ugly subject for the industry. Most media and especially major media do not demand payment for coverage, but sadly some outlets do.

Regardless of these obstacles and preferences, the media can still be influenced by a smart pitch about a book with news you can use, something unique and fresh, something relevant to their readers/viewers/listeners. Before you whine that someone is getting media coverage  that you feel belongs to you, go out and make the case that you deserve it. Demonstrate that you have something worthwhile to say and someone will listen. 

But if you happen to know somebody or want to advertise, well, that won’t hurt you one bit.

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 © 2014

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