When you send an email, shoot off a press release, or phone the media in pursuit of getting coverage for your book or story, do you have a compelling opening statement, one that draws hem in and shouts “read me, listen to me”? If not, start over until you do, because if you can’t capture their interest in the first 100 words or 15-second introduction you will have lost an opportunity.
Will your opening use any of the following tools?
· Startling Fact
· An Announcement
· A Promise
· A Plea For Help
· A Demand For Change/Action
· An Offer or Gift
There are many, many ways to begin a dialogue, but the key is to remember you don’t have a lot of opportunity beyond the opening to convince others to keep paying attention. If you think you have something amazing to say, don’t wait – tell it up front.
I’m a big believer that authors have to state the core of their vision or mission upfront and then have to make the link to their credentials. For instance, if your book is about relationships and you are a couple’s therapist with a book, your opening should be something like this:
“Women should forgive their husbands of affairs – and then feel free to have one of their own,” suggests Jane Shaw, a couple’s therapist of 22 years in her new book, “Love Him, Don’t Leave Him.”
That’s the trifecta – to state those three elements – eye-catching assertion, establish expertise, and highlight the title of your new book. Provoke thought, back it up with credentials, and provide a reason o cover this (new book).
They say you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression and that is very true when it comes to pitching the news media. A short, hard-hitting pitch is what will get them interested.
If you struggle with how to digest what you have to offer in 100 words, then the recipient of your presentation will struggle as well. Short on time, the media wont spend a lot of effort trying to find the meat in your pitch. Think of your pitch like a storefront. If the window display doesn’t get the attention of a passerby it has lost a potential customer.
Remember, you couldn’t say all that you possibly want to say in just 100 words, but those initial sentences aren’t intended to cover it all – only to seduce others to keep reading or listening.
The next set of words should be in bullet form, highlighting things you would discuss if in an interview. Five to six bullet points (one line per bullet point) works best. If they can’t find at least one point that resonates with them, they will stop reading.
If you wonder if your opening is strong enough, keep revisiting it until the doubt is removed. A powerful beginning could lead to a strong finish, but a poor beginning most assuredly means you are finished.
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 email@example.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014
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