Sunday, August 30, 2015

Connecting Your Book To The News

Authors love to talk about their books and themselves, especially to the news media.  Though a book or author may be interesting on their merits, sometimes one needs to find a story idea that relates to what is in the news.  So just how does an author go about doing that?

To pitch yourself or a book to the media, based on the current news cycle, consider the following:

1.      Scan the Internet to see what’s in the news.  You can skim headlines at sites like, Fox News,, and Huffington Post.

2.      Sign up for Google Alerts on topics related to your book, and you’ll be fed news stories on them.

3.      See what’s trending on social media: Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

4.      Look ahead at the calendar, 30-60 days in advance, and note which relevant holidays, anniversaries, or important dates that relate to your book are coming up.

5.      Once you know what’s in the news and what special dates are coming, contact targeted media with a pitch that directly references either what’s in the news or an upcoming holiday.

6.      You want your pitch to stick out, so saying more of what’s out there won’t work.  Highlight your unique take on things.  Are you contrarian? Do you have data or knowledge that others do not?  Do you have a strong opinion that can be worded powerfully?  Is there an idea or call to action that you want to trumpet?

7.      The key to jacking the news or reacting to the media landscape is to pitch a story idea rather than just your book. There’s a difference in the approach that is key.  Lead with a newsy comment or idea – and then mention there’s a book, as opposed to leading with your book (unless the book is truly newsworthy).

8.      Find a unique perspective to bring to the media about a story they’ve been covering.  For instance, if your book is about parenting and there’s a story about a parent that abused a child, or a runway teen, or about a kid bullying another, seek to thrust yourself into the conversation with insight on what could’ve gone wrong, what should be done, or how such situations could be avoided.

Staying on top of the news and contacting the media at opportune times is important.  You don’t want to seem like you’re exploiting the news, so only offer concrete tips, advice, and insight that seem related to your area of expertise.  

Just just because you’re not directly involved with the subjects of a news event doesn’t mean you can’t be part of the story.  Speak up – you may just get heard.


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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 He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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