Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Don’t Say This To The Media When Promoting A Book

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, or so it’s been said.  This is certainly true with the news media.  Here are things you should avoid saying to the news media when promoting your book:

1.      “It received just a few bad reviews.”
2.      “My book may have a few typos, so please excuse them.”
3.      “I edited the book myself.”
4.      “The book was published two years ago but since no one bought it I changed the title and cover and just re-released it.”
5.      “This book is good, but my next book is even better.”
6.      “Everyone should want to read my book.”
7.      “I’ve never spoken to the media before.”
8.      “My book doesn’t have great distribution.”
9.      “If I had more time, the book could have been even better.”
10.  “Sorry the book is so long.  I didn’t quite know how to end it.”

Don’t ask questions like these:

1.      “Can I approve of the story before it’s published?”
2.      “Don’t quote me on that, okay?”
3.      “Is this off the record,” after you spoke without setting such a condition.
4.      “Can you make what I just said sound better?”
5.      “So, what do you think of my book?”

All of this may seem like common sense, but what happens when authors communicate with the media is they either get nervous and confess their insecurities and weaknesses, or they get relaxed and think a gentle reporter is a friend with whom they can share anything.

Authors need to operate under these guidelines:

1.      Don’t volunteer negative information.
2.      Don’t raise a topic that could lead to something embarrassing.
3.      Don’t come off sounding egotistical.
4.      Don’t be so shy that the journalist doesn’t hear anything worthy to report on.
5.      Think like the person interviewing you.  Ask yourself what needs he or she has and what could be said to impress the reporter.
6.      Always assume everything is on the record.
7.      Learn more about the reporter or media outlet prior to the interview so that you can speak in a way that appeals to the reporter’s needs, preferences, or readership/viewership/listenership demographics.

The media understands that most authors aren’t media trained, and even those that are could still be prone to a misstep. The media can be forgiving or overlook somethings but be on high alert, especially when your book is controversial.  The media may just want to trap you or highlight a negative.  

Follow the above guidelines and you should be fine.


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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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