Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Vetting Process Of Book Publicists & The Media

As a book marketer and publicist, I have to quickly evaluate writers and their books to make a determination if I should or could represent the author to the news media.  Part of my vetting process involves thinking like the media to decide if the media will be open to such a book or author.  Here’s what publicists are looking at when determining the viability of promoting a book or author:

·         Who wrote the book?  What credentials does he or she have?
·         What is the personality of the author?  Is he or she outgoing?
·         How well does the author communicate?
·         What media exposure has the author had?
·         What are the goals or expectations of the author?
·         What’s the book about?
·         When is the publication date?
·         Who is the publisher?
·         What testimonials does the author have for this book or past work?
·         What level of competing books or experts is out there?
·         What is the news cycle like as it relates to the subject matter?
·         Does the book present itself in a professional and substantive manner?
·         Does the author comport himself – or herself in a confident manner?
·         Are there any anniversaries, holidays, or honorary days coming up that will tie into the book?
·         What is the author’s social media platform?
·         How available is the author for a media campaign?

The news media may take many of the same elements into consideration, but they more narrowly focus on these things:

·         Is this book of interest to the media outlet’s readers, listeners, viewers, or followers?
·         Is this book something that interests the producer, editor, reviewer, or blogger personally?
·         Is this the best book or source for this topic?
·         Has the media already covered this book or author?
·         What are the competing outlets for that media outlet covering?
·         Do they believe something is relevant, new, unique, interesting, and of value that is being proposed to them?

It would serve authors well for them to appreciate and understand the filtering process going on by publicists and the media.  Publicists have a lower threshold than the media.  Publicists are looking to get clients and are more open to promoting an author than a journalist is in covering them.  Publicists may have to watch for conflicts of interest in the authors they look to represent.  They also have to see that an author can afford their services, that the author understands and agrees with the PR plan, and that the author is easy to work with.

The media will cover books and authors that agree with their editorial stance and that appeal to its demographic of subscribers.  But there’s a lot of competition for media coverage.

Authors can help themselves by giving the media everything it needs, including:

·         A short, targeted email on what’s been offered
·         The identifying of relevant video, documents, or book passages that could make the packaging of a story easy and powerful
·         An author who can communicate well and sound or look nice
·         An author who is flexible on scheduling availability
·         A book that reads well, has an attractive cover, and a catchy title

By making things simple and easy, authors help the media do their job and that goes a long way to getting their attention and appreciation.  Treat the media with respect and know the difference between selling yourself to a consumer, publicist or a journalist.


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

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