Thursday, August 18, 2016
10 Sure-Fire Ways To Get Media For Your Book
In a world of millions of books, where authors, publicists, and marketers compete by the minute for media attention, how is one to gain notice?
Having been involved in promoting well over a thousand books, I can tell you what really works when seeking to capture the mindshare of the news media—and you may be surprised by what you hear from me.
First, you need to think like the people you are contacting. How can you fill their needs and do so in a quick, painless, and convenient way? It’s not about you -- it’s about what a specific individual wants, likes, or needs. Everything you say must be filtered in a way that clearly and directly appeals to what you believe they are looking for.
Second, timing is important. Know when that person is super busy or on deadline and be aware of when competing promoters and opportunists are contacting them. Give them advance notice on timely topics or upcoming events – and then remind them as you get closer to a targeted date. Send emails on the weekends -- most don’t – or early evening. Make calls when the media is not on the air or up against a deadline. Don’t bother leaving messages -- page them or find out when they’re available to talk.
Third, don’t just offer yourself up as an expert on a general topic, such as dieting or relationships, but rather take a targeted issue and spice it up with a claim, question, or tip-filled email. For example, your subject line could be this: How women can shave 10 pounds in a week! Or, it can be: How safe is it to lose a ton of weight fast? Or, it can be: 7 steps to losing fat safely and quickly. Who knows, maybe you need to be more provocative or more specific. Let’s try these:
“Does weight loss guarantee sex gain?”
“Oral fixation on food can be transferred to the bedroom.”
“6 tips for losing weight, gaining sex satisfaction.”
Four, be aware of what the media outlet or journalist typically covers and present your story the way they’d see it or report on it.
Five, know more about the reporter’s personal life. Check out his or her social media and biography and keep that in mind when touching upon things the reporter may personally relate to, from marital status to hometown to race, religion, charities, schools, etc.
Six, keep your emails relatively short and don’t attach anything to them. Avoid spam filters by avoiding certain words in the subject line, like “free” or anything too sexually graphic.
Seven, be clear in what you can talk about and be specific about things you would say. For instance, if you have a book about pets, you can say you’ll discuss how a family should go about finding the pet that’s right for them or you can declare something like: "Why some people should never get a dog" or, :These are the 5 dog breeds young families must avoid."
Eight, every communication or contact with the media should be done politely but assertively – and always with confidence. Don’t ask them if they’d like to interview you. Instead, say, “I’m scheduling interviews on September 1, from 7 am EST to Noon EST. Which time works for you?”
Nine, always look to relate your message to what’s in the news, on the calendar, or an honorary day/anniversary. Remember, your pitch is not book-centric, but rather story-centric or expert-centric. The key difference is about what you lead with and how you come off to the media.
Lastly, be available and ready to go. If the media returns your call or email, respond ASAP and make your schedule flexible to fill their needs. Sometimes the first source available wins.
Though the media is burdened with solicitations and competition is fierce, they are always looking to hear from someone new or with a new way of saying something old and standard. Why not you?!
To learn more on how to promote books, read my greatest blog posts from the past five years and 2,000 posts:
2016 Book Marketing & Book Publicity Toolkit
2015 Book Marketing & PR Toolkit
2014 Book Marketing & PR Toolkit
Book Marketing & Book PR Toolkit: 2013
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2016 ©.