Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Author Primer On How The Media Works

The other day I sat down with my nine-year-old daughter to explain how to read a newspaper. I pointed out the different sections, noted opinion columns and editorials and letters to the editor vs. hard or feature news stories and how images and words impact us.  As I went through this exercise I realized that authors need to go through a similar one when it comes to looking at the media from the perspective of a book marketer.  Such insights will help writers get a lot more coverage for their book and author brand.

So let’s break down the media:

National TV
These shows have country-wide appeal and as such, need a story with broad enough appeal and relevance.  There’s a difference between a late-night comedy show, the evening national news, cable news, morning shows, daytime talk, and weekend shows.  Your pitch has to fit in with the type of segment, tone, and demographics appeal that each show exists under.

Local TV
Your story must have local tie-ins and geographic relevance.  Do you live there?  Did you grow up there?  Are you connected to a local group or participating in a local, newsworthy event?  What visuals do you have to support the story?  How do you turn your self-focused message into wider appeal to the community?

Similar to TV, national vs. local coverage makes a big difference in what those producers look for in a guest. Radio is divided by formats.  Is yours a business, health, sports, or political story?  There are specific stations, networks or shows that address those areas.  Think about appealing to multiple formats. Maybe you have a business story that is also about health or your political angle also has appeal to faith media.

Look at the editorial calendars of magazines and determine their areas of coverage.  Look at columnists, editors, book reviewers, and freelance contributors and tailor your message to their preferences. Newspapers that are weekly or community oriented want hyper local content, especially if it relates to safety, education and small businesses.  Daily newspapers break down differently – they are bigger, publish more frequently, and have numerous sections.  They also publish additional content online.

Bloggers, podcasters, and online book reviewers – they are citizen journalists and have different standards, needs, and personalities than traditional media.  If you can create content for others, that’s a plus.

This is where you generate all of the content and make connections – on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc. As an author, you need to understand how the different types of media work, identify whom to approach, and to develop targeted pitches that are format-friendly and appeal to their narrow demographics.  But once you get the hang of it, you merely, repeat and rinse.  It’s a numbers game – the more outreach you do, especially when it’s customized and timed right, the more likely you will see good results.

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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 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs 

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