It may seem counter-productive to seek out publicity for a book by not highlighting the book in your pitch to the news media, but that is exactly what I promote in certain circumstances.
Normally one leads with their book with certain media, such as book reviewers. But we are not talking about such situations here. So let’s say you are pitching the media about a novel, or you’re promoting a book that’s aging, or your book is not available by most stores, or from a big publisher. These may be the circumstances in which you promote something other than the book.
So what would you push to the media, if not a book?
Your background, if credible. Your experiences, if unique. Your ideas, if interesting. Your expertise on a topic, if relevant. Think like the media. Go beyond book reviews. Think of good feature stories or byline articles or guest posts that you can write on a timely topic. Think of how you can speak out on an issue or inviting topic to radio, television, and podcasts.
For instance, let’s say your book was published four months ago. It doesn’t seem old to most people but for the news media, it’s no longer seen as new. In this case, let’s say your book has useful information on a subject like dieting, personal finance or politics. Further, let’s zero in on your professional history or personal stories or creative ideas to solve problems. Pitch yourself as the expert and story – and don’t lead with the book. Just mention it in passing, if at all.
Ok, let’s say you wrote a novel about a murder mystery and your background relates to the subject matter, from being involved in law enforcement to being a crime victim to teaching criminal law or forensics or something that positions you as a real-life expert. Pitch story ideas that will allow you to discuss a topic or issue in the news. Once you get the interview opportunity, you can work your book into the conversation.
In other cases you seek neither a story about you, nor a book review, or an interview. You will, instead, peddle a byline article or guest-post idea to print or digital media. Think of what you know, what you’ve done, solutions you can propose to problems, commentary to provide on a newsy topic, or insights you can share on something interesting. Offer to pen 500, 750 or 1,000 words and tailor it to meet the preference and editorial needs of the outlet’s readership. Your credit line will mention the book.
Your book will get publicity, in certain cases, when you go beyond it and highlight yourself or anything but the book. As a result, your brand rises and books get sold.
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