Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Don’t Dwell On Your Book When Seeking Media Coverage For It

The key to generating media exposure for your book is to think like the media.  Most authors and book publicists are too focused on the book itself, rather than zeroing in on the needs, preferences, and desires of the media they seek to impress.  You must change your approach and thought process.  Now.

Too many writers come at publicity and marketing from a book-centric, almost egotistical vantage point.  They think:  “My book is great; everyone should want it.”  Even if your book truly is great by any objective standard, it doesn’t matter unless the media come to believe it as well.  You can’t merely state it’s great and expect the media to jump.

Here are some insights into how the media thinks:

*They do judge a book by its cover, title, and publisher.  That’s right, ugly books and incoherent titles need not apply.  Further, some media will dismiss your book if it’s self-published or with a small or obscure press.  They filter what comes their way, rightfully or not, so understand what moves them.

*They want to quickly understand what the book is about and not be given long summaries.  Speak in sound bytes and develop short written pitches that rely on bullet points and not lengthy sentences.  If they can’t quickly ascertain the subject matter they will move on.

*Do not over-link them.  You know what I’m talking about. Don’t give them a half-dozen links to videos, articles, and stuff that you think they will sift through.  Provide one key link that highlights your message, showcases your relevance, and provides a good visual.

*They want to know what’s new, wildly unique, or truly important here.  Don’t highlight a problem – give the solution. Don’t dump too much information on them – just enough to tease and lure them in.

*Realize they are under deadlines, overwhelmed with work, swamped by other promoters, authors, experts, and celebrities who also seek their attention.  Be brief, lead with your strength, and customize to meet their media outlet’s demographics, the journalist’s beat, and where possible, show the timeliness, localization, or news tie-in to your story idea.

*Don’t just present a book to them or your expertise.  Tie it all together into a coherent story idea. Help them envision the article or interview or television segment.  Who else might be involved and what props, video or things can be packaged together to craft a top-notch piece?

*Appeal to their personal side. Know something not just about that media outlet but also about that reporter, so you can appeal to their personal habits, experiences, views, or styles.

*Remember, the media doesn’t give a shit about your book or you.  It cares about viewership, readership, and listenership. It cares about clicks to a website and social media viral potential. It wants a story that will net more ad sales as a result of higher visibility.  It wants to best its competition, win awards, and be talked about.  You’re not selling them on your book or you. Sell them on what they will net from this and shape a story that appeals to what they demand, and not what you desire.

*You have to sound in control when communicating with the media. You can’t be demanding or desperate. You want the right balance of sounding like you are each collaborating to mutually benefit one another. They have to perceive value in your offering, but they don’t want to feel they have to do the heavy lifting.  Offer them a good story and make it easy for them to put it together.

Today’s media operates under great strain – shrinking budgets, cuts to staffs, and a lack of resources. The media is getting smaller and younger, with seasoned journalists replaced by less expensive digital media types or by stories that are found on social media and repackaged at no cost. 

Do they want or need your story?  That will depend on what you do, say and offer. Park the ego and play up your vision for a story and hold back on bragging about your book.  By thinking like today’s media, you’ll be in a better position to secure media coverage

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource."

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