Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Speak With Conviction If You Want Media Coverage For Your Book

Let’s make shit happen -- and not let shit happen." 

--Brian Feinblum

One of the areas authors can improve when pitching the news media is to have a confident and unrelenting frame of mind.  They have to approach the process of contacting the media as one that says:  “I’ve got a good story.  Someone needs to tell it.”

Now, I’m not talking about coming from this with an egocentric mindset.  That won't get you so far.  That comes off as being lazy, self-centered, and narcissistic.  No one wants to hear from someone who thinks they are entitled to coverage.  Media exposure needs to be earned.

But, you have to have confidence, resiliency, and conviction in your voice and in your carefully worded email.  The news media needs to sense you have a genuine purpose and reason for contacting them.  They need to believe in you.  Lead them.

So how does one do this?

First, prioritize in your mind what the truly strongest points are – and lead with them.  Don’t circle around what really tugs at the media.  Play it up.  Lead with one of these:  emotion, passion, news predictions, or something that you know that the journalist personally cares about, or something that particular media outlet likes to cover.

Second, speak with a bit of edge.  You’re not begging them to cover something nor commanding them.  You don’t want to sound weak and desperate and you don’t want to come off as a big jerk.  You want to speak in that sweet spot that blends enthusiasm with purpose.

You are putting on the hat of a lawyer, advocating beyond a shadow of doubt, that what you present to them is important, useful, truthful, and interesting.  If you were advocating before a judge you’d look to make key points clear and to not rely solely on the weight of the facts but the believing and harmonizing sound of your voice.

To persuade anyone of anything, the other person has to appreciate your situation in a way that gets past doubt, ignorance or debate.  They have to like something about you and relate to your plight.  You need to quickly disarm their judging eyes and humanize your story.  Make them feel and care.  Get them into your shoes so that they, too, can experience as you do, and hear what you say clearly.

So just how does one lobby for something?  Ask a provocative question.  Cite an eye-opening stat.  Pile up the facts.  Seek empathy.  Tug at their emotional fragility.  Offer something unique, new, or of value.  Promise a result that you can deliver on.

Lastly, think like the media.  What do they need and want?  How will they perceive you?  What weaknesses or holes come with your story that need to be plugged?  Most importantly, speak with undeniable conviction and you will see results.  

Editorial:  Facebook Fiasco

In seeing Mark Zuckerberg testify for 10 hours before Congress about data privacy and the challenges of social media advertising ethics, it seems obvious to me that, as a society, we’re screwed.  No privacy.  No protection against ill-intended advertisers.  No avoidance of fake news.  No guarantees hackers can be stopped.  All in all, today’s consumer of digital media and social media is being scammed-over and over- not just by Russia or faceless corporations but by those we’ve entrusted our information with – Google, Twitter, FB, Apple, Amazon, etc.  To think otherwise is foolish and idealistic.

“In old days books were written by men of letters and read by the public.  Nowadays books are written by the public and read by nobody.”
--Oscar Wilde, in The Saturday Review (1894)

“I have never known any distress that an hour’s reading did not relieve.”

--Baron de Montesquieu, Pensees diverses (1899)

“You must put books alongside the subject they relate to if you want to attract a wider audience.  If someone is in a supermarket buying food then it makes sense to sell cookery books there too.”

--Terence Conran, in TheTimes (18 Sept. 1985)


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Enjoy New 2018 Author Book Marketing & PR Toolkit -- 7th annual edition just released

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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