Monday, December 31, 2018

How Authors Convince The Media Of Their Expertise

How does one tell a brand-name item from a knock-off?  Who can tell what’s fake news from real news?  When does one figure out the right stock to invest in vs. a clunker?  How can you evaluate an offer to tell it’s legitimate, and not a scam?

I don’t exactly know how often people can figure out any of the above, but I do know that the media confronts these types of questions daily when trying to discern if a pitch to them on behalf of a book and an author is (a) legit (b) worth exploring, and (c) the best story or guest interview idea around.

So how can the news media tell if what you proclaim is true, that you are uniquely positioned to speak on something, that you are a qualified, knowledgeable, interesting expert?

Sometimes they can’t tell so easily from an email or pitch by phone.  But they don’t always have the time or resources to check out all of the claims thrown their way. So what do they do?

·         Make an educated guess and rely on their gut instincts
·         Act conservatively and only use tried and true sources
·         Take a risk but get burned sometimes
·         Act out of distrust of the unfamiliar and ignore even legitimate pitches

Your job, as an author or publicist, is to not only convince the news media they want what you are offering, but that you are who you say you are, and that who you are is interesting enough to warrant media coverage.

You need to convince the media of the facts that you may take for granted and know they are true in order to get media coverage.  If the media doubts your claims, questions your credentials, or doesn’t fully believe in or agree with your views, you will get tossed aside like last week’s leftovers.

The media doesn’t need a resume, but it needs to know exactly who you are and what you’ve done or been trained in.  Did you work for an authoritative brand?  Do other established experts support your ideas or work?  Have other media outlets given you coverage?  Do you sound sane, competent, interesting, and helpful?

It’s not a crime to be unknown but it’s a shame that the media won’t take a risk and give coverage to an unfamiliar entity.  You need to make them feel comfortable about yourself.  The media needs to clearly see – not be told by you – why you are an experienced, respected, in-the know expert in your field.

So, remember, the burden is not on the media to verify your background and claims; you need to help them filter what’s being sent to them and show them why they should interview you.  If the media senses you are a liar, bullshitter, inexperienced or unaware of certain things, you will be dismissed.  Find a way to show your level of expertise and ways for them to feel confident and secure in working with you.


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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.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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