Friday, February 22, 2019

How Authors Must Stick Out To Garner Media Coverage

A recent viewing of an old Twilight Zone episode reminds me that authors need to promote their uniqueness – rather than try to sound like every other author.

The television episode in question was one about beauty and how we all should look beautiful.  Everyone, upon turning 18, can get a face and body lift, choosing from a number of models.  A young lady doesn’t want to look like everyone else, even if it means she remains with average looks.  But society forces her into it and out pops another beautiful woman.  But is she really beautiful if she looks like everyone else?

Authors must make sure they don’t start wearing Michael Jackson’s nose, Jennifer Aniston’s hair, and Kim Kardashian’s ass, meaning they will have to take a personalized, unique, targeted approach for their marketing, publicity, and branding.  One needs to stick out – not blend in – when it comes to books.

One reason the media has trouble deciphering who to interview, review, or feature is that they can’t distinguish between books that look alike and authors that sound alike.  Writers, deep down, are unique and individualistic, and that must be called upon when doing a dance for the media.

When the media focuses on one story angle, you must highlight another aspect, even going contrarian.  You need to voice a new viewpoint or state an old one in a new way.  The media wants substance and personality.  They want what’s new, different, controversial – or that appeals to others – sex, politics, religion, celebrity, money, death, crime, celebration.

Can you say the obvious in a way that it has a twist?  Let’s say your book shows us how to lose weight.  Your first instinct is to say what it is in a straight forward way:  It’s a book about how to lose weight.”

Ok, but tell us more.  Put a number to it:

"It’s a book that shows you how to lose at least 20 pounds in the first month of your new diet.”

Or hype your credentials, if really good:
“It’s a book that shows you how to lose at least 20 pounds in the first 30 days – based on the author’s three decades of successfully treating thousands of overweight people, including several morbidly obese patients who lost hundreds of pounds each.”

You see now how to improve the pitch?  But even this sounds too similar to other books out there.  Find what’s odd or interesting – and throw it in.  Maybe the diet is strange – you can only eat bananas, or pizza.  Or it restricts you from eating nuts or chocolate.  Toss that into the pitch, too.

Can you quantify the diet?

Is it one followed by a leading medical institute?  Was it endorsed by a top health association?  Did a celebrity use the diet? Is it a really inexpensive diet – or one that doesn’t require a lot of exercise or other behavioral changes?  Keep digging for how it differs with others and highlight anything that sounds like a bonus.

Perhaps your pitch ties into something in the news, but again, is not obvious.  For instance, if a new survey or poll is released about obesity, you can chime in and jack the news.  Take ownership of it, but don’t just say you can comment on the report as to why your diet is needed.  Instead, issue some challenge or promise like:  “Send me your obese and coach potato, the one who weighs at least 500 pounds, and says he fails at every diet.  I will trim him down!”

Maybe words can’t speak as well as pictures.  Share some amazing images of weight loss with the media – and then show some funny way of measuring the weight loss.  Let’s say someone dropped 220 pounds.  Photograph what 200 pounds looks like when you stack up 15 shopping carts with various junk food. Or show how, with a pile of cash, one has saved thousands by no longer buying food to eat that’s not needed.

Or, instead of talking about weight, discuss benefits – how one gained six years by shaving off 70 pounds or how one can now run a mile after not being able to get out of bed.

You get the idea.  Be creative, dramatic, and unique. The shy, the neutral, the ordinary, the copycat – they will not win at book marketing.  You don’t want to look like everyone else, no matter how pretty they may appear to be.

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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 ©2019. 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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