Friday, October 25, 2019

Is Book Promoting Like Job Hunting?

Image result for job hunting images

This one’s a little evasive on certain questions. That one is too chatty. He came late and her interest in the job seemed weak.  These are just some of the observations that consumed me as I participated in a recent round of job interviews for a position my public relations firm was seeking to fill. We eventually found the ideal candidate but the process left me seeing how similar it is to one pitching the media about their book.

There are many correlations to the process of job interviewing and pitching the media.  Here are nine that you can learn from: 

1.      Resume vs. Press Release
Whereas a one-page resume seeks to summarize one’s work history and skills, a two-page press release hopes to highlight the appeal of a book or one’s brand.  In either case, the goal is for an action step to follow:  the scheduling of an interview.  Same with the job applicant cover letter and an author’s pitch letter. Words are your asset here -- make them count!

2.      Company/Industry vs. Media Outlet/Beat
Which company should you apply to – and in which industries?  Authors need to determine which media outlets to contact as well as which specific person at those outlets. Be targeted in your approach. 

3.      Job Listing Sites vs. Media Databases & Directors
Job applicants need to know where to apply and often post to several leading sites, such as Indeed, Linked In, or Zip Recruiter.  Authors need a directory of media contacts to know who to approach, too. Do your research!

4.      References vs. Testimonials
Just as job applicants need to have 2-3 references for a potential boss to contact and hear great things, so must authors have several strong testimonials from qualified people who serve as a public endorsement of them. Third-party validations are expected, so find someone to say something positive about you.

5.      Social Media
Just as a potential employer will check out the social media footprint of a job applicant, so will the news media vet a possible interviewee via social media.  Be careful in what you post. Remove old stuff that could embarrass you.

6.      Communication Skills
Job applicants must come across strong on paper, as well as in a phone call or in-person/video interview.  Authors pitching the media need to sound and act the part via email, phone, video, or in person as well. Practice and get feedback from a friend on how you sound in a mock interview. Videotape it and examine how you come off.

7.      Strong Interview Skills
Job applicants need to do all the right things, including:

·         Confirm appointments.
·         Show up a few minutes early.
·         Have extra copies of a resume on hand.
·         Look professional.
·         Smile.
·         Give off good energy.
·         Speak at a good speed.
·         Appear confident.
·         Display passion.
·         Use an appropriate-level vocabulary.
·         Make eye contact.
·         Use hand gestures for emphasis.
·         Shake hands firmly.
·         Put a boundary between personal and professional.
·         Sound interested but not desperate.
·         Share stories to support key points.
·         Be polite and pleasant.

Authors too, must do many similar things when being interviewed by the media.

8.      Follow-Up
Immediately after your job interview, send a thank you note, share references if asked to, and see if anything else is needed.  Same with the media.  After contact with a journalist or producer, send them your book or other materials and find out what’s needed to advance the process. 

9.      Stay in Touch
Just because you didn’t get this job today or earn media coverage from that outlet doesn’t mean it can’t happen down the road. The world is small. Keep growing your network.


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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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