Monday, February 17, 2020

What Should Authors Do To Overcome Email Siberia?

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What should authors do when their e-blasts to the news media seemingly go nowhere, when they don’t even get a lot of rejection but they do get a ton of silence. They may even wonder if the email made it past spam filters or gatekeepers. Did the media even see what you sent?

You have three options:

·         Quit.
·         Try again.
·         Hire a pro.

Ok, maybe there is a fourth option: break your computer?

The first choice is not a real option, unless you don’t believe in yourself and feel like being a loser is your destiny.

The third option is a consideration, if you have the resources and believe a pro can do it better.

The second choice is a no-brainer. Of course you try again.  And again.  And again.

Certainly, there are any number of reasons why you didn’t receive a response, ranging from short-staffed media that didn’t get to it, to spam filters that blocked you because of attachments, certain, words in your email's, or your history as a spammer, to your emails subject  line was not captivating enough to warrant a full reading of your email. That’s okay -- you can fix any and all of these things. 

Not only can you send out a new email -- attachment free – with a better subject line and the exclusion of spam-catching words – you can change who you send it to. You can also go beyond email and contact the media via:

·         Phone
·         Snail Mail
·         In-Person
·         Social Media

Sometimes it seems like no one is listening to you, and if they are, you feel rejected. Pursuing the media is like pursuing your high school crush. Intimidation, insecurity, and rejection fill your mind. Relax.  Move on and keep trying.

I can guarantee this:  If you have a great story idea, say it succinctly and persevere. Someone in the media will respond favorably. Maybe even a few someones. Once you start to get some traction, your confidence builds, and the media starts to see you differently. Media begets media, just as fear and defeat breed fear and defeat.

Remember you can track the media down in all kinds of ways. For instance, you can call someone at a media outlet, like the person who covers sports, and tell them you were accidentally transferred to them, and then ask that person to send you to whom you are trying to reach. The person is likely to take a call when a colleague phones them.  See, a trick.

With email, the first thing you should do is make sure you have the right email address. Next, make sure it’s for a specific person and not a general mailbox for a media outlet or a section of it. Third, make sure you aren’t getting blocked. You should use Mail Chimp or Constant Contact or other email companies. They have a better success rate of getting through than using your own email.

Another thing to consider is that it takes multiple queries in multiple formats to reach someone, especially an important person at a bigger media outlet. Keep pushing.  Diversify your approach and message.

But if you feel like throwing in the towel, because you are not cut out to play the book marketing game, I urge you to at least hire a book publicist or marketer to do things on your behalf. They could have the magic touch. Or they could fail almost as badly.

It depends on how smart, lucky and connected they are. It also depends on your book and message. If you have a dud on your hands, even being best friends with Oprah won’t help you!

The media can be picky, cranky, busy, dumb, biased, or simply not friendly. Don’t worry about any of that. Each day, keep hacking away.  If you believe in yourself, hopefully someone else will too.


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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 ©2020. 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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