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Wednesday, March 4, 2020

How To Pitch The Media In This Crazy News Cycle


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Can you, as an author, discuss with relevance, any of the following:

·         Coronavirus and infectious diseases.
·         Wall Street and recession fears.
·         The national election for the White House and Congress.

Those topics now dominate the news media and the minds of the American public.  Who wants to hear your parenting or relationship tips – or about some novel – when our nation’s fate is filled with fear and uncertainty?

Well, not so fast.

Yes, the media obsesses over the above, and the news cycle is disrupted by and defined by those three things. If you can add, with real ideas or expertise, something on any of those topics, you should pitch yourself to the media about what you will say.

However, if you can’t connect on those topics, that’s okay. Not all of the media is discussing any of those three things. They still cover sports, weather, entertainment, and lots of other subjects. The world is not at a standstill. Life goes on and people actually welcome a break from doom and gloom over things they largely can’t control.

You have a novel? You want to share diet or beauty tips? You want us to raise better kids or develop healthier relationships?  Go right ahead and discuss them.

The media that authors will struggle to get will be the same media that’s always been hard to get. In other words, some diet book likely was not making it into the main section of The New York Times, that won't unless it was filled with hard news of the day or connected to the triumvirate of disease, stocks, and elections. So in that sense, nothing has changed for most authors.

Perhaps the ones most challenged are those who would otherwise have newsy topics but will get dismissed now unless they talk about pandemics, the Dow Jones Industrial Average or Bernie Sanders. In fact, even amongst those three areas, in-fighting for coverage will take place. Yesterday’s feature on Mike Bloomberg will give way to reports from the CDC, and articles about the newest iPhone will be replaced to stories about Apple plants closed in China.

I’ve seen this before. It happens once a decade:

9/11.  The world stopped and the news media focused for weeks and months in the aftermath of what a world at war with terrorists looks like.

The Great Recession. The world plummeted into fear and for many months the media delivered one gloomy report after another.

Now it’s a steady diet of Coronavirus,Wall Street, and a side order of the 2020 election that debates the soul of the nation's media.

This too shall in fact pass. It will take some time, however.

If anything, people need the distraction books can bring. Now, more than ever, we need both books that inform us – and that distract us. The media can still quote you or give coverage to your book. It’s gotten harder and different, but it’s not impossible.

Further, take control of what you can, of what didn’t exist for 9/11 and what was in its infancy for The Great Recession:  Social media. Go blog, podcast, and use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, You Tube and Linked In to broadcast your message.  You don’t need anyone’s permission or approval to succeed. No gatekeepers at all.

But, all things being equal reevaluate how you can discuss any of the big 3 in a relevant and useful way. If you stretch too far and look like you just want to capitalize on a disaster, you will be ignored or even vilified.


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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 brianfeinblum@gmail.com. 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 http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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