There are dozens of ways to pitch your book to the news media
and in social media. Certainly, you want to highlight the merits of your book
and let the contents sell itself. You can also link a story idea to your
background experiences or credentials, if they are relevant, timely, or
interesting. You should explore these33 tie-ins as well:
Holidays or Seasons
Craft a message that links your book to a holiday. Perhaps your book involves romance, sex, relationships, dating, etc. Link a story to Valentine’s Day. Maybe you wrote a book about careers. June is a good month to tie into, as a generation of new workers graduate school. Or maybe you have a diet book and January’s New Year’s Resolutions is a good tie-in. Look at the calendar and look at holidays or periods of time (i.e. Sept is back-to-school, March is spring cleaning, November is the holiday gift season, etc.).
Honorary Days, Weeks, Months
There are special days to honor every food, hobby, illness, and facet of life. Consult www.brownielocks.com to find a long list of these days.
There may be a special anniversary coming up that relates to your book. For instance, let’s say your book focuses on an event. Is this the 10-year anniversary of that event? Perhaps you wrote about something historical – like the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Right to Vote. Perhaps you wrote a biography of someone famous. Is it 50 years ago that he or she died? Or maybe this would have been their 200th birthday? Think of how many years have passed since some mile marker pertains to what you wrote about – and use this as an excuse to push a story.
If your book becomes a best-seller, that becomes a story angle. Perhaps other books on your subject matter have become best-sellers. You can try to piggyback on their fame and show how your book is different/better. Awards in other fields and industries may tie into your subject as a timely excuse to link your book to something in the news. Maybe a Nobel, Grammy, or Oscar was given to someone that your book can be used for comment on.
If your book wins an award, push that in your pitch to the media. Perhaps other books on your subject matter have become award-winners. You can try to piggyback on their fame and show how your book is different/better.
In The News
Pay attention to what is making headlines, internationally, nationally and locally. Can you link your story, thematically, to anything you see out there? For instance, if your book discusses the history of war or peace, tie into a current war or peace movement. Perhaps your book is about divorce and you see a famous couple got divorced. Or maybe your book is about wealth and being an entrepreneur and a story comes out showing how Jeff Bezos surpassed another billion-dollar benchmark in his wealth. Associate yourself with the news. It’s called newsjacking.
This is the hottest story in 2020. It will be with us, in some form, in 2021, too. However, you can make your message corona-connected, do it.
If the government proposes, passes or defeats legislation relating to your subject matter, look to comment on it and tie it to your book.
Whatever is popular online or in the real world, feel free to comment on and tie your story to.
If any studies are released, say by a college or government or major organization, and they relate to your book’s subject matter, craft a story to connect them.
What do polls and surveys say? They give us a statistical snapshot of how people act or think. If they comment on things that you speak about, find a story idea to link them together.
Look back at past or current public predictions from others and tie your book into those predictions. Or maybe you want to make predictions of your own.
Come up with an interesting what-if scenario and show how your book may answer or shed light on something that people have wondered what-if about.
You can lobby or advocate for something – a change in a law, demand for some accountability by the government, or a change in a business’ practice. Make a demand in a press release for change.
Do you raise questions that allege wrongdoing by authorities? Are you able to reasonably drum up claims against trusted individuals? Do you use the power of asking questions to turn your book into a source for a news story?
Do you have something to say that exposes a secret, sheds light on a news-worthy event, or provides a legitimate claim about news-worthy people?
Like influencers, celebrities, actors, musicians, athletes, and politicians are popular for a reason. And their fame and notoriety can be helpful to selling yourself if you can latch on to their coattails, either to praise or vilify them.
Did Apple announce a new iphone? Did a new company suddenly burst on the scene with a cool gadget? Did Amazon offer a new service? Comment on new products/services/inventions if it connects to your book somehow.
Did you commit a crime? Know someone who did? Suspect someone has done so? Comment on anything you experienced, witnessed, know about, or is in the public domain as it relates to crime. People love a good story about criminals and their crimes.
Could your story have a weather link? Weather means disaster: hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, heatwaves. They cause death, destruction, accidents, fires, food shortages, droughts…and alter the landscape for building, traveling, etc. Can you connect to any of that?
Social Media - Blogs, Podcasts, Video, Posts, Tweets
If you determine there is a popular or important video, tweet, post, podcast or blog out there, feel free to tie yourself to it. Attack the posts of others or show how your book further discusses whatever that popular post says. You can also use your won generated social media content to help create interest in your book or a news worthy story. How? Well, if your social media connections total tens of thousands or more, mention that in your pitches. The media likes to know that an author can bring their social media followers along for the ride.
Online or in-person events, conferences, conventions, etc. are good excuses to craft a story that connects what they did with what you write about. For instance, if an annual conference took place about child safety, and your book covers parenting in general or specifically child safety, well, chirp about it now. Further, you can create your own event and stir up news coverage.
Anything that people are familiar with or talk about can be a good reference point for you to craft a story that links your book to. Did a show just feature something that relates to your book? Was there a breakthrough in what a show discussed or the type of actor/actress it hired that ties to your book? Did you want to criticize Hollywood for not covering a topic that it should be – which is coincidentally the subject of your book?
Do you have a comment or story about an influencer – or what he or she said or did? Internet influencers are like celebrities in music, sports, or Hollywood. Use gossip, facts, or theories to stake a claim that connects your book to them.
Does your pitch relate to a specific profession or industry? Sometimes you can take a general topic, say a book about rising up the corporate ladder, and specifically send out story ideas that target a profession. So now your story is: How to rise up the corporate ladder at entertainment companies. How to rise up the corporate ladder at accounting firms. How women can rise up the corporate ladder. How the real estate industry stifles eager corporate ladder climbers.
A good controversial area, along with sex, politics, race, gender, and money is religion. If you can involve religion in your story idea, do so respectfully, but go for it.
Do you have a non-profit angle? Maybe you donate some book proceeds to a non-profit? Maybe you criticize or support certain non-profits? Maybe you launch your own?
Common Every Day Events
Sometimes you need to align your media pitch to fit in with what millions of people do daily, from chores, to commuting, to being sick, or saving for college.
Debunk myths or assert why some myths are true.
Challenge, criticize or support current or proposed laws or rules (such as those at a school, business, or public facility) and act as an advocate and stir up some controversy.
Exploit a tragedy. Yepp, you heard me. That is part of your publicity playbook. People are rubberneckers. Tell us about pain, loss, or death – we will listen. If you aren’t discussing your own tragedy or that of another close to you, tackle a publicly known tragedy and insert yourself into it.
Top 10 Lists
Come up with your own interesting Top 10 list on something relevant and interesting – or comment on existing lists and show what role your book plays in terms of what those lists cover.
Can you offer sound advice that helps resolve an issue, solve a problem, or help others address a concern? Offer it up!
Learn, Grow, Succeed!!
The Ultimate 2021 Book Marketing Guide
Don’t Pardon Book Industry Scoundrels, Failures & Losers
Authors Need to Know Why They Write Books
Authors Want Their Drop-The-Mic Moment
Do Writers Know The Power They Wield?
The Rights, Responsibilities, & Resources Available To Writers Today
How Authors Should Build A Platform
Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2020. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby 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. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum.
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