When helping authors write a press release for the news media, a blog post, a query letter to a literary agent, or a tweet, the approach is always the same. I ask: What do you want to say? How can you say it concisely? Which words will best convey the meaning that you seek to state?
It often comes to boiling down a big idea into a few sentences. Be succinct!
Authors must remember the journalist’s inverted pyramid – start by saying the most important thing and work your way down to the least important, and answer the 6 W’s: Who, what, when, where, why, and how.
Still, authors struggle with what to say. Well, struggle no more. Here are 17 prompts to get you to find something to say – and to say it well:
1. Can you shock people?
2. Anything new to say?
3. What do people enjoy that you can offer?
4. Is there an anniversary, holiday, or event to celebrate?
5. Do you have an idea that meets someone’s needs?
6. Can you demand action or change?
7. Do you want to advocate for something?
8. Would you like to share a vision for a better world?
9. Can you state a prediction/trend /warning?
10. Do you have a unique take on an established idea, fact, or long-held belief?
11. Can you be funny?
12. Will you help solve a problem?
13. Will you identify concerns that a problem exists and needs to be addressed?
14. Is it time to discuss awards, reviews, and your accomplishments?
15. Want to stir a controversy, or a made-up rivalry?
16. Do you want to talk about the news or other books?
17. Will you reveal a secret or confess something?
Just take an idea and explore where it takes you. Look at it from a variety of angles and
perspectives. Think into the future or analyze the past. Somehow, some way, you have
something to say that people will pay attention to.
Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres.
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About Brian Feinblum
Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2022. 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 blog, with over 4,000 posts over the past decade, 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 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Susan RoAne, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, IBPA, Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum.