Wednesday, April 12, 2023

What’s The Media Looking For?



Authors can get attention for themselves if they:


  • Mention names, events, and places from the book if they are important
  • Reveal a thinly veiled truth about someone
  • Make an allegation or accusation
  • Raise a theory and question the status quo
  • Dispute perceived truths
  • Attack or promote certain values
  • Act mysteriously
  • Share Top 10 lists
  • Provide do’s and dont’s 
  • Announce 7 ways to do something / 5 things to avoid
  • Say something timely, new, and controversial
  • Advocate and demand for reforms 


Think in terms of headlines and bullet points. Ask yourself these questions:


  • What makes your book new, unique, different, or funny and entertaining?
  • What ties your credentials into what is in the news?
  • Can you write a book that’s promotable by thinking like a promoter; and write for the media - not just the consumer?
  • Can you convert a chapter heading into a media story?  

Think like the news media. They look for books not only that are well-written, interesting, and new, but where:

  • There is a direct tie-in to their readers or audiences, such as by location, content, theme, or industry.
  • There is news to report or you can tie into things in the news.
  • The author is famous or has great credentials.
  • The book ties into a movie or award.
  • The book is a best-seller.
  • The book is getting buzz on social media.
  • The book is controversial.
  • The book has something the journalist, blogger, or talk show host can personally relate to. 
  • The demographics of the media outlet tend to match those of the book’s intended readership.  

How you talk about what you wrote matters.

  • Are you the most qualified to write your book? Sound like you are!
  • Find a way to summarize without providing details. 
  • Get to the heart of why one would read your book.
  • Can you compare your work with other known writers?
  • Sell the action, the dilemma, the characters, the words.
  • How do you describe your book in the context of your life? 
  • How does it fit into the body of your other writings?
  • You should visualize your press release headline as you write your book.
  • Can you genuinely speak with passion, confidence, and conviction?
  • You should formulate your 30-second elevator speech about your book before it is written.
  • Find a way to succinctly put your book or story into perspective and relevance.
  • Express it in a way that serves a need, fulfils a desire, or feeds a want - and sounds interesting in the process.  

Your approach to the media should be as follows: 


  • The opposite of your core message can be commented on as well.
  • Forget any sense of fairness or proportion: often, the dumbest things get attention.
  •  Create a press release based on your core message and then expand outward into other areas.
  • You may need to think on a simpler level in order to generate story ideas that will interest others
  • PR is the opposite of substantive writing - but it’s important - it’s the doorway you must enter to get to your reader 

Explore the extremes and weave them into your book for media pitches.


  • Raise questions.
  • Insert gut-punching humor
  • Express or appeal to emotions: Fear, Anger, Love, and Hate.
  • Offer ways to help people - inspire, inform, entertain, or enlighten them.
  • Play Paul Revere and issue a warning or offer prevention or a solution to some dilemma.  

What else can you do?


  • Promote your book way before it’s out.
  • Do something daily for your book publicity.
  • Meet deadlines and work in advance to handle potential setbacks.
  • Poll others to test out ideas. 
  • Get used to talking about things in a way that is more hype than substance, more extreme than modest, more sensational and not so ordinary.
  • Copy what works for others - but only the important traits. 


Need Book Marketing Help?

Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at  He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has over 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres. Let him be your advocate, teacher, and motivator!


Read This!

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Will Chat GPT Help Or Hurt Writers?


The Book Marketplace Universe for Authors and Publishers


What The Media Wants From Authors


How To Get Others To Sell Your Book


Newspapers That Authors Should Contact


Messages That Sell Books


An Author’s Attitude Is Their Biggest Asset


About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. 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 award-winning blog has generated over 3.3 million pageviews. With 4,400+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years 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, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, 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:  



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