and Media Promotion
cardinal rule of dealing with the media is persistence.
Everyone is vying for the media's attention, and you
have to give them a reason to give that attention to
you, rather than to that guy over there. It's extremely
important to sell yourself, and if that doesn't work,
just be a pest. But be certain to have a method to your
pestering. Here are some tips:
Prepare a professional media kit. Include a news-release
for the book, an author bio, description of the book,
a list of questions that will produce a good interview,
and a list of previous interviews that you've done (when
and where, and copies of any print interviews/reviews/articles
you have received). You may also want to include a copy
of your book.
A Good Pitch Letter
Write a good pitch letter and include it in your
media kit as the first thing people see. The better
you pitch the book, the more forcefully you grab attention,
the better the results. Keep your letter under one page!
Names, Make Friends
When contacting media, try to get a name. Call ahead
of time, find out who you need to address, talk to,
or send your kit to. Making contact with the right person
can be the determining factor in whether or not you
get coverage. Once you have a name, contact the person
directly, build a rapport. You'll find that when you
are on friendly ground with the person, you'll have
much more success getting covered and having your phone
calls returned! If the person wants to talk your ear
off on the phone, let them. If you meet them in person,
for the interview or whatever reason, shake their hand,
thank them for their time, and take an interest in them
as a person, not just as a reporter.
Don't try to hit media where your book doesn't
fit. There is little point in trying to get a sci-fi
publication to review your victorian romance novel,
for instance. Devote your time where it will be best
spent. Make relevant contacts.
Them A Reason
Don't expect to get an interview by saying,
"Hi, I wrote a book." Give them a reason to be interested
in the book. Explain to them why your book has appeal,
and why it would be worth while for them to give it
coverage. Whether the book rides on local appeal, social
trends currently in the public eye, or is relevent to
a recent event or issue, make sure to grab their attention,
give them an angle!
The Not-So-Obvious Places, As Well As The Obvious
Newspapers, radio, television, book publications
. . . those are the obvious ones. But you may find markets
in not-so-obvious places as well. You've written a book
in which one of the major issues is water conservation-contact
local environmental groups, those dedicated to the protection
of rivers and bays in particular, and try to have them
review the book, or at least make mention of it in their
next newsletter. Your book takes place on the beaches
of Nagshead, NC; contact the local newsletters, bulletins,
and papers to do reviews and announcements for your
book. Just because a publication doesn't normally focus
on books, does not mean that they won't focus on a book
if it is relevant to their area of interest. Take advantage
of every market you can fit your book into. Every extra
person you reach is a potential reader.
I Mention Persistence?
If one person isn't interested in working
with you, then try contacting a different person at
the same media. Finding the right person is just the
first step, and one of the most important steps in consolidating
your exposure. The right person won't always be the
first person you talk to, so be persistent!
I mentioned previously that you should include
sample interview questions in your media kit. When developing
your questions, make a point of developing your answers
as well. Practice them, and be certain to come off well-especially
for radio and television, where people will actually
hear you speak your answer, rather than reading the
revised and edited answers that appear in print. Having
good questions is crucial. Be certain that your questions
are interesting, entertaining, concise, and make sure
you cover all the ground that you want to expose.