As an author, you spend countless hours and endless effort pouring your thoughts into a well crafted piece of literature. It is only logical then, that, like many authors, you dream of having your work highlighted in a major publication. Close your eyes for a moment, envision the sense of pride that would come with seeing your name and book cover printed in major publication or featured on a popular news outlet. If you have published a book you should be proud of that accomplishment. The next step is getting your work into the hands of readers, and what better way to do that than with the help of mainstream media.
As with any publicity scenario, it’s a symbiotic relationship between the content contributor and the media outlet. You both have something the other one can benefit from. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship and one that should feel natural and like a good fit. You, as the author, offer compelling material and ideas that the media can work into an intriguing story, interview, or feature that their audience will find entertaining or useful.
Is there a secret formula to securing media coverage like this? Course not.
I wish there was! The answer isn’t a simple check these boxes, answer these questions, or contact these people type of formula. Contacting the media outlets, filling out request forms, or sending out a press release does not mean your work makes it to the right person or that your message reaches the right ears to ensure coverage. But that’s ok, that’s where we come in. We know what it takes to navigate the intricacies of the industry and to find the perfect placement for you and your work as individuals. Think of us as your matchmakers.
While there is no single, proven approach, book publicity, like any publicity, is a craft and an art form. As with any industry, there are tactics, strategies, and professional standards and it helps to have a knowledgeable team guiding you through each step.
Whether you decide to hire a professional or not, there are a few tips that can help get you started on your publicity journey.
- Determine which publications are best for reaching your target market.
Defining your audience is your very first step. It’s likely that you may already have a general understanding of who you are expecting to read your book; parents, teens, women, entrepreneurs, etc,. but can you break it down even more and identify where and how you will likely be able to reach them?
Envision the people you see holding your book in their hands. Who are they? Where are they? What are their interests? Decide who your ideal reader is and then how to connect with them. Once you decide who you are trying to reach, ask yourself . . . What media outlets does my ideal reader read, watch, listen, or subscribe to?
These will be the publications where you will want to direct your focus. Ideally, these types of questions should be answered before you begin writing, but fear not if you haven’t done this exercise ahead of time. You can work it through a few months prior to your book release. This will help ensure that you have a clear focus and plan for your book right out of the gate. It’s like a baby, you have to create it, then you also have to raise it and get it ready for it’s launch out into the world. This takes time, patience, and planning. And ideally, you would be reaching out to publications even before the book is available, drumming up interest for your publication date or right as the book becomes available.
Our vegan Chef/Nutritionist client did exactly that. Chef Suzi Gerber was featured in Rolling Stone Magazine shortly after her book was published. She talked about how to make your “date night-in” plant-based and delicious with recipes from her new book, Plant-Based Gourmet. Check it out here.
- Find out what the editors need.
When you have chosen the publications that interest you (and that will be interested in you), read them, really read them. Don’t just skim briefly, but try to understand the content they are searching for. Do they have a certain writing style? What kinds of articles appear repetitively? Do they have staff writers only or do they accept contributor submissions? If you can email the features editor and find out what kinds of stories they might be looking for in upcoming issues, you will have more success filling the editorial holes that they are already working on.
- Let an editor know what you have to offer.
Start sending query letters to get in the que for upcoming article assignments. If you have particular expertise or insight on subjects publications cover, you can let an editor know that you are available for interviews if they need experts or contributors on a particular topic. Often an editor will assign a story to a writer and give them a few possible interviewees to help them get started, make sure your name is on that list.
- Get your book mentioned.
The article doesn’t have to be about your book to get your book attention. Your book will follow you around like a puppy on a leash. When your article gets published, make sure you get the little italicized blurb at the end that says author of . . . or who’s new book XYZ will be published this month. If you are being interviewed for an article on a particular subject, chances are they won’t have room to mention your book or incorporate it in their article, but can likely fit it in a brief bio that can be tagged to your name. These small steps can help build big awareness.
- A write-up doesn’t have to be in the New York Times or the LA Times to benefit you.
Think local. Does your hometown, or the town you grew up in have a local newspaper or small magazine? Instead of a nameless, faceless book review, you have a chance to be the talk of the town. Local outlets love and prefer to interview locals. Don’t forget the importance of online mentions. The internet is forever! Keep linking to articles and build your feature page.
Have you ever thought about writing a book to boost your business? ✋
Or are you currently writing a book or in the early stages of planning?
Are you trying to figure out how exactly you’d sell that book or pitch your book to the media to gain visibility?
In my 90-minute intensives, you will gain clarity on the best ways to get noticed by the media whether you are currently writing a book, in the early stages, OR it’s just a thought in the back of your mind.
Become a published author and be recognized in the media with an actionable plan to help you pitch to targeted media outlets. PLUS you’ll walk away with your own customized pitch-template.
Interested? Let’s chat. Book a call today!