How To Promote Your Book To The Media
Overwhelmed with excitement and enthusiasm, new authors will sometimes approach anyone and everyone in the media. This is a mistaake! Although your book is a big part of your life, this is not always the case for the media who receive numerous calls and media releases everyday.
In order to grab exposure, the first thing you want to do is 'not send your media release.' What you need to do is…
Do your research
Understand the publication. Who are they and why? Try and gain as much information about them as possible and identify why your story would be suitable to them. For example, you don't want to contact the editor of a crafts magazine, if your book is about cars, so make sure you know who you are contacting and why they would be interested in your book.
Get a name
Before contacting a specific media outlet, get a contact name. For newspapers find the contact details for the editor; or the producer's details if is television or radio. These are the people that decide which stories are used in their publications or programmes.
Call and use the elevator pitch
This is a quick, 20 second or less pitch that outlines your angle, employs an interesting or stimulating characteristic (eg uniqueness, humour, emotion), and asks for further action (eg who should I speak to?). Sometimes you may have to go through three or four people, however, eventually they're going to say yes or no or maybe.
If they say 'yes'
If they are interested, ask what further information they may need and arrange a more detailed interview. Ask if you can send through your media release.
If they say 'no'
If they reject your proposal, ask them if they could please explain why and if you can send some information any way.
If they're unsure
If they are hesitant, ask what other information would they need in order to make a decision, and if you can send through your media release.
After you have sent your media release, wait 48 hours and then phone them to confirm that they have received it and whether they require further information. Ideally you would like to offer some fresh or new information over the phone that was not mentioned in your media release.
The key to approaching the media is to firstly do your research, get a name, do an elevator pitch, and then send a media release. You do not want to send the release first. Editors and producers receive hundreds everyday. You need to call up, take no more than 20 seconds of their time, and ask if you may send some information. Remember: journalists are busy people so don't waste their time.
Dale Beaumont is the author of this article. He is an internationally renowned book publishing expert, the author of 16 best-selling books and the creator of the Get Published Secrets Program.
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