Ever wonder how book publicists do what they do? Is there a secret formula for getting media coverage? Well, not really, but there are some insider tips and tricks of the book publicity trade that can help indie authors do what the professionals do.
Here are five tips that might just help you get some meaningful book publicity for your book.
Landing Radio and TV Interviews
If you’re trying to get radio and TV interviews, forget about your book. Yes . . . that’s right, forget about your book. Interviews—except if you’re a household name—are rarely about a book; they’re about you, and the interesting, informative, controversial or fun topics you can discuss. No one interviews a book!
Pitch yourself and explain why you would be a great guest on a specific show. Tell them, succinctly and persuasively, why you’d make a great guest. When booking interviews, producers first look at what they’re being offered in a pitch. The book comes into play as credibility; proof that you know what you’re talking about.
Go Old School
There are other forms of communication than email—a fact many of us forget. Let’s say the average editor or producer gets 300 emails a day from book publicists or authors. Like most of us, unless something jumps out at them, the delete button is immediately employed to get down to a manageable number. Your chances, in the big picture, aren't that good when it comes to your email pitch.
But what if you actually mailed a letter, and hand addressed it? How many hand-addressed letters do you think the average producer or editor gets a day? Probably not many. A hand-addressed envelope is very likely to be opened, and your pitch may actually be read!
Here’s another insider tip: instead of mailing a copy of your book to media, send it via FedEx or UPS. Almost everyone opens these!
Remember, the Media Needs You
That’s right, editors and producers really do need and want you. Without book publicists and indie authors, their jobs would be much harder. Keep this in mind when promoting your book. If you approach media appropriately, you aren't some annoying, desperate author—you’re gold to them. Maybe in an initial response an editor or producer won't act like you are, but trust me, if they’re interested in you, they are going to want you.
Change your mindset. Tell yourself that you are someone media need, and instead of promoting yourself, you’re selling yourself, and you’ll decide who to engage. This may sound simple, but it’s something all good book publicists do. Act important because you are important, and you’ll be seen as important.
If you personalize, they will respond. When reaching out to journalists you believe should be interested in you and your book, take a few minutes to research what they’ve recently written about. If you say, “I know you covered ________ topic recently, so you might be interested in ________,” —you dramatically increase your chances of getting a response. It shows the journalist you’re serious and you took the time to research them, and they will appreciate this.
Guest bookers and producers love to use guests who will give some books away as part of their interview. Giveaways prompt call-ins to radio shows, spark listener questions, and it’s a great way to generate interest in your book. Giving away books to people who call in to a show often makes others believe the book must be something special.